Becoming a Person of Influence

Once you have basic marketing systems in place which include a high-performing website that attracts visitors and a multi-step follow-up sequence that keeps prospects interested until they actually make a decision about (1) hiring an attorney and (2) making sure that attorney is you. (If you want the case), then what you really want to be able to achieve is to become a person of influence in your community. We really do want every request for legal services coming through us.

You want to be the person that everyone calls, no matter what kind of lawyer they are looking for, because you are trusted to make the right referral

Every time you engage one of these transactions, you make a new friend (the prospective new client) and you cement a relationship with an old friend (the attorney you’re making the referral to).

Become a person of influence in your communityI highly recommend that everyone read David Bell’s book “Damages”. While written primarily as a guide for personal injury attorneys in trial, he has a terrific chapter on publicity/public relations/becoming a person of influence. On page 259 of the book, he describes how Atlanta attorney Don Keenan (who is now famous for representing and achieving vast success in children’s injury cases) saw that children were being needlessly injured on playgrounds. Rather than just talk about specific defects, he created a “Playground Safety Checklist” and distributed it everywhere he could. The checklist encouraged parents to do an inspection of every playground they came across and to give the results of the inspection to whomever it was that was responsible for maintaining the safety of the playground. Thus, exposed and rusty bolts, rickety ladders that kids climbed on, and swings that were not safely fastened were found and corrected before injury could occur.

So what can you do?

1. Create books and reports on subjects helpful to consumers, but that don’t have anything directly to do with your being a great lawyer.  Many of us have written “guides to buying insurance” and offered them to the public with the reminder that, "we don't sell insurance but we sure know what kind you want to buy." Think about it, even if you are not a personal injury attorney, this is another book that could be created easily. If you don't know anything about the subject, team up with a personal injury attorney in your market area and co-write the book.

2. Interview a local expert on any consumer-friendly idea. Think outside the lawyer box to things like finance, health, good looks, home maintenance - anything. Do the interview on video and have it transcribed and now you have multimedia. 

3. Do a series of these with local experts in your area on a variety of subjects and now you have co-authored a multi-chapter book just for residents of your market area. Now you've made each one of your interview subjects a "co-author" and you can teach them how to use the book to promote their own business. A while back, on a national level, many Great Legal Marketing members teamed up to write "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing", which was a book not just on insurance claims, but on all aspects of identifying and purchasing the most important types of insurance for families and small businesses. 

4. Invite local experts in a variety of areas to write articles for your newsletter. Include a "resource box" which drives readers back to the other local expert's website or business. This helps provide you with nonlegal content for your newsletter and makes you the center of influence.

Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.