Sould You Outsource Law Firm Marketing?
There are two things you never outsource. One is signing the checks. The other is law firm marketing.
You can outsource some of the execution of your marketing tactics but you should never outsource the strategy associated with selecting your target audience, crafting your message or selecting the delivery systems (media).
Don’t Outsource Audience Selection
I have yet to meet an agency or internet expert who knows your clients as well as you do. They do not know your best client. They do not know how to spot tire kickers.
Outsourcing law firm marketing creates waste and it is directly related to audience selection. Since the marketing company cannot hone in on the exact audience, they source a broad swath of clients. You and your team then need to weed through these prospective clients and separate the good from the bad. This takes time.
Don’t Outsource Message Creation
Nobody is inside your clients’ heads like you. You know how they think. You know how they speak. You know how they make decisions. This makes you the most qualified person to interact with them. You craft the message based upon what you want them to do.
An outsourced law firm marketing message will not resonate with the audience and it will not generate the results you desire because it doesn’t come from you.
Don’t Outsource Delivery System Selection
The minute you start letting an agency select media for you, you sign up to triple your costs. Why? The agency gets paid based upon what you spend. Not to mention that you know what your clients read. You know where they go and what they do. You know what conventions they attend.
Save money and make more accurate media selection decisions by doing it yourself.
What Can You Outsource?
So when it comes to law firm marketing, what can you outsource? You can outsource the mundane repetitive tasks. Things like stuffing envelopes, responding to social media comments and loading up email campaigns lend themselves well to being outsourced.
In the end, you need to be strategic and judicious in outsourcing your marketing. Hire people to do the tedious things but keep the important decisions for yourself.
Legal Marketing Expert Dave Lorenzo Answers Your Questions
Every day lots of questions pour in to Rainmaker Lawyer headquarters. It is almost impossible to answer each one.
This week on his Radio Show, Legal Marketing Expert Dave Lorenzo answers questions from listeners.
Some of the questions discussed include:
- How do I find time for legal marketing when I’m busy practicing law?
- How do I make billboards and bus stop ads work? (Yes, Dave answered this question even though he hates billboards and bus stop bench ads).
- What is the most cost effective way to invest my marketing budget?
- When should I consider taking on a partner in my law firm?
- Why are you pushing Google+ so much?
Dave provided answers to all of these questions and many more. If you are wondering how to make money as a lawyer, this podcast is definitely for you.
Listen on the built-in player below or click the link to download the podcast directly to your computer of device.
Remember to go to iTunes and subscribe to the Valtimax Podcast. You can find it on iTunes by clicking on this link:
Subscribe today so you don’t miss out. It’s free and the information will make you more money as a lawyer.
How Do I Get Clients As A Lawyer? Play Hard to Get
If you are good at what you do, to your clients, you are a trusted advisor. When people get in trouble or they are facing a tough decision, you give them guidance based upon what is in their best interest.
You have an external orientation. You offer guidance designed to improve the client’s condition. The clients find that guidance valuable. They believe the relationship they have with you is priceless.
The client also feels as though he is your only client. This is not because you answer the telephone on the first ring. It’s not because you run to his office when he can’t find a paper clip. It’s because you have immersed yourself in his business and you think like his clients think. You think like his employees think. You think like his competitors think. Your advice originates from this perspective. Your client believes you spend every one of your waking hours thinking about him and his business.
You have dozens, maybe hundreds of clients. Each of them feels this way about you. They cherish the golden nuggets of advice you deliver and they never, ever, hear about you working with one of their peers.
How important is this?
If you want to command high fees, it is critical.
Focusing on a handful of clients with complex issues will strengthen your ability to demonstrate your value.
But most people don’t do this.
They run out and sign up every client they can. They attend every networking event they can. They take every meeting, even those that only serve to waste their time.
In fact, most people are overexposed.
Go to a chamber of commerce event. Then go to a PTA meeting. Then go to a social event at your house of worship. You will see all the same people. And they see you. They can approach you and ask you any question. And they do, often.
Now if you have a practice with a national (or international) clientele, there is no harm is being active in the local community.
But if you draw your clients from the small pool of people within your city or state, being readily accessible will not help you.
The older I get the more I realize some of the most valuable life lessons I’ve learned came from high school.
Reminisce with me for a moment.
Remember that special someone you had a crush on?
She was just perfect. And you knew that if she was your girlfriend your life would be fantastic. In addition to the obvious benefits of dating the beautiful, smart, popular girl, you would also have the admiration of your friends.
