Effective, Ethical and Outside the Box Marketing Information, MasterMind and Coaching Groups

Most attorneys run away from any marketing, afraid to tarnish their reputations and to be seen as "the TV attorney." We believe you are morally obligated to market your practice because you are the PERFECT attorney for someone looking to hire a lawyer right now.

We teach attorneys how they can ethically market their practices, using strategies you won't find anywhere else. Has "do good work and the cases will come" worked out for you? Probably not. This advice was designed to keep you from making money. Instead, we want you to be a good attorney and bring in new clients every day, without overspending on lead generation tactics or bloated TV ads.

Browse our frequently asked questions below to discover what you should be doing RIGHT NOW to bring in new clients. If you have more questions, visit our contact page to ask something specific. We also encourage you to download our 10-Step Program for Marketing Success to learn more about how successful solo and small firm attorneys market their practices.

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  • Aren’t industry norms there for a reason? Why should I approach marketing differently than everyone else?

    We know it feels good to follow industry norms and do what everyone else is doing—just like it’s easy to crumble to peer pressure, buy into the next big trend, or follow the crowd. But just because something is easy and comfortable doesn’t mean it is the best choice for you.

    • If you follow industry norms, you are doing exactly what your competition is doing, and clients are going to have a hard time differentiating you. Not only that, but you will be attracting the same exact clients as your competition. You won’t stand out and you won’t excel.
       
    • If you follow industry norms, you are assuming that conventional legal marketing is the optimum strategy. What have you done to confirm that the marketing ideas you use and the approach you take to your job are the best? Have you ever tried anything different or thought through what might be best for you?
       
    • If you follow industry norms, nothing will change. If you are reading this, you probably aren’t totally happy with your life. Your practice may not be as successful as you like. You might be overworked. Your marketing plan may not be working. How are you going to make things different? Probably not by continuing on the same path you are on. If you follow the same path everyone else has already taken, there’s no way you’re going end up the leader.

  • How can I successfully market my law firm with all of the constraints my state bar association puts on advertising?

    One of the major challenges facing attorneys today is the set of rules and regulations put forth by their state bar associations. These guidelines and regulations are in place to make certain that lawyers advertise in an ethical manner, but some believe that some of the rules are not well thought out or fair. What can you do about these constraints, and how can you still advertise successfully?

    First, know your state’s advertising rules—and follow them! Even if you don’t agree with everything, realize that it’s important to follow the regulations closely. You do not want to find yourself arguing about whether or not you have been professional, and you do not want to have to delete big chunks of your marketing plan.

    Secondly, it is vital to understand that you can still have great attorney marketing campaigns, effective commercials, and killer websites even with the limitations in place. Sure, you might have to put in a bit more effort and think out of the box—but that’s where you find the best ideas and inspirations anyway. Instead of letting the rules stifle you, let them challenge you to find a new way to reach potential clients.

    Finally, know that the Ben Glass style of marketing has been formed with these regulations in mind and is designed to work without attorneys having to worry about crossing any ethical lines or getting negative attention from their bar association. We even give our members regular updates about their state’s newest advertising rules.

  • I don’t get it: what makes attorney marketing so different?

    Why do you need learn about marketing strategies that are specific to attorneys and law firms? Why can’t you just get help from any number of so-called “marketing gurus” on the Internet? Let’s face it: marketing legal services is very different from marketing other goods and services—and you probably already know that from trying to get exposure and better cases for your law office.

    First of all, attorneys must market their law offices under the direction of their state bar associations. They face limitations that other businesses simply don’t have to deal with, such as not being able to claim specializations or not being able to post content without approval. You are literally playing with a different set of rules from those other companies use.

    Secondly, you have a lot of very similar competition. More lawyers are graduating from law school every year, and yet jobs for attorneys are getting harder and harder to come by. You probably have stiff competition in your area even if you’ve chosen a niche—and some of your competitors may be spending a fine dime on marketing efforts.

    Finally, attorneys have the added challenge of marketing to a very specific and very local audience—something that is tough to do online. How do you make sure your online marketing dollars go toward only a small geographic area, and how do you make sure you are targeting your ideal clients?

  • Why Is Education-Based Marketing a Good Idea for Attorneys?

    There are two different parties that benefit from education-based marketing: you and your clients. Let’s take a closer look at how this type of marketing strategy helps everyone involved.

