Is Ben Glass's Great Legal Marketing System for Me?
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At the end of a long workday, I'm so tired that I can barely drag myself home, watch some TV, and go to bed. I sense that more successful lawyers are using their leisure time more constructively than I am. What can I do to change?
Well, it's certainly true that some attorneys have more natural energy, and need less sleep, than others. If you really are working 12-hour days, six or seven days a week, then no one can fault you for wanting to relax when you finally get home. The last thing you want to hear is, “Do more work so you can grow your practice!”
However, the fact that you're working those 80-hour weeks in the first place is a sure sign that something is amiss. What you need to do, if at all possible, is to scale back your work day—either by disposing of some of your less lucrative clients, or delegating more of your work to one of your subordinates. Then, when you're working more normal hours, you will have the energy to do more than watch some TV and go to sleep when you get home in the evenings!
What should you be doing instead? Well, the most successful entrepreneurs—and that's a category that includes lawyers—read the latest business bestsellers and eagerly devour news publications like The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. When more of your energy comes back, you can also take it upon yourself to attend local lectures in your community, or even visit a library or museum, in order to stimulate the parts of your brain involved in creative thought. That's the portion of your gray matter that you tap into when you want to think of creative law practice promotion ideas, and it can't hurt to keep it in good working order!
At Great Legal Marketing, we know how important it is for lawyers to spend their leisure time constructively, so they can more easily come up with that Next Big Idea. Questions? Call our legal marketing consultants at 888-791-2150 to find out what we can do for you!
It's been 10 years since I graduated from law school, and I'm still working 80- and 90-hour weeks to make ends meet. Am I doing something wrong?
That all depends on how you define the word “wrong.” In the opinion of many so-called experts, including—one suspects—more than a few Supreme Court justices, you're doing exactly the right thing: you have made the law your “mistress” to which you have devoted all your waking hours. Of course you're spending 16 hours a day at the office; that's what lawyers are supposed to do!
However, it's one thing to spend your life in the office and rake in tons of money (though that's not all it's cracked up to be, given the sacrifices you're making). It's quite another thing to put in those brutal hours and make what you consider a “subsistence” living. If you genuinely can't shave a few hours from your work week for fear of not making the rent, yes, you are doing something wrong.
The fact is that lawyers—at all stages of their careers—need to learn how to work smarter, not harder.
It's very easy to yield to the received wisdom and resign yourself to toiling non-stop until the day you die, and to accepting every client that walks through your door. It takes a lot more courage to step back for a moment, weigh the situation, and question whether that “the law is a jealous mistress” mantra really makes sense given the economic realities that prevail today. Other lawyers—including your own partners—may accuse you of slacking off if you pare back your hours; you have to realize that this is their problem, and not yours.
At Great Legal Marketing, we know that successful lawyers spend their time, money, and resources intelligently, and make room for other things in life (like having a family). Questions? Call our innovative legal marketing experts today at 888-791-2150 to find out what we can do for you!
I’ve left my old firm, and now I am starting my own practice. Should I use a “tried and true” legal marketing campaign for a few years so I’m not risking my new business?
It’s easy to be tempted by the siren call of web developers who will promise to make your site the best thing the Internet has ever seen. However, it’s unlikely that such a promise it going to be true.
Of course, many web developers have experience building a great legal webpage. But in many cases, the reason they can keep churning out website after website is that they are built using templates. There are a set number of designs; you pick one, and they slap your name on it. It will get you up and running pretty quickly, but you’ll be running next to a million other attorneys in an enormous crowd, with no way to tell you apart.
This is a pretty great deal for website companies. They have a low-risk and high-return business, to the effect that all of their clients are doing the exact same advertising. If you’re the new guy in this crowd, you’ve already got some catching up to do. Why would you want to start at the back of the pack?
Now, granted: there are only so many different ways your website can look, so you’re going to have to depend on your content to sell you. Forget about all the old tropes such as touting your “X years of experience” and your “team of attorneys” and the fact that you’ve been “in business since XXXX.” None of these claims will help you anyway. Zero in on why you are different. Customers are going to see that you’re new on the block, so celebrate the fact that you are starting your own firm instead of hiding it.
To find out how to get your law firm’s marketing campaign off on the right foot, download your FREE chapter of the Great Legal Marketing book or call 888-791-2150 to get our insider tips delivered right to your inbox.
My state bar association is supposed to act in the interests of all of its members, that is, the lawyers in my state. Can't I trust it not to issue regulations that damage rather than help my practice?