But you were never able to date that girl. She was always just out of reach. She knew you wanted to be with her and she made it difficult for that to happen.
What did this do?
It made you want her even more because you couldn’t have her.
The same phenomenon takes place in business. If people see you everywhere nobody will want to pay to work with you.
This is controversial advice but it works.
Try it. Give yourself a break from personal exposure for 90 days. See what happens.
Note: You should ramp up your other marketing initiatives while you reduce your personal exposure. You are not trying to make people forget about you. You want them to really value spending time with you.
Speaking of increasing your marketing…
Below is a player (and a link) that features a podcast with a step-by-step guide to marketing a law firm. This is one of the most popular podcasts I have recorded. Enjoy it, but more importantly, put it into action.
Want to know how to get clients as a lawyer? Listen and take action now.
Law Firm Marketing: Are You Like a Kid Playing Soccer?
Have you ever watched a group of five year olds play soccer?
Sometimes it’s hard to see the ball because almost all the kids from both teams are crowded around it.
Everyone is chasing the ball. Nobody is thinking about where the ball needs to go or how to take the best shot on the goal.
An entire herd pushing, shoving, and going after the immediate gratification of doing something they believe will lead to victory.
Each of the kids in that group has the best of intentions. Each of them believes they are doing the right thing. Each of them wants to be successful.
Yet the approach is wrong.
Now with years of practice and lots of coaching, these kids will eventually begin to understand the strategic nature of the game and their positioning.
And in some ways, you are no different when it comes to your law firm marketing.
You are constantly chasing the client or the referral source you believe will change everything instead of putting together a game plan that will position you to be ready to take the best shot when the time is right.
You chase the latest flavor of the month marketing idea or the latest overhyped Internet guru instead of focusing on the fundamentals of good business strategy.
Developing relationships and deepening them over time is the best way to build a foundation of success.
There are many, many ways to do this and you just need to pick one of them and own it.
What does that mean?
If you are great at public speaking, find places to speak and master that form of media.
If you are a great writer, get your writing published in as many places as possible and in front of your target audience as often as possible.
If you are outstanding at making connections and networking, share those connections with as many influential people as possible.
Now, I’m not saying you should select only one marketing method. I’m not advocating a singular approach to marketing.
I’m advocating mastery of each strategy you use. Do not approach marketing in a half-hearted way. In fact, if you want to expedite your success, you should focus your efforts on the area of your greatest strength and surround yourself with people who have strengths in other, complementary areas.
The more law firm marketing tactics you employ, the faster you will achieve your goals. But you cannot personally master everything.
Spend Less Make More Money
It never fails. In every industry there is someone who spends more money to try and buy clients.
There are lawyers like this in every market. There are hospitals in every city that do more advertising than all the others. In any small town there are restaurants and even funeral homes that outspend their competition. And in my business, marketing for law firms, there is always a big company with deep pockets that can outspend anyone.
I love these big spenders.
You read that correctly. I love people in my area of expertise who spend tons of money getting clients excited about the things I do.
Why do I love these people? Why do I love it when they spend their money?
1) They are doing market research for me
2) When we notice what works, I can implement it faster than they can
3) The role of the underdog suits me well
This can benefit you too. Here’s how:
A solo practitioner cannot invest in extensive market research. It’s just not practical. My small law firm clients look at the big spenders in their market and analyze their vulnerability.
Let’s use websites as an example. If you type “Personally Injury Lawyer Miami” into Google, one of the firms that hired an expensive company to build and manage their website will be in the top spot.
When you take their website URL and plug it into keyword analyzer software, you notice they rank well for the top 25-30 keyword phrases. But a good deal of traffic is going to phrases that are longer. The big personal injury firm ranks poorly for those phrases.
The phrase “Lawyer for Car Accident Miami” receives 50,000 visitors per month and it is not competitive (meaning only a few people are bidding on it from a Google Adwords perspective). And the big law firms do not even show up when searching for this phrase.
That’s a keyword small law firms should incorporate into their blog posts and into their website title tags.
(That was a fictional analysis.)
Once we find the opportunity (thanks to the market research done by the big spender) we act quickly to take advantage of it.
In the case of the internet, we immediately begin testing pay-per-click ads for that keyword while we manage our content to highlight this opportunity.
You also should begin adding some of these keywords to your social media profiles and linking to content that discusses things that are relevant to them.
You should also consider doing direct ad buys/placement on websites relevant but not directly related to these keywords.
