The hardest part of starting a legal marketing campaign isn’t hiring new staff or designing a website. It’s getting rid of all of the old ideas in your head that have been holding you back. One that we’ve seen time an time again is the notion that you have to take all the “little cases”—the ones with low return—in order to get the big cases later.
Attorney Ben Glass often tells people that this objection relies upon a false premise: if you do a good job on a small case, then the client will hire you later. However, it just isn’t true. Chances are, if you ask a client who represented him in a case five or even ten years ago, he won’t be able to remember. Ask a friend who had surgery or gave birth five years ago who the doctor was. Don’t be surprised if they draw a blank.
The point is that just doing a good job does not make you memorable enough to get a future referral—and you don’t need to “pay your dues” with small cases to get the ones you want. Here are three ways your marketing can help funnel your ideal customers your way:
- Guarding your reputation. Rejecting the cases you don’t want sets you up as the big case lawyer, reinforcing your dedication to your ideal clients and offering a good reason as to why you can’t accept every case.
- Gracefully declining. After you tactfully and carefully explain why you don’t take small cases, keep that contact on your mailing list. This way, he can still receive your marketing materials and will remember you when he or a friend has a case that you handle.
- Freeing up your time. Each of your clients is a person with a case. If you have a bunch of little cases, you have to remember each client’s personal information and the details of his suit, leaving you with very little time to do anything else. But if you have three big cases, you are able to give personal attention to each one while getting the same amount of profit as with many smaller, time-consuming cases.