This is the most common query I hear from solicitors whenever they start asking me for help with their marketing, either through one on one advice or when they sign up for my marketing tips. Time is the reason for not being able to spend more ‘time’ on marketing. So I thought it might be useful to spend some ‘time’ giving you ideas for how you can generate a little more of the ‘t’ word so that you can start to master your marketing. It is vital that you do get to this point, because until you do you will always be playing the Ski Slope Law Firm Game – the game you play when one week you are really busy with new clients then the next one you are frantically looking for new clients to help. Ski Slope Law Firm is the game played by all law firms who fail to find the time to put in place systems and processes to ensure a steady flow of new client instructions. It is not a game played by my most successful clients, all of whom are members of Marketing4Solicitors (there is a clue in there somewhere) but I know that it is a game played regularly by many other law firms.
So back to finding more time to spend time on marketing…
1. Get in 30 minutes Earlier
This is the one I advocate the most vehemently. Most people are more productive early on in the day, so get in 30 minutes earlier and spend that time on Marketing your law firm (and marketing only)! Do not read emails, do not read the morning paper, do not play basketball with scrunched up paper and your waste basket. If you want a successful law firm with clients queuing up to use your services, YOU MUST spend the first 30 minutes of EVERY working day marketing it. Otherwise next week my friend it is back to the bottom of the ski slope for you.
2. Delegate The Rubbish
Spend at least a day, but preferably a week, looking at all of the things that you actually do get involved in. Keep a separate time sheet and list on it all of the administration tasks that you find yourself getting stuck into. Then realise that you can pay someone £10 an hour to do at least half of them. Add up that time and see if it does not give you another 30 minutes a day. I can bet your bottom dollar it does (someone suggested I could not make that phrase fit into this article – what were we saying about time…). Seriously though, every time I have asked someone to do this they are amazed by how much time they waste on low level administration tasks.
3. Email Time Is…
The biggest modern day curse is definitely email. Unless and until you become extremely disciplined and only look at your emails at set times, you will always be controlled by your email and will never be in control of it! Is that why you trained for all of those years to let email control you? Is the next ‘Win Tesco Vouchers’, or ‘You Could Be Entitled To £3,750 Compensation’ email from Accident Advice Helpline really that important to you (and why haven’t the MOJ stopped them spam emailing you anyway – another question for another day)?
Now I can see some of you saying that you receive client emails too. Yes of course you do, and they must be answered, but I promise you that your clients can be trained to wait two or three hours for your reply, and monitoring your emails at 11am, 1pm and 4pm is more than enough. It will also give you at least another 30 minutes a day to spend on marketing your practice.
One more thing, please turn off the pop up announcements for emails so that you do not get a summary of the email popping up in the bottom right hand side of your screen every time a new email arrives: you need to give yourself a chance of winning the email battle and that is not helpful for you. (In Outlook go to File/Options/Mail/Message arrival and uncheck the boxes ‘Play a sound’, ‘Briefly change the mouse pointer’, ‘Show an envelope icon in the taksbar’ and ‘Display a Desktop Alert’. The last one is the annoying pop up box so make sure that is unchecked).
You have a responsibility to yourself, your business and your family to make your business as successful as possible. I promise you that simply being the best lawyer is just not good enough on its own any more. You have to be the best marketer of your law firm too. Until you accept and embrace this, it is the ski slope for your firm I am afraid. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you make the choice to change it and change it for good.
Take Megan’s Dummy Test..
I always found with mychildren that I could achieve anything with them in three days which is the period of time it takes to change their habits. Whether that was potty training, sleeping in their own bed, or removing a dummy for good, three days and they were fixed. Sometimes they were three horrible days (the sleeping in bed one was never a problem for me, but taking the dummy from Megan at 14 months involved a foot on the chest to prize it out of her mouth followed by three tortuous nights whilst mum was away on a girls trip) but then it never showed its face again.
With adults, they say old habits are broken and new ones are formed within three weeks, so it takes us a little longer. However, to ensure this works for you, I would like to try something for me please. Try 30 minutes of marketing your law firm every day for 30 days so that it really sets in and becomes a habit, then try telling me that your business life is not at least three times better than it was when you started. In just 30 days you can transform your practice, and I think it would be a really good thing to do, don’t you?
Please do, and when you see the results that I know you can achieve, please drop me an email and share your success, it is what gets me out of bed of a morning.
Keep on keeping on.
Author: Nick Jervis