Lawyers, Do You Worry About Giving Away Too Much Free Advice?

Lawyers, Do You Worry About Giving Away Too Much Free Advice?

Nancy MyrlandAll Posts, Business Development/Sales, Content Marketing Leave a Comment

Do you worry that giving away your knowledge free will result in people not hiring you and paying for it? The exact opposite might happen.

What Happens When You Give Away Your Advice?

As part of his closing keynote at the Youpreneur Summit, Jay Baer discussed the fear many people have about giving away their knowledge and their best content because they fear people won’t buy from them.

His comment was that just because people have the ingredients, that doesn’t make them a chef.

Flour, Water, and Eggs Can Make A Million Different Things, Can’t They?

After all, just because an expert tells you that flour, water, and eggs are necessary to make a perfect pastry, that doesn’t mean you will understand how to make that pastry perfectly, does it?

The same holds true for your knowledge. Just because people see the ingredients, or the steps, or the advice you have given them about how to handle a specific issue, that doesn’t mean they can do it themselves, or that they won’t need you to put it all together for them without making a mess of the situation.

There are people who will eventually need to tackle that issue you discussed, and they will realize they have no idea how to implement the steps you shared, or what the sequence was, or maybe they don’t have time to research and pull it all together, or they don’t want to take the risk.

You Have The Recipe, The Knowledge, and The Approach

Because of the information and perspective you have shared over time, they might remember that you are the person who has the recipe, the one who is trained and educated in how to navigate their issue and mitigate risk on their behalf. Had you not shared your knowledge along the way, they might not even think of you as an option.

You Don’t Have To Give It All Away

This doesn’t mean publishing every intricacy of the process you will take to help them solve their challenge, but it does mean the top line and very valuable recommendations you have for how to handle a matter, which could be:

  • The 7 Steps To Legally and Ethically Sever Ties With Your Most Experienced Employee
  • The Best Way To Enforce Vaccine Mandates In The Workplace
  • The Most important Environmental Factors Every Manufacturer Must Be Aware Of In 2021 and Beyond
  • What You Need To Know About Appealing Your Property Tax Reassessment
  • The Most Effective Way For Corporations To Avoid Harassment or Discrimination Claims
  • Top NLRB Developments That Will Have An Impact On Union and Non-Union Companies

As an additional example to help you brainstorm, in my case, it might be:

  • LinkedIn: 8 Essential Ways To Get Noticed By The Right People
  • The 7 Stages of Social Media Marketing
  • Content Creation For Lawyers: What, When & Where To Create For The Next 90 Days
  • The Best Way To Start A Podcast For Your Practice
  • How To Create An Effective Business Development Plan for 2022
  • What You Need To Do To Prepare For Every Zoom Meeting or Virtual Presentation

Sharing this kind of advice can be done via a blog post, a recording, an ebook, a podcast, a video or livestream, a presentation at a conference, or a simple conversation at a networking event. Whatever it might be, remember that just because people have those components via that free content you provided, that doesn’t mean they won’t need your help when it comes time to actually do the work.

There Is Much More To The Story

After all, look at all of the examples I shared above. In each case, there is valuable information being shared, but there is so much more to the story and the solution that you can help with when they are ready. You haven’t left them hanging by teasing them with only a bit of information that isn’t useful to them. You have helped them understand how to get started, or how to frame a challenge they are having, or how to take the next step in their situation.

If you don’t make it a practice to regularly demonstrate your knowledge, then the chances you will be thought of and invited to the table when current and potential clients of the firm need someone like you, you have greatly diminished the chances they will think of you.

Bottom Line

Don’t be afraid to give your knowledge away. Create something that causes you to think, oh my gosh, this really makes me a little uncomfortable because I’m giving away too much of my knowledge. 

Don’t provide specific legal counsel, but do share your knowledge so that your clients and potential clients think of you right away when they need someone with your skills and talents.

If you don’t give away your knowledge, then you’re not proving to other people what it is you know how to do, which is to help them with their challenges.

Next Steps

Let’s think about this for a few minutes.

These are the steps I recommend:

  1. Revisit my bulleted lists of information above. What pieces of information, or what processes and steps, do you know so well that you can summarize them in a few steps?
  2. Once you have your list, put them together in a presentable way to share with your clients and prospects. Choose a format you are comfortable with, then write or record it as soon as you can. Don’t wait too long as you will get busy with something else. I speak from experience! I started this blog post longer ago than I want to share with you! If you email me at [email protected], I will tell you the date I started this post. You might be surprised!
  3. Share this knowledge in all of the places where your clients and potential clients spend time. As I have said so many times before, you need to market your marketing. You need to get it “out there” and share it with the world so they know how smart you are!


Nancy Myrland Legal Marketing Consultant

Nancy Myrland is a Marketing and Business Development Advisor, specializing in Content, Social & Digital Media. She helps lawyers and legal marketers grow by integrating all marketing disciplines in order to establish relationships and grow their practices. Also known as the LinkedIn Coach For Lawyers, she is a frequent LinkedIn trainer, as well as a content marketing specialist. She helps lawyers, law firms, and legal marketers learn and implement content, social and digital media strategies that cut through the clutter and are more relevant to their current and potential clients. Nancy also works with many firms and lawyers on Zoom and virtual presentation training and coaching to be the best they can be when presenting online.

As an early and constant adopter of social and digital media and technology, she also helps firms with blogging, podcasting, video marketing, voice marketing, livestreaming, and Zoom and virtual presentation strategy and training. She also helps lead select law firms through their online social media strategy when dealing with high-stakes, visible cases.

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