    Why your clients benefit

    When clients are first confronted with a legal issue, they need information even before they need an attorney. Getting the information they need may help them find the best attorney fit for them. The informed client will not waste his time (or your time) speaking to an attorney that could not help them; he will not call up a bankruptcy attorney for help with his misdemeanor charges. He will also be armed with enough information so he can make informed choices about his life and legal issues. Finally, educated clients are more likely to partner with you, work with you, and let you do your job for them.

    Why you benefit

    An educated client is a good client: you don’t have to spend a significant amount of time explaining simple legal concepts to her and you don’t have to worry that she does not understand the process. In addition, education-based marketing is a great way to find ideal clients that you may not otherwise get into contact with; by putting helpful information on your website, anyone searching for information may find your website in her search results.

    Remember: when your clients benefit, you benefit—and when you benefit, your clients benefit.

  • When it comes to legal practices, why are there riches in niches?

    Too many lawyers and law offices take too many types of cases—and some even take basically any case that walks in the door. The thought behind their action is that the more cases and the more clients, the better. However, this is simply not true. By having a niche practice area, you can get better cases, make more money, and establish yourself as an authority on the topic.

    By picking a niche, you are picking an expertise: you can spend your time and effort learning about a much narrower field of knowledge—and over time your community will recognize your knowledge and experience. When someone need an attorney for the legal issue you specialize in, she will either already know that you can help, or she will quickly find you online.

    By picking a niche, you are also making the decision not to take on cases that don’t optimize your time and your skills. You should pick a niche that you are interested in, that you feel you excel at, and that brings you the type of success you are looking for. Get rid of the cases that don’t showcase your skills and that you don’t enjoy or profit from.

    Ultimately, you will find that your practice thrives with a focus: you can invest more time in your cases rather than in keeping up to date with dozens of practice areas. You can establish yourself as an authority by showcasing your strengths. And you will see that clients come looking for you, not the other way around.

  • Do I really have to throw out all of my old marketing materials? Some of them were expensive!

    If you want to continue using brochures, keychains, or other printed materials that you have boxes and boxes of in your office, you can. Handing them out will give you more exposure than throwing them away, so feel free to use them until they’re gone. But when they’re gone, don’t reprint them—replace them with something better.

    Think of it this way: when you graduated from law school, did you receive a clock, pen, or nameplate with the scales of justice printed on it? You may still get these presents every year from well-meaning family members. The problem is, they’re stereotypical and hackneyed images of the law profession—and if everyone uses them, it means everyone is the same.

    Take a look at your old brochures. Is your name the only thing original about them? Are you talking about your qualifications and case results rather than addressing your customer’s problems? Are the only incentives to call you a phone number and firm email address?

    The key to great marketing for personal injury lawyers is to subvert your customers’ expectations. You don’t want to do what every other lawyer is doing; you want to distinguish yourself in your field. This means providing a lot of information for free, having the patience for a low-pressure sale, and pointing all of your marketing toward getting the customer to contact you rather than hire you.

    The good news is, you already have the information you need to change your marketing. You know what clients tell you when they first walk in your door: their fears, their questions, and their concerns. Imagine you needed help, and someone provided the answers before you even asked your questions. That’s the person you want to be.

  • One of the clients at my law practice is a major source of irritation - phone calls in the middle of the night, unpaid bills, missed appointments, etc. I'd like to fire him, but he also brings in a significant amount of money. What can I do?

    This is an issue virtually every lawyer faces at one time or another. What you're referring to, though you may not be aware of it, is the Pareto Principle—the general rule that 80 percent of a given outcome can be traced to 20 percent of possible causes. In the best case, you can identify the 20 percent of your practice's clients who give you the majority of your aggravation, and fire them—and retain the 20 percent that produce 80 percent of your profits!

    The problem arises when these percentages overlap—that is, when one of your clients is difficult to work with, yet also contributes a fair amount to your bottom line. In this case, you have to sit down and really think about the consequences of cutting this client loose. Sure, you will lose some money in the near term, but if this person has made you so crazy that you can't even think straight, you may find that getting rid of him frees up the mental space you need to find and service new paying clients.

