The Golden Rules Of Law Firm Marketing

The Golden Rules Of Law Firm MarketingLooking to attract more of your ideal clients and grow your law firm the easy way? The Golden Rules Of Law Firm Marketing show you how to do just that, so let’s dive into them!

Golden Rule Number 1 – Your primary area of expertise is….marketing.

You have spent years practising to become an expert solicitor/lawyer and whilst I am not telling you to get rid of that expertise, I am telling you that the business world has changed. Since you entered the profession a lot has changed and you can’t just do what you’ve always done.

You can’t keep doing the same things and getting the same results now (Einsteins definition of Insanity); instead you have to do the right things and do them consistently.

The right things are the easy life client attraction arteries of a website designed to turn visitors into prospects, that law firm website growing consistently, using PPC marketing for solicitors and referral marketing.

You might only need two or three of these four marketing arteries, but you have to do them consistently and outsource as much of them as possible so that they happen with or without your input.

So your real area of expertise now has to be marketing.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 2 – Your first task every day is spend time on the growth (marketing) of your law firm….

Once you accept rule number one, if your primary focus is to grow your law firm then surely it makes complete sense that your first task every day is to spend time on your marketing.

If you are doing as suggested above and outsourcing most of your marketing, your key role will be running the numbers, making sure you are hitting your targets and looking for opportunities to win more clients or to start offering new legal services.

In terms of ideas to win more clients, these can include:

>> Looking at your Google Analytics to discover opportunities for more article ideas for your website to feed Artery 1, or to see your busiest pages on your website and improving these to generate even more enquiries for your services from people already finding your website.

>>If you are not yet running all four of the law firm marketing arteries, implement one of the ones that you are not yet running and do so quickly.

>>If you are running all four of the Arteries, optimise them to drive even more enquiries from your current spend.

If you have capacity and would like to do so, consider offering new legal services.

I would gauge the opportunity here by considering these issues:

>>Which types of legal services are your fee earners and call centre/receptionist asked about most which you do not yet provide;

>>Which services complement the services you already offer to your clients and would be easy to sell to them?

>>Are there any clues in your Google Analytics – i.e. people arriving at your website with search terms for services you do not yet offer?

So many solicitors I speak with me tell me that the first thing that they do every day is to check their emails. Stop this immediately, spend 30 minutes on the growth of your law firm and I promise you, in a few months time your law firm will be in a far, far healthier position.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 3 – It’s all your fault.

This is still my favourite Golden Rule of law firm marketing; for you and for me.

When you accept this rule, it gives you complete power over the future success of your law firm.

It means that you can decide exactly how successful your firm is going to be.

You have total and complete control over this point; not the Government, the economy or your competition but you.

If you aren’t where you want to be, you and only you are responsible for that.

What are you going to do to change that?

Clue, see Rule 2!

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 4 – Perfection kills momentum

This is one of my favourite sayings and was coined because solicitors, by and large, aim to be perfectionists.

When you start to take consistent action with your marketing you are going to come up against this one.

You are by the very nature of your profession a detail person; the details matter to you.

However, in terms of marketing, sometimes you just have to get something out there and working for you because marketing is like creating one of those giant snowballs you used to roll down a bill.

At first it is tiny, but then as you roll it, push it, change the angle to make it rounder and keep going it suddenly becomes a giant snowball.

Marketing is the same.

Marketing needs momentum to make it grow and to make it work well for you.

Perfection will absolutely stone dead kill that momentum.

If you wait for your website to be perfect before it goes live it won’t happen. If you wait for the content on it to be perfect before it goes live it won’t happen.

If you wait until you have dragged up the 15,000 email addresses from your basement before you start your email marketing database it simply won’t happen.

Just start it today and it will soon pass that 15,000, but just start it. If you wait until you have the perfect words to say before sending your first email marketing newsletter it won’t happen.

Get your marketing started, then improve it.

Marketing needs momentum; perfection kills momentum.


Sometimes you won’t get your marketing right the first time, so fail fast, adjust and then go again.

When you start marketing your law firm you will get some things wrong. The only thing to remember is that this is part of growing your law firm. I saw a lovely diagram the other day which I will recreate here because it is so very true and I will add my own spin to it:

What Most Solicitors Think:

  • Trying Something New
  • Fail
  • Quit

What smart Solicitors know:

  • Try something new
  • Fail
  • Try something else
  • Fail
  • Try something else
  • Fail
  • Tru something else
  • Succeed

Fail fast. Keep on keeping on until you get it right.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 6 – Grow thicker skin!

There are times when you are marketing your law firm that you will be challenged and tested.

If you have them in your business, your other partners might say that they don’t like what you are doing, or your clients might complain, even your friends and family.

Everyone will have an opinion once you start promoting your firm more and you will also find that suddenly everyone is an expert in marketing.

Take advice from those that have expertise in this area, then the only other thing that you need to do is to listen to the results of your marketing, in other words, how many clients you generate from it.

