How Successful Lawyers Think and Market Their Practices
Our mission at Great Legal Marketing is to show attorneys how they can effectively, and ethically, market their practices. This often requires a mental shift. Most of the things we have learned about being a good lawyer and a business owner are flat out wrong.
We want to "retrain" your brain to think more like a business owner so you can finally break the time/money chains. Through our style of marketing and business building, you can make more money, get more clients, and preserve your free-time.
Browse our collection of frequently asked questions about ethical marketing practices and the mindset you need to achieve your goals.
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Wait, so you’re saying that how I run my law office could affect my health?
Yes, the way that you choose to run your law office can harm your health and even significantly shorten your life. And I’m not just saying that. Studies show that work-related stress can wreak havoc on your body and mind, from repetitive stress injuries and high blood pressure to depression and anxiety.
The solution to your job stress is not to work harder, although that’s what many attorneys think: “If only I can make more money, then I can finally slow down and life will be enjoyable.” The truth is that you need to stop running yourself into the ground and being on call to clients around the clock. Being a great attorney involves taking time for yourself and taking time for your family. It even means leaving the office in time to eat dinner and taking a couple of vacations each year.
Running yourself ragged to capture some semblance of success or financial security isn’t worth it if you aren’t going to be around to enjoy your retirement. Not to mention: health problems caused by working too much can stop you from working (and supporting your family) altogether.
At Great Legal Marketing, we have devised a system that balances hard work with family life and relaxation. We have also figured out the secret to finding the cases and clients you want without spending all of your free time on attorney marketing. How do we know that it works? Ben Glass lives what he preaches, and so do many attorneys that have worked with him.
I'm constantly being criticized by my colleagues for not doing more pro bono work. How can I convince them that I have to look after my own needs before I look after the needs of other people?
This can be a tough sell, especially in a society where lawyers are held to a different standard from other professionals. There are few home contractors who will give away every tenth townhouse for free to a needy family that couldn't otherwise afford it; these professionals operate on a tight profit margin, and simply can't afford to be profligate with their money and time.
The same rule applies to lawyers who are struggling to establish their practice, and need to make every hour count toward the bottom line. If taking on a pro bono client means not being able to make your mortgage payment, there's no ethical rule on earth that says you can't decide otherwise.
If, however, you're hearing this criticism on a regular basis, there may be something to it. Most likely, your fellow lawyers know that you have attained a certain amount of success with your practice, and that you can afford to “give back” to the community rather than saving up for a third sports car or a second vacation home.
Once again, there's no law that says you have to take on pro bono work (although your state bar association may pressure you on this point), but you have already profited enough from your practice that you can afford to do so. If it creates good will among your colleagues (and potential adversaries), it may well be the case that taking on more pro bono work is a good idea—and it may even make you feel good inside!
And, of course, getting a reputation for sharing your legal knowledge with clients who could not otherwise afford your services can be a clever, but subtle, way to promote your law firm.
What Are Three Lawyer Marketing Ideas I Can Use Immediately?
Tactically speaking, what are the three most useful personal injury marketing ideas? The following answers may seem either blindingly obvious to you or surprising counterintuitive, depending on where you are in the process of educating yourself about marketing.
- Start Doing Lead Generation
Your most valuable resource is your list. To start marketing your firm, you first have to create a unique offer (NOT a free consultation). This free offer, like a book or report, will grow your list and put potential clients in the top of your funnel.
- Work on Your Customer Service
Lawyers are preoccupied with the practice of law, and they forget to develop good customer service in their law firms. This means training your staff to answer the phones correctly, upgrading your in-office experience, and differentiating your practice using creative marketing.
- Become More Selective About the Clients You Hire
When you let bad clients into your law firm, you are creating an environment that no one enjoys working in. Those clients who do not respect your time, who treat your staff poorly, and who have bad cases are not helping your law firm at all. I've revolutionized hundreds of firms by merely giving lawyers the permission to reject bad cases. When you start doing this, you will see a positive change in your life.
Of course, there is not one thing that will change your law firm overnight. Deciding to run a more profitable law firm takes work, and the most successful lawyers make multiple changes in the way their practice is run. If you are ready to change your law firm, start with the items we mentioned in this article, but keep in mind it doesn't end here.
- Start Doing Lead Generation
Signing Clients Without Using a High Pressure Sales Pitch
You heard me: “the subtle sell.” It might seem counterintuitive, but because of the Internet, successful attorney marketing is shifting away from slick, high-pressure sale tactics.
Quality prospects now have a lot more resources for information. If an attorney advertising doesn’t hook with something they need right off the bat—or if it pushes them away with gimmicks or hard sells—they’ll just head right back to Google.
That’s the reason for engaging your prospects with education-based attorney marketing. It not only gives you credibility as a professional with the kind of experience and inside knowledge that will put their case on the right track, but it also initiates the trust-building process.
Prospects have no use for another fast-talking lawyer in a suit telling the camera how hard they fight and how often they win. Most potential clients don’t know what they’re looking for in a personal injury attorney, nor do they have any idea how to find it. Education-based marketing can provide a map through an intimidating process. You’ll be surprised at how consistently that map will do the sell for you, landing new clients right at your door.
How Can I Anticipate the Questions of Future Clients?
It is inadvisable to wait for clients to ask you their questions, because if you do not answer their questions in your legal marketing materials, you may never have the chance to do so. When you anticipate the questions of prospective clients and answer them, you build your reputation as someone who can be trusted and who is likely to help them with their problems.
You can anticipate the questions of your future legal clients by putting yourself in their shoes. For example, you may anticipate that prospective clients want to know how a case would work, what the potential financial advantages are to filing a case, and why you are the right person to help them achieve their goals. They may also be interested in breaking news and the latest legal developments in your field. Of course, you need to make sure that your attorney marketing materials are written in an approachable way that makes this information easy to understand.