Five Things You Don’t Know About Lawyer Marketing

You Don't Know About Lawyer Marketing

What You Don’t Know About Lawyer Marketing Could Fill A Book

Every day someone calls me asking for the ONE way to attract new clients. They want the secret strategy. They will take a $15,000 advance on their credit card, and invest it in six guys in India, the Philippines, or a garage in the Back Bay section of Boston, for the latest Internet or Social Media gimmick

This is done with the hope they will wake up in a month with thirty clients in the reception area of their law firm.

They throw some (borrowed) money at the issue.

They hire someone to get clients.

Life is wonderful.

While you’re at it, why don’t you hire someone to go to church for you?

Or take your annual physical at the doctor?

Or raise your kids?

If you set aside my cynicism for a moment, a wave of clarity may come over you and draw your attention to one stark truth…

Attracting quality clients will involve some effort on your behalf.

You’re not going to hear that from people selling law firm marketing solutions. The Google Adwords person or the Internet Marketing guy or the Social Media Guru wants you to invest in them and let the chips fall where they may.

I want you to build a sustainable, client attraction and relationship development process that will keep your law firm growing for decades to come.

To help with your marketing effort, I want to shed some light on things you may not know about lawyer marketing.

Fact One: Marketing is About Relationships

Most attorneys think about marketing as billboards, bus benches and ads on TV. That kind of thing works to attract consumers to products. But it only works if a huge amount of money is spent on repetitively advertising the same message.

A few law firms (mostly consumer-focused contingency-based practices) have used this type of advertising (referred to as “image advertising”) successfully. But you must have a significant budget and a wide reach.

Professional service businesses (a law firm is a business) rely on relationships for growth. Starting relationships is referred to as “client attraction” and building trust to deepen those relationships is referred to as “relationship development.”

Your marketing must focus on both client attraction and relationship development. That’s the goal of marketing: To develop lifelong relationships with clients who, after their matter is complete, will refer friends, family and acquaintances to you when they have a legal issue.

Fact Two: There is No Relationship Salesman Knocking On Your Door

When I share the “relationship-based” marketing approach with people, it is intuitive yet they express some dismay because it seems too simplistic. Develop relationships with people and they will send you business.

Why don’t more people take this approach?

I cannot tell you for sure why all lawyers don’t develop deep relationships with people who can send them business. But I know there is no one knocking on your door reminding you to keep in touch with the lawyer across town who sent you the $50,000 case two years ago.

There is no salesperson benefiting from you keeping in touch and developing relationships. That’s why you don’t hear about it night and day.

Fact Three: Your Client Attraction Efforts Are Unfocused

You deliver a speech and you don’t get any clients.

You publish an article and the phone doesn’t ring.

You go to an event, pick up a bunch of business cards, and nobody refers you any cases.

This type of marketing doesn’t work. Right?


Whenever you meet someone new, either in a one-to-one setting or en mass, you must have a system for connecting with them and deepening the relationship. This requires the following:

— Knowing your ideal client

— Understanding his/her issues and goals

— Offering to help him/her achieve his/her goals or resolve his/her issues

There are lots of ways to do this without coming on too strong. I prefer an education-based marketing approach.

Fact Four: Lawyers who “Don’t Have Time” for Marketing – Fail

The most ignorant statement a human being can make is “I don’t have time.”

We choose to invest our time in things we find to be important.

If you “don’t have time” to adhere to case deadlines, you’ll lose a lot of cases.

If you “don’t have time” to balance and manage your trust account, you’ll probably have issues with your state bar.

If you “don’t have time” for your family, you will wind up divorced, alone and miserable.

All of us focus on things we believe are important.

Clients are the lifeblood of your practice.

Delegate as much as you can and grow your relationships if you want to

1). Make more money and

2). Spend more time with family and friends and

3). Reduce your level of anxiety

Fact Five: Referral Sources are as Important as Clients

Many of the attorneys I know receive numerous referrals from other lawyers. In consumer-based law practices (criminal defense, family law, personal injury, some real estate, trust and estate planning) repeat clients are tough to come by.

In these practices we focus on referral sources. Referrals come primarily from three places:

1). Past Clients

2). Other attorneys

3). Centers of Influence in the Community

You must develop and deepen relationships with these folks just as you would with your target clientele.

Many lawyers spend time, effort and money looking for the needle in the haystack – finding the client who needs them right now…

Your talent and treasure is better-spent educating referral sources.

Think about it:

You can (metaphorically) throw a party for 100 people who may get a DUI in their lifetime or you can throw a part for 100 car insurance agents who will definitely get a call when someone is charged with a DUI.

Which method will net you more clients if you are a criminal defense attorney?

By now, this article either has you intrigued, pissed off or done a little of both.


Think about these five facts and see what you can do to revamp your marketing to focus on relationship development.

It costs less. It feels better. And it just might help you enjoy building your business while you practice law.

Here are some additional resources to help you attract new clients as a lawyer:

The Fastest Client Attraction Method

This podcast episode will help you connect with, qualify and attract new clients, quickly.

How to Get More Clients

This is an article about relationships. Forming great relationships is the number one way attorneys get more clients.

Client Attraction Secrets for Lawyers

This is the book I wrote for lawyers on client attraction. Buy it today and you’ll make more money.

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