The same applies when someone praises your marketing. Sometimes this annoys me even more.

I don’t care what anyone thinks about my marketing; I just want it to bring more solicitors in need of sound, proven marketing advice who are serious about growing their firms to me so that I can help them. If it does this, I am happy.

You need to be the same.

So long as the number of people complaining is not a majority, do what you have to do to politely thank them for their input, but then carry on as you were. You have a law firm to grow!

Grow thicker skin!

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 7 – The most dangerous number for your practice.

This rule is a big one because I would estimate that around 80% of the firms that I first meet have this problem.

They are relying on only one main source of marketing to generate new clients.

This approach can be fatal.

It can lead to the closure of a law firm (I have seen this a number of times).

A firm could be relying on one major referrer of business, one advertisement in the local paper or just one blog post bringing all of the visitors to their website (if this one is you, write more blogs – you know they work so why aren’t you blogging more?).

If that source dries up, either because the referrer gets a better offer or promise of a better relationship with another solicitor, the advertisement is pulled because no one knows it is working, or the website is changed, suddenly the firm is in real danger of closure.

1 is your most dangerous number. If you are relying on too few sources of work in your practice at the moment you absolutely must change this as soon as possible.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 8 – Add More Law Firm Marketing Arteries

Following on from Rule 7, if that dangerous number one is in play, change it to two, three and then four arteries.

Get three or four of your marketing arteries pumping away nicely and watch your firm grow!

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 9 – Add more than one at a time for fast growth

If you want to grow quickly, add more than one artery to your mix at the same time.

Doing one thing at a time will give you slow but steady improvements in the right direction, but doing several at once can push you forward massively and quickly.

Add more than one marketing artery at a time if you want fast growth.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 10 – Set Goals, Then MORE IMPORTANTLY, Processes To Ensure That They Happen.

YOU MUST SET GOALS if you are serious about growing your law firm, but don’t stop there!

You then must put in place processes to deliver those goals. A goal without a new process in place is just a whim.

A goal with a new, automated or outsourced process in place will get you there.

Are you setting goals, committing to the actions needed to achieve them and then having someone hold you accountable to them?

If not, why not?

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 11 –  Think bigger!

I believe most law firm owners set their goals too conservatively.

Set bigger goals and grow faster!

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 12 – Get the heck out of your office; please!

Imagine you’re at an airport and you’re in charge of traffic control. However, the position you’re controlling these planes from is on the runway next to them.

What is your chance of actually being able to keep control of all of them, running up and down the line telling one to move forward five metres, another to go back 10 metres and then the one just about to land on the first one to go around or there will be a very messy accident.

You will fail, won’t you? If that’s how you’re going to do it then it’s not going to work.

Where do air traffic controllers operate from?

They operate from the control tower where they can see everything, where they’ve got their computers, their monitors and they have a 360 degree view of the airport. They can see it all.

Now think about your law firm. If you try and market your law firm from behind your desk, what happens?

First, you get interrupted every two minutes by your staff, then there are clients, then the telephone, emails, social media etc. etc..

It is impossible to spend productive time marketing your business in this environment so get out of your office when working on the marketing of your law firm.

Give yourself permission, no, scrap that, force yourself out of your office ideally first thing every day when you are completing Rule 2, but at least once a week.

Get out of your office if you are serious about filling it with more clients.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 13 – Clients first!

You have to put your clients first in everything you do. Now that might sound very simple, it might sound very obvious, but in my experience it rarely happens.

Always think Clients First and it will improve every aspect of your service delivery and marketing.

Here are some examples:

>>Make your client sign up process easier. Have your documents professionally designed so that they look less terrifying and are easier for your client to read and sign;

>>Ensure you give your client multiple options to contact you from your website so that they can choose the one that suits them;

>>Follow up every lead by putting your client first (“Mrs Jones, I am just calling to check that you have received my letter and to see if you have any unanswered questions?”);

>>Talk about your client’s current problem or issue now and how you can solve it for them as opposed to talking about your firm and your services.

Clients First!

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 14 – Communicate regularly with your clients, prospects and referrers

This is one of my arteries from my New Client Flowcast, so this still stands very true. If you are not yet doing it, you should be. Head to the Private Zone and watch the videos showing you how easy it is to set up the software, then start building your email database, as M4S member Jackie did when I mentioned this a few months ago:

“Nick had been advising me to start an email newsletter for ages but I was put off because I wanted to prepare a list of all of my old clients first. I finally took action when he reminded me and said “just start the list today”, so I did.

Nick was right. Within four months I have an email list of 1,000 people and it is growing all of the time, as are my referrals!”

Well done Jackie – very proud of you and pleased that you did this.

Who is next to start their email marketing database?

Send at least one email a month to your growing database.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 15 – Be persistent

They used to say that if someone saw your message seven times then they might act upon it. However, with all the communications and messages that people see these days you have to be much more persistent.

You should never stop communicating with prospects or old clients, unless they ask you to do so!

Persistence pays!

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 16 – What gets measured gets better.