In an ideal world, yes, you can. In the real world, though, your state bar association isn't only beholden to its members: it also has to answer to the state government and get along with (or at least not get in the way of) other bureaucratic entities. The results are better in some states and worse in others, but often you wind up with a body that acts against the interests of a significant proportion of its membership whenever it issues a ruling—or simply doesn't grasp that many of its regulations no longer apply to the “real world” of lawyer marketing.
Another reason your state bar won't necessarily have your interests in mind is that it represents all kinds of lawyers, ranging from sole practitioners to small firms of three to five partners to large firms with dozens of partners and even more associates. The larger firms in your state will have a disproportionate amount of pull; so will the small practitioners, who make up a lot of the grass-roots membership (which the bar association may be eager to cater to). If you belong to a small firm, you're stuck in the middle, and the rules issued by your state bar may be a pesky hindrance rather than an active help.
What can you do? Well, first, you can lobby your state bar not to issue foolish or counterproductive regulations. And second, you can sign on with Great Legal Marketing, which will keep you abreast of what your state bar is up to weeks or months before it issues new regulations that interfere with your ability to make a living.
Questions? Call our legal marketing experts at 888-791-2150 to find out what we can do for you!
Is it even worth it to buy a Yellow Pages ad anymore?
Legal marketing in the Yellow Pages is a complex problem. On one hand, the Internet provides such an instant connection to all people and businesses that attorneys don’t want to waste money on print ads anymore (and if magazine ad revenue is dwindling, imagine how little an ad in a phone book is going to be read).
However, there are still some areas of the country where lawyer advertising in the Yellow Pages is still very much alive. If you’re considering a phonebook ad for your law firm, consider these three factors:
- Your customer base. If you are marketing to a demographic that is unlikely to be online, a print ad may be worth the extra effort and expense.
- Where you live. In some rural or isolated areas, many homes are still without an Internet connection, or have a slow enough dial-up connection that flipping through the phonebook is a faster reference tool.
- How many local attorneys are doing it. The trend of lawyers bailing on advertising in the Yellow Pages can actually work in your favor. Count how many attorneys are still listed in your phone book. If it’s not many, there’s a greater chance your ad will stand out.
In the end, you will only know whether your print ad is worth it is by creating a response-driven ad that can be tracked and evaluated as part of your marketing research. If enough of your clients say that they found you by using your ad in the phone book to offset the cost of the ad, it may be just the marketing niche that keeps you ahead of your competition.
Got more legal marketing questions? Call 888-791-2150 to get insider emails delivered to your inbox, or click the link above to download your FREE chapter of the Great Legal Marketing book by attorney marketing expert Ben Glass.
How can I write good headlines for my legal website articles?
When it comes to appealing to their audience, many attorneys make the mistake of setting their sights too low. For instance, you’ve probably seen headlines such as “personal injury attorney,” or “fighting for your rights,” or “Injured? We can help.”
Not only are these uninteresting and uninformative, they are a waste of valuable real estate on your page. Why, after crafting a useful and well-written article, would you neglect to make a headline that will draw your readers’ attention to it?
Before publishing your articles, ask yourself these three questions about each headline:
- Do you want to know more? Your reader will decide what to read the same way you do: by reading the title and summary of the article. If the headline bores you, it’s certainly going to bore them.
- What is the article about? Read the first paragraph of text. The headline should summarize the article in a provocative way. Consider the difference between “Common mistakes doctors make in surgery” and “Five mistakes that surgeons make every day.”
- Have you seen it before? Remember, you want to be different. If your headline sounds too generic or “lawyer-centric,” rather than focused on the customer, rewrite it.
Our legal marketing gurus know that the whole point of your law firm’s online advertising is to stand out from the competition and get your readers to want to contact you. To find out how our tips can get customers calling, call 888-791-2150 today or click the link on this page to download your FREE chapter of the Great Legal Marketing book.
An advertising firm is trying to convince us to use a catchy jingle in our law firm's TV commercial, but I'm not convinced. Do jingles really work?
In the right hands, they certainly can. Chevrolet spent years advertising its cars using that “heartbeat of America” jingle, a tune that's remembered fondly by an entire generation. On the other hand, General Motors is one of the biggest companies in the world, and it could afford to scour the globe for the exact right piece of music to use in its advertising campaign. The chances are that your law firm's pockets aren't quite as deep!
If you've ever watched daytime TV, you already know that most jingles are unmitigated disasters—usually a seven-digit phone number or the company's name sung in near-random notes by a poorly rehearsed chorus. Some of these jingles are so bad that they're also, in their perverse way, very effective, but most of them are so bad that they're...well, just bad. Simply put, they won't do anything for your firm's name recognition, and they might even prompt viewers to mute their sets (or, better yet, get up and go to the refrigerator) whenever your commercial comes on.
