The Law Firm Marketing Book For Solicitors
Who is this book for?
This book, and the formula contained within it, will work for anyone involved in the marketing of legal services.
The marketing strategies and tactics I talk about have been used for all sized law firms, from sole practitioners to mid-tier and top tier law firms.
However, some of the specific elements of the book are aimed very much at the law firm owner. This law firm owner might work alone, or might employ a team of 20 to 100 staff in one or more offices, but they are the sole decision maker.
Why do I specifically focus on this law firm owner?
Well, you probably need to know a little bit about me to better understand this, so let me tell you a little about my background.
You also need to know that I am very impatient. This part is quite critical.
I entered the legal profession later in life than most. My impatience caused me to leave my ‘A levels’ after only one year. I was frustrated at hearing more and more theory and not doing anything with it. I wanted to get out into the world and do something.
You see, I had had jobs from about the age of 12 and I knew that I was a good worker, because I was constantly told that I was wherever I worked.
From the lovely lady at the end of my paper round who rewarded me with a milky coffee and occasionally a cake if I delivered the papers to her hotel before 7am, to the hotel owner in Devon where I worked part-time but ended up being the bar and restaurant manager because I worked so hard and well, plus the many other jobs in between. I knew I could turn my hand to most things and seemed to do well, so I was keen to do something full time and earn a living.
So my impatience led to me leaving my ‘A Level’ education before finishing it, much to the disappointment of my parents, and then going on to work in a transport company renting articulated trucks and trailers.
I worked my way up to a southern area relief manager, but really couldn’t see me doing that for the rest of my life, so left to travel and see some of the world.
After spending some time in Greece sailing yachts, I returned to the UK in my early 20’s and decided it was about time I chose a career.
However, being impatient there was no way that that career in any way, shape or form was to involve going back into education and studying full time. I needed to be working at the same time.
I settled on the idea of becoming a Legal Executive and then going on to qualify as a solicitor.
Once I had reached this decision, I just needed to find somewhere to work.
Not being sufficiently patient to wait around for a recruitment company to find me a job, I hand wrote 64 letters (I remember each and every one) to solicitors across the South and South West, finally being offered an interview and then a job at a firm in Reading.
I began my remote ILEX studies as soon as possible but at the same time was keen to make myself useful at the firm where I was working. I set up a debt recovery department and quickly ‘learned by doing’ debt recovery and litigation.
Once I had started working in litigation, I decided that I would specialise in Personal Injury claims, which at the time seemed to be a growing area in legal services (it was, but not so much anymore).
However, the firm where I worked didn’t really have enough work to allow me to do this. I could wait around and hope that that would change, but I think you know by now that wasn’t going to happen.
On being offered a job elsewhere, at a firm that agreed to keep funding my studies, my current firm surprised me and said they would rather keep me, provide me with a marketing budget and let me generate my own caseload.
Another of the roles I had undertaken before joining the law had been working in marketing for a former London advertising agency owner. I had enjoyed it immensely, so this was just too good an offer for me to turn down. It wasn’t that I didn’t like working where I was, it was simply that they hadn’t had the work that I wanted to do. Now that I was told I could do my own marketing and create my own caseload, I was a very happy man. Well, most of the time anyway.
Which parts made me unhappy?
Well, as I had a knack for the marketing, I was soon undertaking marketing for the 8 partner firm across its four locations. The parts that I found incredibly frustrating were the partner and committee meetings where, in my humble opinion, nothing was ever achieved, or if it was it took about 300 hours longer than it should have taken to reach a decision.
I used to get so frustrated with the slow decision making process that in one of these long drawn out meetings I actually prepared a dossier on how to run any meeting in less than 30 minutes and ensure you came out with decisions. I found it some years later and it did make me laugh.
My impatience was at the fore again when I started my law firm marketing consultancy in 2003 and I was quickly reminded of my frustrations from my practising days when I started working with any firm that had more than one partner.
Suddenly, what I advised my clients was the best course of action would lead to a two, three or six month debate, back and forth from meeting to meeting, about whether they should or shouldn’t do what I was suggesting.
It wasn’t that they weren’t paying me during this period, but to me that wasn’t the point. My joy from doing what I do comes from agreeing a course of action, implementing it and then seeing the results and seeing my clients’ happiness with the results.
This is what drives me and keeps me going. So the idea of taking 6 months to make a simple decision drove me close to insane. As Einstein so eloquently said, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different outcomes is the definition of insanity, so I knew that this could not continue.
Therefore, I made the decision to only work in a consultancy capacity with decision makers; people I could agree a course of action with knowing that they would instantly say yes, and that if they did they wouldn’t return to me a few weeks later to say that their other partners had pooh-poohed our ideas.
These people are as keen as I am to see results, and not being curtailed by other partners are able to take fast action, often leaving their competitors scratching their heads about how this once small law firm now seems to be bigger than them yet has only one equity partner.
It is not that I don’t work in some capacity with larger firms, I do. I run adwords campaigns for some of them, but only if they have the power to make decisions for their department, and I also have many larger firms that are members of my Marketing4Solicitors service, using my ideas to grow their law firm.
But in a consultancy capacity I will only work with someone who has the authority to make decisions and then see them through to the end.
Therefore, my slant in this book is geared towards them, because I know from many years’ experience that I can transform their firm for them and make their life a lot more enjoyable.
Let’s look at how, shall we?
The Law Firm Success Formula
This book contains a formula to follow to grow your law firm.
