Bulletproof Marketing Blueprint

Issue July/August 2023 August 2023 By Christopher D. Earley
Solo/Small Firm Law Practice Management Section Review
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Christopher D. Earley

As with any business, marketing is mission critical. Getting clients coming through your door should always be the first order of priority. No matter how good your lawyering skills are, you can’t practice law and make money without clients. Unless you operate strictly through word-of-mouth referrals to generate business, marketing is something that must be done, and done right. But far too often, attorney marketing misses the mark, resulting in significant lost money. Here are some ways your marketing can be made more potent and effective.

With any marketing you do, take the focus off you, and always make it about the potential client. Peter Drucker once said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Get in the head of the potential client. What keeps them up at night? What are they scared about? What do they want? They probably don’t want to hire and deal with a lawyer, but they realize they have to. They have a problem and need the problem solved. That is where we come in. We are problem solvers. How are you going to solve the problem quicker and better than your competitors will? By shifting the focus away from you, and over to the client, you become an attractive problem solver in the eyes of the potential client. If you can effectively communicate and position yourself in that way through your marketing, your marketing will become infinitely more effective and magnetic in getting clients to your door.

Educate always, and never, ever sell in your marketing, in any media. People hate to be sold to, and when people feel they are being sold to, they get turned off. People, though, like to learn how things work, so if you can educate potential clients with valuable information that will benefit them, you will attract their attention. When you have their attention, they will be more inclined to hire you. You can do this in countless ways. Answers to frequently asked questions, free reports, books, webinars and podcasts are just some of the ways you can educate and attract potential clients to your practice. The more you educate, and the less you sell, the more prospects you will convert into paying clients. 

Show you can be trusted. This is so important. Imbue trust clues into your marketing. People generally neither trust nor like lawyers. That is a major problem we need to confront. You need to overcome that distrust by affirmatively demonstrating that you can be trusted. This is where reviews are critical. Amass as many online reviews as you possibly can, and perpetually continue that behavior so that potential clients will see you can be trusted. Don’t worry about negative reviews. We all get them. If all you have are perfect reviews, potential clients may look at that with suspicion. What you say about yourself is one thing, but what others say about you is golden. Put reviews on all pages of your website. Print them out and hang them on the walls in your office and reception area waiting room for all visitors to see. This is especially impactful not just on potential clients, but on existing clients as well, as it reinforces that you can be trusted, and that you are the right lawyer for the job. 

Trust can also be established by creating affinity. In your website bio (this is a critical part of a website that is often neglected), take the lawyer hat off and get personal. Talk about the things you like to do in your spare time, or things you feel passionately about. This is a great way to relate to people, and that can establish affinity and trust. The more you can focus your bio on you as a person, and not just an attorney, the better that potential clients will relate to you.

The fortune is in the follow-up. Far too many lawyers fail to do any type of follow-up marketing once a potential client raises their hand and demonstrates interest. Whenever a potential client reaches out, their contact information must be collected. This enables you to nurture the lead through email, direct mail and the telephone. Follow-up marketing can be and should be automated as much possible. This provides a further way not only to stay top-of-mind to the prospect, but also to further educate the prospect. At my office, we follow up with leads we want to convert until they either sign with us or tell us to stop marketing to them. 

There are so many ways to market a law firm effectively. Take a look at your existing marketing strategy and constantly tweak and test new tactics. This will result in not only more cases, but more of the cases you want to attract. As with anything, small hinges open big doors. 

©2023. Published in GPSolo eReport, January 2022, Volume 11 Number 6, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Christopher D. Earley is a Boston personal injury attorney who enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, exercising and meditating, and he is a terrible drummer.