    On the other hand, if firing this client would be an extreme financial hardship, you need to come up with a strategy by which you can retain his business and reduce your angst. A patient intermediary (a paralegal or administrative assistant) might be one solution, or you can come to an agreement with the client that you will only be available via phone or email during specific times, or address the other issues (late payments, missed appointments) that make him difficult to handle.

  • I don’t see how a “low-pressure” sale is going to work on my customers. If I don’t sign them right away, won’t they go to another attorney?

    It’s pretty unlikely. After all, if you were looking for advice and nobody would talk to you without signing a contract, would you trust any of them? Or would you go home and look elsewhere for someone who was willing to answer your questions for free?

    For example, consider the length of time it takes for someone to hire an attorney after they are in an accident. They may rely on hospital care for several weeks, and when they are released, they are focused on convalescing and returning to work. They may not even begin to consider legal action as a way to cope with their injury costs for months—or years.

    What are you doing all this time?

    • Providing answers. The content of your website is free and specifically tailored for your ideal clients. Since each new blog and article will address a facet of their case, your customers will think of you as an authority (and the ideal lawyer to hire for their case).
       
    • Building loyalty. By keeping in constant communication with your prospects, you are keeping your name in their heads as a viable option and letting them know you haven’t forgotten them.
       
    • Spreading your message. All of your customers have the potential to recommend or share your materials with their friends, increasing your reach.

    People often assume that attorneys are only interested in them to make money. Your prospective clients will hold back on hiring you because they are naturally mistrustful of “ambulance chasers” who profit off of others’ misery. If you want to change their minds, you’re going to have to be willing to spend the time earning their trust.

  • I have a free offer for my niche practice area, but one of my competitors is now offering something similar. What can I do to get the advantage back?

    Now that attorneys have started to see the value of a free offer for their customers, it’s becoming a buyer’s market for legal services. And that’s fine; remember, there are plenty of clients to go around. The clients you don’t want may be perfect for your competition, and if they’re not going to be profitable for you, you should let them go.

    However, this can be problematic if your niche practice area overlaps with that of your competition. To avoid fighting for over your ideal clients, you only need to change your tactics slightly. For example, try tweaking your irresistible offer by making:

    • CDs. Listening to your guide is even easier than reading it, and gets the customer familiar with your voice.
       
    • DVDs. You can easily compile your informational YouTube videos into an informational DVD, allowing your customers to watch you give them all the answers they need.
       
    • Another guide. If your first free offer deals with the aftermath of a car accident, answer a different question in your next guide. A book on whether or not the customer even needs an attorney (meaning you or your competitor) will turn him back toward you for the answer.

    The ultimate goal your guide should achieve is getting the customer to contact you. Most attorneys wait until the customer is actively seeking an attorney to market to them, and then making a “hard sell” to sign the client. But planting your name in the customer’s mind takes is a much more effective technique, and can take place at any point in the customer’s search—and it begins the moment they enter your site.

  • I've noticed that a lot of lawyers in my area advertise on billboards, and also run the same basic ad in the local Yellow Pages. What's wrong with deploying this strategy myself, so I can attract my share of prospective clients?

    Well, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, if you know for a fact that this billboard/Yellow Pages double whammy is actually growing your competitors' law practices. It's amazing how many lawyers will take a “monkey see, monkey do” approach to their marketing efforts, investing no more effort in their promotional campaigns than looking out the window (or turning on the TV) and seeing what their competitors are doing.

    But unless your competition has been doubling in size every year—while your law firm has dwindled down to you and your secretary—you may want to rethink whether imitation is really the sincerest form of flattery.

    Let's look at it this way: perhaps, years ago, there was a visionary lawyer in your area who saw that billboards were the way to go, since they reach a captive audience of people stuck in rush-hour traffic. For a time, the billboards worked—and then a competing firm decided to buy space on its own billboards, and the firm after that, on and on down the line until it's your turn to commit your hard-earned money. The law of diminishing returns dictates that billboards will no longer be an effective advertising medium, since literally everyone is buying billboards—at which point motorists will fail to differentiate one billboard from another—and one law firm from another—and the medium will be completely played out.

    Copying what someone else is doing—without knowing whether it’s truly successful—isn’t a law firm marketing strategy. It’s a way of washing your hands of the task, and refusing to take responsibility for the success of your own career. If you believe you’re a better lawyer than that, then you owe it to yourself to make a honest effort.