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Archive for the ‘Legal Marketing’ Columns

A Simple Way to Increase Productivity

Lawyers are intelligent, capable human beings who sometimes find it almost impossible to manage their time well. The reason could be that too much is expected of them; that they like to do things very well before moving on and that takes time; that they under-estimated how long an activity will take; that when activities involve dealing with others, time becomes a variable; that they have to spend valuable time cleaning up someone else’s work; that they have other people’s work dumped on them…the list goes on.

These are reasons but not excuses. Productivity is usually tied to efficiency and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing, Practice of Law

Marketing Technology: What’s That?

Back when I started in Law Firm Marketing, the IT department was God and Marketing was a vestigial part of Admin. Everything that didn’t earn fees was dumped in Marketing. We took care of golf tournaments, firm giveaways, and oh yes, holiday cards. We didn’t decide what events would be run or newsletters issued; we just did what we were told. Many of us could scarcely keep from muttering, “Did you want fries with that?” as we left a meeting.

IT, on the other hand, decided what software the firm would use, what hardware to run it on, and what . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

How Old Belief Systems Can Cripple a Career

Precedent figures heavily in most law practises, so it’s understandable that lawyers would rely heavily on past experiences and belief systems in the running of their lives. Life experience can create wisdom. It can also lead to our greatest weak spots. In over twenty years of coaching lawyers, my primary goal has been to help them to identify and overcome old belief systems that are no longer working for them but that they continue to use to the detriment of their careers.

For example:

  • A lawyer who is held back from partnership because of a lack of delegation, but can’t
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Marketing, Practice of Law

The Summer Months

Summer provides options. You can slow down, take more time, slack a little around the office or you can use it as a time to refocus where you are going when things ramp up in September. Some offices are very busy in the summer and don’t have time to think of the coming seasons. Of course there is always time for business development, no matter which category you fall into.

If you are lucky enough to step away for a bit in the summer, great you deserve it. We all need to recharge and time away from the office is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

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