“I don’t have time to market my law firm.”
I hear that excuse a lot when I walk with lawyers.
“There’s not enough time in the day… I have so many other things to do… I just haven’t gotten around to it… I’m not sure what to do… or what’s most effective… so I haven’t done anything yet…”
Marketing doesn’t have to be time consuming or a challenge. In fact, if you spend just a few minutes a day connecting with another individual – a client, a referral partner, a prospect – your business will start to take off. But you have to do it each day. Every day.
I’ll get to those 10 law firm marketing ideas later in this post, but first I want to address finding a few minutes a day to market your law practice.
Why Some People Are So Much More Productive Than Others
We all have 24 hours in a day. 7 days in a week. So why can some people finish their to do list and go home early while others struggle to find time to get everything done?
The answer is two-fold: prioritizing and planning.
Those who get things done, the “finishers” of the world, have made the decision that whatever they are working on is a priority – one they have chosen to undertake and have a responsibility to finish.
They “own” the project. They “own” the results. And if it doesn’t get finished, they are responsible for the consequences. They also recognize that the longer they procrastinate, the longer the project takes to complete.
What about you? Why don’t you have time to market your law firm?
Is it because you’re billing 60 hours a week? Or because you spend your time on non-essential, non-productive activities that don’t contribute to your long-term goal of growing your law practice’s revenue.
Is the task you are currently working on the highest and best use of your time?
How To Find Time To Market Your Law Practice
The goal of any business is to provide something of value – either a product or service – to customers and clients in exchange for cash. If you don’t have clients, you don’t get paid… and you soon won’t have a business.
Once you accept that attracting and keeping clients must be your law firm’s top priority, the next step is planning how you will accomplish this. Here is a five-step process for finding the time to market your legal services.
- Cultivate a business development mindset – Because clients are the lifeblood of your business – they provide your income stream – a considerable part of running your law practice must involve bringing in business. If you don’t commit to doing this, if you don’t own this project and make it your responsibility, who will?
- Create accountability – It’s not easy to create a new habit, so think of ways you can you hold yourself accountable. One of the best ways to make yourself do anything is to offer to pay someone else (or donate to a charity you disagree with) if you don’t do it. For instance, decide that for every task you plan out but don’t finish, you will give/donate $50.
- Look for wasted time – The best way to keep track of wasted time is to keep a time journal for a few days. Set your watch or a timer to go off every 15 minutes and write down exactly what you are doing at that moment. How much time are you wasting? (I like David Seah’s Emergent Task Timer to track 15 minute intervals.) After 2-3 days, evaluate where you waste the most time on non-business activities.
- Create a weekly plan – Once you have an idea of how much time you waste, it’s time to commit to marketing. Decide on 3 marketing activities you can commit to doing over the course of the week. Now, open your planner and schedule them. If they seem like they will take too long, break each activity into smaller tasks that will take you 10-15 minutes to finish. Chunking works well for two reasons:
- you always know exactly what you need to do
- if you really dislike an activity but only have to do it for 10 minutes, you can talk yourself into doing it fairly easy. Eventually, it will become habit and you’ll get it done without much thought.
- Focus on results not marketing tasks – This goes back to mindset, but chances are, if you knew an activity was 66% likely to get you a new client, you’d probably do it pretty regularly. It may not work all the time – but 2 out of 3 times isn’t bad. A key reason you don’t like marketing is its uncertainty. When you start anything, you don’t know if it will pay off. As you following the program, you see small wins, perhaps make course corrections, and over time, your efforts add up to big results. Marketing is no different. It takes a bit of time to figure out what works – and to get good enough at it that you start to see consistent results – but it’s a skill you can learn.
Create Your Law Firm Marketing Calendar
Once you have committed to marketing, it’s time to decide exactly which activities you will do each week.
The best way for attorneys to market their legal services is not advertising. It is getting in front of your target audience and building connections and relationships with the people who are most likely to become your clients or those who are most likely to refer clients to you.
People hire attorneys they know, like and trust, so building rapport with prospects is the key to your success. Law firm marketing only works when you do it regularly. Plan – and make time – to do a set number of marketing tasks each week. Your tasks don’t have to be time consuming or elaborate, but you must do them.
10 Law Firm Marketing Ideas You Can Use Today
What kinds of marketing activities should you schedule on your calendar? Here are seven law firm marketing ideas to get you started.
- What information can you send to a contact in your network?
- Which client can you visit at their business to learn more about them?
- What organizations or individuals do you want to work with? Who can help you connect?
- Who can you take to lunch, coffee, golf or an event? When?
- Who can you send a personal letter of introduction to? What can you offer them?
- Which of your clients can you thank today?
- What organization or charity can you become more active in? How?
- Which subject can you write an article about? Where can you publish it?
- What can you blog about today?
- What topic can you speak about? For whom? Where?
Make it a weekly practice to do at least a three of these tasks and you’ll start seeing more clients come in the door.