In this blog post and podcast, I’ll discuss one way to tell if your practice is going to be successful, then I’ll offer 6 keys to building a successful law practice.
How To Tell If Your Practice Is Going To Be Successful
The success of your legal practice is going to depend on several things but one of the most important is how you show up in those moments when you are not getting ready to send a bill.
I got back from a conference called TRIBE in Toronto a few weeks ago and one of the speakers was Amy Porterfield. I know Amy well. I have purchased and taken a handful of her online courses on how to repurpose what I do in-person in my legal marketing consulting business, which is helping lawyers and legal marketers with marketing, business development, content, social and digital media, and to also offer that training online for lawyers and legal marketers.
Yesterday, Stu McLaren, who is the owner of the TRIBE brand, conference, and online course and community, sent out a replay of Amy’s session to everyone who attended. While listening, I was reminded how much I liked what she said.
It Is My Job To Translate For You
Before we start, I want to first remind you that just because someone teaches in a space that doesn’t sound like it is remotely connected to the legal profession, I always encourage you to keep an open mind. It is my job is to take concepts that are useful outside of legal marketing and help you apply them to your practice, and into growing your practice.
Just because someone teaches in a space that doesn’t appear to be remotely connected to the legal profession, I encourage you to keep an open mind because my job is to take concepts that are useful in every part of the marketing world and help you apply them to your practice.
How To Tell If Your Business Is Going To Be Successful
One of Amy’s most important quotes was:
“I can tell how successful someone’s business is going to be by how they show up when they’re not launching.”
Here I Am…Then Crickets
Let me provide a little bit of explanation. If you haven’t purchased online courses before, or if you’re not as familiar with this space as I am as I have been studying it for years, you might not know there are times during the year when online course creators will launch a course or a membership site, which causes a promotional flurry of online communication and activity around that time. We hear from those course creators a lot during these launches. When I launch my LinkedIn course, you will see a lot of that activity from me, too.
The unfortunate truth is that some of these course creators are known for only showing up online to put themselves in front of us when they are leading up to a launch. It’s crickets every other time of the year.
That’s not a good way to do business because this sends the wrong message. It can be interpreted to mean they don’t care about their clients and potential clients all the time, just when it’s good for them as course creators.
How To Do It Right
There are also some people in this online space who are very good at showing up all year. Amy Porterfield, the one whose quote I’m using and who inspired me to publish this, is one of those people. I am in a couple of Amy’s groups on Facebook. I’m on her email list, and I follow her on Instagram.
I follow her a lot because I want to soak up her knowledge, and because I like her. She’s a business professional I see all year. She shares her knowledge and her wisdom with her audiences regularly, so it’s not irritating when she comes close to an online course launch and we start to hear from her about a course she is going to be launching online.
That’s how it should be done.
How Does This Translate To The Legal Profession?
Here’s how this translates to you. Don’t let the only time that your clients hear from you be when you’re getting ready to send a bill or an invoice.
Don’t let the only time your clients hear from you be when you’re getting ready to send a bill or an invoice.
Don’t let it be when you know your project is on the line and you’re thinking “Oh, I haven’t been in touch with them lately. I better at least say something, and I need to be really pleasant because I don’t want them to be shocked when the invoice comes.”
What I don’t want to happen is for you to be that lawyer who shows up only at the most important times when you have a stake in the outcome.
What I want you to do is to rethink how you show up when it’s not time for you to sell, and it’s not time for business development, and definitely not only when it’s time to send a bill.
Rethink how you show up for your clients and potential clients when it’s not time for you to sell, and it’s not time for business development, and definitely not only when it’s time to send a bill.
6 Keys To A Successful Law Practice
How can you show up at the right times?
I’m so glad you asked!
I’m going to break it down into six C words. If you want to write this down or print this out, that would be great.
- Communicate: This entire discussion is about communicating and communicating regularly. Don’t be that lawyer that only comes around once every so often when it’s good for you.
- Content: Make sure you are publishing regular content. I have several blog posts on the Myrland Marketing Minute Blog about content if you’d like to get up to speed. Content is really just strategically spilling out the contents of your brain, your wisdom, and your brilliance in any number of ways.
- It can be written.
- It can be online.
- It can be a blog.
- It can be a podcast.
- It can be video.
Content can be published in many different ways but make sure you are publishing content on a regular basis so that it is in front of people when they need you, not just when you need them.
- Calls: Some might call this old school. I don’t care if calls are old school, they can be extremely effective. When you are making these calls make sure it is only because you’re checking in. Also, make sure you don’t do this at a time when you’re getting ready to bill or sell something. This is a call just to check in with somebody to see how they’re doing.
If you know something about them, put notes into your CRM, or maybe just on a piece of paper, or a sticky note, or in your Google or Outlook calendar. Make a note about something going on with that person, which can even be a wonderful memory you share with him/her. Use these notes as reminders to mention something unique to them when you make this call. Show you were and are paying attention.
If you’re thinking you don’t have time to do this, spread them out. These people are one of the most important parts of your business, and you need to make time for them. They are your clients or potential clients. Remember that if you can’t or won’t show these people how much you care, someone else will.
To make it easier, put one or two of these names and reminders in your calendar once a week to make two five-minute phone calls. Be specific with the name of the person, not just “call a client,” but “call Bill Gates.” Chances are he is not going to answer because he is busy, so you can just leave your kind words on voicemail, which means it won’t even take 5 minutes. You can do this!
- Caring: I always want you to show how much you care. What I described above in number 3 under Calls was that you’re just calling to say hello.
Show clients you care. Show them you have empathy. Ask them what’s going on in their business or their lives that you need to be aware of. Find out what they and their colleagues are finding the most challenging in their business right now.
Show clients you care. Show them you have empathy. Ask them what’s going on in their business or their life that you need to be aware of. Find out what they and their colleagues are finding the most challenging in their business right now.
- Consistency: Do all of this with consistency. This is one of the biggest challenges for all of us who have businesses. Your law practice is your business. My company is my business.
When putting out content, or calling someone, or showing that we care, the consistency is absolutely critical because, in peoples’ minds, you are there, and when you are there regularly and the day comes when they need you, then hopefully you’ll be top of mind. Publishing content consistently puts you in front of people when they need you, not just when you need them.
- Connection: Find ways to make a connection. Don’t be so robotic or so programmed or so scheduled with your communication that people don’t feel like they’re able to connect with a real human being. Use inflection. Let them see and feel your personality.
Do me a favor and let me know your thoughts about this topic and about these 6 Cs. If you have a moment, leave a comment below and share your keys to a successful law practice. I would love to hear from you.
Nancy Myrland is a Marketing, Business Development, Content, Social & Digital Media Speaker, Trainer & Advisor, helping lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to maximize business development efforts to grow their practices. She is a frequent LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for Business trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement business development efforts that are more relevant to their current and potential clients. She also helps lead law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases. As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasts, video marketing, voice marketing, flash briefings, and livestreaming.
If you would like to reserve an hour of Nancy’s time to begin talking strategy or think through an issue you are having, you can do that here.