It is tried and tested.
Or to put it correctly; it works if you work it.
If you are absolutely committed to growing your law firm and are prepared to put in some time learning and applying this formula then you will be successful.
I have used this system with my consultancy clients time and time again.
The ONLY time that it doesn’t work is when a solicitor doesn’t consistently apply the formula or follow the processes that they have put in place to make it work.
It is not that this formula is particularly convoluted or difficult, and the processes that you have to put in place are all relatively straightforward, but you do have to follow them and consistently monitor the results.
This is where I see so many of the problems.
A solicitor might start to follow the formula but then other ‘stuff’ gets in the way or they decide to start a completely different marketing tactic that simply won’t work, but because it looks more fun.
If I had a penny for every time a solicitor has said to me “But I really want to do some social media marketing because it looks so much fun Nick” then I would be very wealthy.
If I do not manage to dissuade them that social media alone will never transform a law firm, off they go and waste countless hours and often thousands of pounds on social media training and even a company to help them, before finally realising that it simply doesn’t work.
However, following this formula does work.
If you are prepared to put in some time understanding the marketing tactics that really do work for law firms, then some more time implementing them for your firm (usually by outsourcing the whole or most of the day to day work) and then consistently tracking the results so that you can improve them, you will succeed. You cannot fail to.
So shall we begin?
The New Client Growth Formula
The formula follows the following steps.
- Measuring your current performance accurately, so that you can then improve your results;
- Implementing improvements to your current “Client conversion process”; that is the system that you follow to convert a prospect into a client (whether you have recorded this system to paper or not);
- Adding new marketing arteries from the New Client Flowcast aka WOWY marketing;
- Continually monitoring your performance;
- Adding new marketing arteries or when all in place, marketing tributaries to reach your new goals;
- Changing your goals as your firm grows.
I have probably used some terminology there which might need some further explanation, which is covered later in the book, but which I feel merits some attention now.
The “Client Conversion Process” is the system that you follow that moves the client along the path from being someone in need of legal services to the point that they instruct you to represent them.
In my experience, very few firms actually have any recorded system, and worse still, those that do rarely manage to follow it, which is a huge and costly mistake.
Implementing a “Client Conversion Process” and then following it, alongside constantly trying to make small improvements, is certain to lead to increased income from people already finding your law firm.
Looking at the table above, you can see what a difference it can make to your financial health if you make just small improvements to your conversion percentage; which is calculated in the following way:
Number of people instructing you DIVIDED BY Number of people enquiring about your services TIMES 100
Therefore, if 50 people enquire about your services in any given month, but only 10 people instruct you, your conversion rate will be 10/50 x 100 = 20%.
I will show you in more detail how to measure this, but then far more importantly how to improve it so that you can generate more income from the people already finding your law firm.
This is the fastest way to increase your income. Importantly, it costs you very little aside from your time to implement this improvement, so it is an incredibly important part of my formula.
If you miss this part, you will consistently be throwing away instructions each and every month going forwards. This is bad enough now if you do not have many of the marketing arteries in place, but if you then add more of the arteries from the New Client Flowcast to your system without improving your Client Conversion Process, you will waste more and more money each and every month as you fail to convert even more potential clients into new instructions.
Which leads me onto the next part; the New Client Flowcast. What is it exactly? Let’s take a sneak peek.
The New Client Flowcast
Before I explain it and show you a diagram, let me explain something which might surprise you (and even please you).
Most law firms can thrive by implementing just three or four marketing tactics.
Whether you are a sole practitioner or a thriving mid-level law firm, there will usually only be three or four marketing tactics which regularly produce new client instructions of any magnitude.
Does that surprise you?
I can tell you that it surprised me when I really started studying marketing many years ago. When I used to market the law firm I first worked for there were only three or four regular marketing tactics that brought in all of our clients.
When I established my consultancy in 2003 I thought I might find that other firms needed many more, but that isn’t the case at all.
Three or four marketing tactics when applied well are usually all that are needed.
Which three or four?
I will explain in detail which three or four later in the book, but for now I simply want to explain the New Client Flowcast and how it works.
Looking at the diagram above, look at the main river flowing and you will notice that that is called your client flow; which is the number of instructions that you are receiving, say each month.
This river is fed by your marketing tributaries to a certain extent, but the majority by your four marketing arteries. These are the four most effective marketing methods for solicitors in terms of following my automated marketing strategy for growth, which is also known as the U2 marketing strategy named after the great Irish rock band.
Why is this marketing strategy named after a rock band?
Well, it is because U2 marketing keeps on bringing new clients to your door each and every month With Or Without You (WOWY), just like one of the bands more famous songs.
WOWY marketing is crucial to the savvy law firm business owner, because it allows him or her to scale their law firm without making themselves a slave to it.
This is my mission in life; to allow solicitors to have a thriving law firm but also at the same time living a good and a full life. So often over the years I have law firm owners come to me who have nearly ‘burned out’ by trying to grow their law firm or even by just trying to keep it going.
That is no absolutely no way to live. In my opinion, we get just one shot at this planet earth thing, so why make it a long, hard slog when it can be a blissful jog?
Ready To Take Action And See Results Now?
Please call 0117 290 8555 to arrange a mutually convenient time for a telephone discussion, Email me or complete a Free Online Enquiry. There is no cost or obligation. We will have a chat about where you are and where you would like to be and I will suggest some things you can do to get there quickly.