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Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns

How to Get Others to Tell Your Story

The City of Toronto owns over three million trees and wants Toronto to be known as “the City within a Park”. The Canadian Women’s Foundation has invested over $40 million in over 1,200 community programs and women’s shelters across Canada, to help women escape poverty and violence.

How do I know these things? Word of mouth. I’m on the board of an organization that receives funding from Toronto Parks & Recreation. The representative who comes to our board meetings is enormously talented at telling us interesting stories about the work of her department—stories we want to repeat. When I was . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Personal Branding – You Need to Do It

There are a lot of lawyers. No really, there are a lot of lawyers. What is it that makes you unique, stand out or differentiate from the rest? That is what your clients want to know and how new clients learn about you.

Personal branding is one of the most important parts of building your professional persona. We are all distinct in our own ways. Finding out what makes you unique and having an ability to forge your own path will ensure that you are not just another lawyer.

Personal branding can be about the way you dress, your approach, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Effectively Managing Change in a Law Firm

Change is a reality of business. Client needs shift; legal expertise shifts due to retirements and new hires; legislation and case law create new opportunities and close down previous legal practises. Change is hard for most people, but particularly for lawyers. The lawyer personality doesn’t like change; it likes the expected, precedent and tradition. Lawyers tend to be risk-averse, and change represents risk.

Yet managing anything, be it a practice or a law firm, is all about managing change. Files conclude. Clients come and go. Volume of work fluctuates. Files have different levels of complexity. Support staff may shift over . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Who Is Your Ideal Client?

It’s easy to define your ideal client—someone who needs your services and pays their bills, right? When you’re building your practice, that’s a good place to start. Any client looks like an ideal client at first, but after a few years in practice you begin to recognize the clients you want—and those you don’t. Better to have that recognition sooner rather than later, because then you can build the practice you want, rather than have it built for you by whoever comes in the door.

There are plenty of clients who need your services and pay their bills, but some . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Proper Pathway to Managing Partner

While Ronald Reagan wasn’t one of my favorite Presidents, he produced one of my favorite quotes about leadership:

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”

The decision-making process most firms seem to use for selection of their managing partner tends to seek out those who qualify for the first sentence, and are ill-prepared for the second. In my experience, firms choose managing partners for any (or a combination) of the following reasons:

  • The candidate is the strongest biller in the firm;
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing

Should Law Firms Advertise?

In my column about content marketing, I described it as: “relevant, useful information consistently provided to a specific audience” and likened it to the opposite of advertising. Does that mean that advertising is irrelevant and useless?

Done poorly, yes. Done properly and targeted to the right people, no.

In the average law firm, if there’s a firm marketing budget, it’s lean and includes everything from event tickets to holiday cards. Lawyers may or may not have individual business development budgets, which they guard jealously for pet projects that they’ve always done—without tracking results. The firm might still be running . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Ride On!

Back in 2014, I wrote about cycling being the new golf as a means of business development. It was something I had been thinking about for a number of years and still believe there is merit. With cycling, you may spend a day or two riding with like-minded people during an event and potentially a number of other days on training rides. That is a lot of face time (lycra time?). With a round of golf, you may spend half a day together once a year. Cycling provides plenty of time to get to know someone and their business.

The . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Cost of Doing (Marketing) Business as Usual

Most businesses – especially law firms – must market to some degree. And they do. They have a website. They print business cards. They make sure the logo is used on tombstone ads and sponsorship programs. So law firms spend some money on marketing, and some of their lawyers even spend time on marketing – taking people to lunch, playing golf, attending a board or trade function, perhaps hosting a client seminar. Year in, year out it’s pretty much the same. They base their marketing spend on what they spent last year (perhaps with a bit of a bump). They . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Marketing

This column gets published on December 22, when just about the last thing anyone will be doing is reading a column about marketing a law practice. That’s the Friday when everyone who hasn’t already taken off for the holidays is trying frantically to get out of the office by noon for the final frenetic round of shopping. Still, I have to assume that you’ll be back in the cold light of January and looking for something to kick-start the engines for another year. So here are ten New Year’s resolutions to rejuvenate your marketing plan for 2018.

1. Set a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Sometimes Old Is Just Old

Does your company have marketing materials that have been sitting around for years? We do and sometimes you find out they are being used out of the blue.

I recently received a “brochure” that was 29 pages long. The book – at 29 pages it’s hard to refer to it as a brochure – was almost entirely text with maybe 25 small images in total. Block fonts, full justification, disoriented information, no branding, no context and no flow. It was a marketing package by name only and would likely cause us to lose more projects than win.

The material was . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Just Tell Me How to Market My Firm!

I often get asked “what kind of marketing should we do?” Or I’m asked to “just provide us with a bunch of great marketing ideas”. No time spent determining what the firm wants to look like in the future. No proper assessment of where they are today. No indication of what success would look like. And no commitment to doing what will be suggested. Just “fix me”. It’s a bit like a disgruntled teenager saying “make me popular, but don’t ask me to change anything about my looks, personality or actions”. I can do that. Give me several million dollars . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Implementing a Client-Centric Strategy

My colleague Shari Robinson and I met for coffee recently and, inevitably, we spent some time talking shop about client and business development efforts in law firms. Shari always brings a pragmatic and enthusiastic perspective to the discussion, drawing upon her sales background and time at one of the Big Four accounting firms. We got to talking about the importance of having a client-centric strategy, what that really means and what kind of resources are required to successfully execute.

We know through our experience that there is value in having a rigorous and standardized approach supporting a firm’s client relationships, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing