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There are lots of people out there today who want to take your money. In the process of trying to sell you their version of “snake oil” they make all kinds of promises.
Unfortunately, most of those promises are hollow assertions made by people who have not used marketing to build a business…ever.
The problem: Most lawyers are so desperate for clients that they will listen to anyone with a microphone or a column in a national lawyer publication.
Here are three of the more egregious lies that you absolutely must ignore.
Lie Number 1: The Internet Is All You Need
Some lawyers get a huge number of clients from the Internet. They use Search Engine tricks, pay-per-click advertising and advertising on Facebook to make their phones ring. There are two problems with using the Internet as a marketing panacea:
1). The Internet is constantly changing and evolving. If your Internet advertising team cannot keep up with the changes, you will wake up one morning and find that your client base has dried up.
2). Relationships always trump clicks and page views. The person who finds you on the Internet is a shopper. He/she is probably looking for a bargain. You may spend time with them only to find they can’t or won’t pay you.
You should definitely have an Internet strategy but make sure it is just one piece of your overall marketing plan.
Lie Number 2: Focus on Brand Building and Clients Will Follow
Each of us has a personal brand. Your brand is essentially your reputation. The misguided part of this advice is that you should focus on building a reputation. Think about that…If you have to focus on building a reputation there is no substance to your work.
As an alternative to building a brand, I recommend you focus on doing good work. Take care of your clients. Go the extra mile. Make a difference in their lives. If you do that your brand will be strong.
The “branding experts” have it backwards. In truth, build your law firm on a foundation of service and integrity and your brand and the clients will follow.
Lie Number 3: Former Lawyers Are Excellent Sources of Law Firm Marketing Guidance
This statement just defies commonsense. If someone was a lawyer, and the quit being a lawyer to teach others how to build a law firm, why would you listen to them? If they were so good, so successful at attracting clients, why wouldn’t they keep attracting clients and practicing law?
Put another way: Would you want to learn how to drive from someone who had several car accidents in the past two years?
If you want advice on the law, ask a lawyer. If you want advice on marketing, ask a marketing expert.
We are living in tough economic times. Even the con artists are having difficulty making a living. Don’t be a victim. If you hear any of these lies, run the other way.