I used to call this “there is no treasure without measure” but by changing it to “what gets measured gets better” it also gives you a reason to do this; namely to make what you are measuring work better for you.

Measure the results of your marketing and they will improve.

Don’t measure them and you will go out of business at some point.

What gets measured gets better.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 17 – Guarantee your services

There is no doubt that guarantees work. People love them. If they are thinking of using your services and another firm’s services yet you offer a 100% service satisfaction guarantee and your competitor doesn’t, who are they logically going to choose?

It will of course be you.

Where my reticence lies is that I don’t see any solicitors using them. Maybe I haven’t pushed this point enough, but it is still an excellent tool to help you sell more of your services.

For those of you thinking “What if someone asks for their money back?” they really won’t, or 1 in 100 might but that is a small price to pay if you bring in an extra 20 pieces of work because of the guarantee.

If you provide a good service, your clients will be happy.

Test guarantees to sell more of your services.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 18 – No deadline equals total recline

When I first presented my Golden Rules I referenced my son Samuel at this point. Some 6 years later it is still, I am afraid to say, relevant to do so. Unless Samuel has a deadline to tidy his room or do whatever it is that his mother would like him to do, it won’t get done.

Think of your clients as if they are my son.

If you make any offer for your services and can legitimately use a deadline, it will dramatically improve the response to your marketing.

Everyone is busy. No one has oodles of time where they sit around waiting for you to make them an offer so that they can do something.

Therefore, when you are advertising or promoting your services, make an offer and attach a deadline to it when you can legitimately do so.

Use deadlines whenever you can when promoting your services.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 19 – Use scarcity in your marketing

First 10 only qualify for this offer.

Fastest 20 obtain this “benefit”.

If you can’t use a deadline, can you legitimately use scarcity in your marketing?

Can you relate your scarcity to the volume of transactions your team can legitimately handle, or could it be that you are making a really good offer but only to the first 10 people to respond to it?

The point with both this rule and the preceding rule is to be inventive to get people to take action and contact you. I will stress the point again; it has to be genuine scarcity or a real deadline otherwise it can make you look false/sleazy, but if you can use them properly they are very effective marketing tools.

Test scarcity in your marketing.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 20 – Use checklists

When crafting advertisements for your legal services, or writing new pages for your website, they should follow the same pattern every time. Ensure you have a checklist so that you do not miss core elements, such as client reviews or consistent calls to action to make it easy for people to ask you to help them.

Read Atul Gawande “the Checklist Manifesto” for more reasons on why checklists work so well.

GOLDEN RULE NUMBER 21 – Stop focusing on your competitors and just take care of your own marketing**

I had to add this one as it applies to so many solicitors that I work with. They become obsessed with their competition, believing that they are doing everything better than they are almost to the point of giving up on their own marketing.

Stop it!

Let me promise you one thing. They are not.

Unless they provide you with their profit and loss account and balance sheet, you have no proof that they are doing better than you, and from my experience of talking to hundreds of law firms every year I very much doubt they are, so spend your energy on your business, not theirs.

I hope at least a few points jumped off the page for you in this recap. If they did, what action are you going to take right now?

Will you clear the first 30 minutes of your diary every day for a month and see what a difference it makes? Will you start measuring all of your KPI’s every month so that you can see the progress that you are making, or implement a new artery from the New Client Flowcast?

Please take some action and find yourself a place to do your marketing; out of your office of course!

Start by downloading my free book below:

FREE BOOK: How To Get New Clients For A Law Firm. Click to Download Now!
Case Study

Now I’ve got eight staff and two offices, and we’ve never been busier.

I’ve been working with Nick for the last six years, and in that time he’s had a significant impact on my business.

We first start working together when I worked at an employment law practice, and when I left there to set up on my own, Nick was one of the first people I called.

I knew that one of the key pieces to get right was the website – in this day and age it’s impossible to run a successful firm without one – and with Nick’s advice, help and guidance, we created our own marketing-focused site that has proven to be the backbone of all the sales and marketing that has followed.

But a good website means nothing unless people see it, and that’s why we turned to Nick to run our Google Adwords, which quickly became a primary source of leads.

In addition to running the traffic, Nick held our hand through every element of the client attraction process, from how to communicate with leads, to how to close sales, and the impact that had on our business cannot be understated.

And that’s why I will always recommend Nick to anyone who needs help with marketing – particularly legal firms: his breadth of knowledge about everything to do with sales and marketing means that he can (and does) help with every part of the picture, resulting in a stronger business than you could have imagined.

Since we’ve been working with Nick, we’ve grown quickly – back in 2013 it was just myself and my wife, and she was part-time.

Now I’ve got eight staff and two offices, and we’ve never been busier.

And if our lead numbers are anything to go by, it’s only going to get better – 2015-2016 saw us get 800 good quality leads in employment law, and that figure more than doubled last year. I can only look forward to more exciting times, working hand-in-hand with Nick to grow my practice and enjoy the fruits that come with that growth.

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