For Example: With Real Estate attorneys we recommend testing ads on Real Estate valuation sites and mortgage calculator websites. If someone types in “mortgage refinance attorney Lansing, MI” they may get a mortgage calculator website as the top listing – that’s the place to put your ad as a Real Estate Attorney.
You should test several of these “opportunity” keywords because some of them will bring you great clients and others will bring you clients you’d rather not have.
In the content of all your ads and web copy you should be selling against the “big guys.” Why? Because most people on Planet Earth view themselves as underdogs.
You are always outgunned and undermanned and you are always trying harder than the other guy.
People do business with successful people to whom they can relate. They can’t relate to the guy who is spending $100,000 per month on billboards, $300,000 on TV and $60,000 on the Internet.
But they can relate to you, because you are the underdog.
Not Just About Internet Marketing
Lest you think this strategy is limited to Internet marketing, I will leave you with this example:
My client with an immigration law firm in Miami saw a competitor on TV advertising a free report about immigration reform. He knew this strategy was working because people began showing up in his office with the report.
He and I dissected the report, rewrote it and made several improvements. We also removed a few things that were not true.
Not being able to afford TV, this immigration lawyer went to churches, community centers and local places where freelance laborers congregate. He offered the leaders of these community centers copies of the report, to hand out, for free.
Immigration reform has not happened yet and this report is a step-by-step guide detailing what an undocumented person should and SHOULD NOT do once reform is finalized.
The attorney is not selling anything. But the report contains a HOTLINE number to call with questions once immigration reform is announced. That hotline rings in the attorney’s office.
The vulnerability in the big advertising guy’s plan is that he was selling right from the beginning. My guy was offering guidance.
It’s great for lawyers to have a big marketing budget but if you don’t, you can still make a great living and live a great life®. You just have to be smart in your approach to marketing for law firms.
As a bonus, here is a podcast specifically for lawyers who want more money. The title: How to get clients as a lawyer.
Enjoy it and, more importantly, put the information into practice.
Does Your Law Firm Marketing Plan Target The Wrong Clients?
When you first start practicing law you take whatever clients will work with you. That’s understandable. You have no experience. Virtually zero connections and few resources to apply to law firm marketing. Planning is not something that is even on your radar screen.
As time progresses and you begin to enjoy some success, you forget to shift your mindset from that of a starving start-up to the mindset of a successful, growth oriented business owner.
That’s how you come to be a lawyer in his/her fifteenth year of practice still working eighty hours per week and chasing clients for unpaid bills.
The client that was ideal for you ten years ago just needed to fog a mirror and be sober enough to sign the engagement agreement. Targeting that guy is easy. Today you want a more sophisticated client with a more sophisticated wallet.
So how do you evolve your client targeting, pay the bills and manage to keep your sanity?
You create a law firm marketing plan that allows for this client transition in an easy and natural way.
Your plan must include marketing that will target and attract the right clients while still accommodating the current clients in your practice. This is a balancing act for sure but it can be done if you are nimble.
First create an ideal client profile. You do this by examining the qualities of your best clients, along with the work you did for them and the results. Assess the value you provided to each client. Then objectively assign a fee (that you would charge today) if that client walked through the door now.
Once you have the profile in mind, go back to those clients and look at how they came to your law firm. What referral sources sent those clients to you? What marketing tactic drew the clients into your circle of influence? What was the message that resonated with them?
Jot all of that information down. Your new law firm marketing plan is to go to those places and do the things that make you attractive to the referral sources that send you that kind of client.
It’s a pretty simple plan. Examine the best clients. Go where they go. Go where the referral sources that produce those clients are and do things that provide value.
Take Care of Current Client Base
Then, find a way to accommodate the existing client base in your law firm. This probably means bolstering your staff by hiring a paralegal or associate attorney (depending upon practice area). The new staff member will be the person handling the work for the existing clients. He/she should have a billing rate the clients can afford and he/she must be capable of doing quality work.
Next you begin to transition your old clients over to the new team member. While doing this, you also on board new clients who do not fit your ideal client profile with the new team member as well.
This means you will be sourcing both ideal clients and clients who are less than a perfect fit for your new law firm marketing plan. This helps you avoid a big gap in income while you are transitioning from your old clients to the new ones.
As time passes, you will begin to notice more new clients come on board and less of the old clients show up.
In case you still wind up attracting both, you will be forced to make a decision which business you want to turn away and which business you want to keep.
This is a great problem to have.
