Most attorneys only consider two models when they’re trying to grow their law practice. They either do everything themselves, or they hire an employee and delegate.
Neither model will get you very far. If you try to do everything yourself, it’s pretty much impossible to grow. If you don’t have staff or only have part-time staff, you won’t be able to delegate very much.
If you haven’t hit a ceiling yet, you will. Just like clients hire you because they can only go so far without your help, you can’t be an expert at everything.
And if you think the problem will be solved as soon as you find that superstar “Jack/Jill of all trades” assistant, I’ve got news for you. That’s a pipe dream.
Someone who is really good at the basics of managing your client files is not going to be good at marketing.
Trust me on two things. First, even if you think you know what you want that superstar to be doing, you’re just not the expert.
Second, that game of telephone you play with your employees isn’t going to get it done either.
Why You Shouldn’t Do Everything Yourself
I’ve met attorneys who make $600,000 a year and do their own bookkeeping. The point isn’t that they can’t do their own bookkeeping. The point is that they shouldn’t.
At some point, it doesn’t make sense.
I’ve also met attorneys who refuse to let anyone help them with their marketing. Their law practice marketing amounts to little more than throwing darts while blindfolded. Facing backwards. Standing in a tippy canoe.
An ad here. An ad there. A quick PPC campaign. And no real clue about what’s working and what’s not.
They get inconsistent results, or no results at all. They figure marketing doesn’t work or isn’t worth the investment, so they stop.
And the day you stop marketing is the day your firm begins to die.
I also see a lot of younger attorneys who are very tech-savvy and regular users of social media. They can do more on their own than the average person.
Many of those attorneys don’t have much business, so they have loads of time. But once you start getting business, it makes zero sense for you to be managing your own social media.
It makes a lot more sense to hire the best to manage it for you.
Why Attorneys Do Everything Themselves
Most attorneys don’t appreciate the complexity of marketing.
It reminds me of when I was practicing and clients would always ask, “Can you just send me a standard agreement?”
It’s such a nonsensical question. There is no such thing as a standard contract, brief, or settlement agreement. If it were that easy, you could just find a template online instead of paying me to create one.
If you agree with that logic, why would you assume there’s a single, plug-and-play way to market your firm online, and you just need a few minutes of poking around to figure it out?
If it were that easy, every law firm would be doing it and making money hand over fist.
Guess what? Law firm marketing is hard. And most lawyers don’t have a clue.
Let’s say you’re thinking of promoting your firm on Facebook. After all, it doesn’t cost anything to create a page and post content.
But did you realize that only about 7 percent of your posts will ever be seen? That’s because Facebook has shifted its platform in a way that rewards – wait for it – paying advertisers.
So if you’ve been trying to grow your law practice on Facebook without paid advertising, you’ve been wasting 93 percent of your time.
Do you have time to become a Facebook advertising expert? If you do, you probably don’t have much legal work on your plate.
That is why experts count.
The Third Option? Stop Doing Things Halfway
There are only two things that truly move the needle for your law practice. Acquiring the client and serving the client.
Be an expert at serving the client, and recognize that you cannot possibly understand every element of every kind of marketing that can help you acquire the client.
You only have to understand what needs to happen at a high level. Find a partner who can educate you and update you on the few things you should care about. The right partner can handle the rest.
What’s not getting done that needs to get done? What’s getting done half-assed? Those are the kinds of things that should be on your list of things to delegate.
If you’re not sure where to start, let us help you. In about 10 minutes, our Practice Growth team can point you in the right direction.