Rather than silly gimmicks like jingles or animated mascots, you're better off putting your best foot forward and telling the viewers of your TV commercial what you can do for them in their hour of need (“Have you been in a car accident? Call our firm to learn the ten mistakes that can hurt your personal injury lawsuit!”)
Ideally, your TV commercial should aim higher than simply making a potential client look twice: it should be so sincere, and so convincing, that that person remembers your name weeks or months down the road when he's in need of a lawyer.
Questions? Call the lawyer marketing professionals at Great Legal Marketing (888-791-2150) to learn more today!
I’m not a writer. How can I be sure the copy for my legal marketing materials is working?
This is a great worry for many attorneys. Since the first contact your customers will have is often with your website, you want to make it an informative and welcome environment for them. They should be able to click easily from one item to the next, feeling as if each article was written just for them.
Impossible? Not so. Here are a few guidelines that can keep you on the right path to great legal website copy:
- An interesting, provocative headline. Most people spend less than three seconds on a website before clicking away. You need to grab their attention quickly to draw them further into your site.
- Copy that enters the conversation in their mind. Your customers don’t care about you (at least, not yet). They care about what’s happening to them—and that’s what you should be talking about.
- The irresistible offer. In this day and age, people aren’t asking what you can do—they want to know what you will do for free (and your offer of a phone number isn’t going to cut it). Your book, CD, or DVD needs to offer information vital to your ideal client—so vital that they would be foolish not to ask for it.
Great website content is a must, but it’s only one component to your attorney marketing strategy. To learn how to take your law firm’s advertising to the next level, call 888-791-2150 today to have our tips delivered right to your inbox. You can also click the link on this page to download your FREE chapter of our Great Legal Marketing book.
Can you give me a “quick fix” solution to get more clients in the door?
We get this question a lot at Great Legal Marketing. Attorneys want to know the one thing, that mythical “magic bullet” that they can use right now to bring a flock of new clients to their door.
The reality is, it doesn’t exist.
Disappointing? Maybe. A lot of people think that there is only one key to successful law firm marketing—a change in their phonebook ad or a few lines of code on their website that will bump them up 50 places in the search engine listings. But think about it: if it were that easy, wouldn’t everyone know it by now?
The truth is, good legal marketing isn’t easy—especially not at the beginning. But that’s actually good news for you. Since web marketing is a complex problem, it has a complex solution. All of those other attorneys who are looking for the magic bullet are going to wander around, wasting their time, trying to find something that doesn’t exist.
You, on the other hand, accept that this is a multi-step process. You outline your goals, learn about social media, and constantly try new things to reach clients. You use many different outlets to reach your clients and funnel them back to your website, and you continually follow up with your rolodex of contacts.
Those other attorneys—the ones who are still searching for the “easy” button—are doomed to repeat their mistakes. Their ads will all look alike, they will waste hundreds or thousands of dollars on media buys in less effective markets—and their prospective clients will hear about you way before they hear about them.
To get started building your legal web marketing campaign, call 888-791-2150 today or click the link on this page to download your FREE chapter of the Great Legal Marketing book.
How will limiting the types of cases I take build my practice? Won’t it mean less business?
Only if you measure “business” by the number of clients you have. Many attorneys do just that, and wonder why they never have time for their families and friends—and their bottom line isn’t even stable to make up for it.
Having fewer clients does not mean less business—in fact, it means quite the opposite. You will be building a better, more successful, and hopefully more lucrative practice.
Stop thinking about how you can pull in more cases and ask yourself:
- Whom do you enjoy representing?
- Which clients have cases that you have a great track record winning?
- Which past clients made you feel proud and honored that you were able to help them solve their legal problem?
- What types of clients (or cases) do you hate?
- Are there cases you would rather not take on sitting on your desk right now?
These questions aren’t irrelevant: they directly impact your relationship with your customer. After all, you didn’t become a lawyer to help people you don’t like, for a paycheck that won’t let you enjoy the little free time you have. You should like your job, not dread coming into the office every day—and if you’re taking cases that are personally unfulfilling, your clients are going to see it in every interaction you have with them.
There are perfect clients out there for you, and once you find them, all of your legal marketing efforts should be focused only on them. If you do it right, your law firm’s web marketing campaign will make your perfect clients feel as if it was designed just for them. At the same time, all those other cases will realize you’re not a good fit for each other (which is really best for you both).
To get more insider marketing tips, call 888-791-2150 today or click the link on this page to download your FREE chapter of the Great Legal Marketing book.