Attorneys Marketing Strategy: M-A-D
Yesterday we discussed how attorneys marketing their services can craft an appropriate marketing message for their law firm.
This is part of a larger conversation about marketing strategy.
Today we are “going mad” about marketing. You read correctly, we’re absolutely, positively, mad about marketing and the reason that we’re mad about it is because MAD is an acronym.
MAD stands for the three aspects of great attorney marketing.
The first is your message, the second is the audience and the third is the delivery system you use to get the message to the right audience, so M-A-D, message, audience, delivery system.
Many people complicate marketing. They take it to an extreme, where it feels like you have to be some sort of creative genius in order to be highly effective at beginning relationships and attracting new clients to you or your law firm. That’s not the case. You can be completely mad about marketing and be a great lawyer.
So let’s first focus on the actual definition of marketing, and my definition of marketing is the start or the furthering of a relationship.
That’s right, the beginning or the continuation, the deepening of a relationship. So, a good definition of marketing is the beginning or the deepening of a relationship with a client, or with a referral source.
We use the acronym to describe the three elements of marketing. So don’t worry about attorney marketing, just get M-A-D.
Tools For Getting Clients As a Lawyer
If you are wondering how to get clients as a lawyer, we at Rainmaker Lawyer Consulting have some tools you can use.
We have an additional consulting company named Valtimax Consulting that provides products, services and events to doctors, lawyers and other professionals. To promote these offerings we have set up an additional website – Valtimax.com
On this website there are many resources that can help solve the riddle of how to get clients as a lawyer.
Here are three of those resources:
The Valtimax Podcast is a weekly recorded radio show that provides you with lots of step-by-step guidance on how to get clients. As lawyers know, step-by-step information is critical since you don’t have time to reinvent the wheel.
The Valtimax Video series is a great way to jumpstart your client attraction strategy. If you are thinking about getting clients, take four minutes each day and watch one of these videos
The Valtimax Blog offers one new article each week. This article focuses on strategy and mindset and is a powerful tool to help you get new clients.
Finally, you should listen to our FREE CD. This audio program contains the secrets of million-dollar lawyers. You can get your copy of the secrets of million-dollar lawyers by clicking on the FREE CD link at the top of the page.
Enjoy these tools that will immediately help you solve the problem of how to get clients as a lawyer.
Lawyers Marketing Wonder: What’s The Frequency Kenneth?
What’s the frequency Kenneth?
This is not just a phrase uttered by the assailant who pummeled Dan Rather in 1986, it’s also not just a song by the band R.E. M. , it is the question on the mind of lawyers marketing their services.
Lawyers want to know how frequently they should communicate with referral sources and clients.
As we have discussed in the past, lawyers marketing through newsletters should communicate with clients at least once each month but the preferred practice is a weekly newsletter.
You read that correctly.
Weekly communication will make a big difference in your marketing.
Think about it: If you were in any other kind of relationship – social or business – and you ignored the other party for weeks on end, how productive would that relationship be?
Frequent communication is essential for lawyers who want to be successful with marketing.
Email your client database (and your database of referral sources) once each week. Make the email interesting, relevant to them and entertaining. It does not necessarily have to cover topic/topics within your practice area each week.
Remember, you are building a relationship. Approach the weekly email from this perspective. The weekly email is simply one conversation in an on-going dialogue.
How often do you speak with your clients, past clients and referral sources?
If you want to follow the best practice of successful lawyers marketing their practices, you’ll bump up the conversation to weekly frequency with an email newsletter.
Are You Worried About How To Get Clients As a Lawyer?
What’s keeping you up at night?
When I ask that question to my clients, the answer resoundingly is:
“How to get clients as a lawyer.”
While there is no single correct answer, there is a strategy you can use that will give you some comfort.
Getting clients as a lawyer is the result of relationship development.
Here’s how it works:
First: Generate some interest in who you are and what you do. You do this by addressing the major concerns of your client base. Give speeches, write articles, hold events and in a one-to-one setting, talk about solutions to major issues keeping your prospective clients up at night.
Next: Make an offer of information. When people express interest in you and your law firm, provide them with some additional information they can use, for free. Use a free report, a video or an audio program that enables your prospective client to work on their issues with or WITHOUT your help.
You read that correctly. Let them try to solve their problems on their own if they dare.
Finally: Make sure your clients know you are available to help them if/when they need assistance. You do this by continuously providing them with follow-up information via a newsletter or weekly article.
If you are worried about how to get clients as a lawyer, this formula is the answer. Try it today and you will find new clients forging a path to your door.