High schoolers know everything, don’t they? That’s why they drag their feet every morning on the way out to school, and why they procrastinate and call homework stupid. In the end, though, they still end up rushing to get their assignments done 15 minutes before the start of their class period because they need the credit to pass the course. I don’t know about you, but I see a lot of similarities between that anecdote and the way that hundreds of attorneys approach marketing for their practice.
So what exactly is a connector, anyway? And how are they different from a networker?
Networkers are collectors of relationships, almost for the sake of having them. The actual networking activity may have an objective, but that objective is often self-serving.
It’s like the guy on LinkedIn who invites everyone to connect, whether he knows them or not. He probably just wants to add them to an email list.
Imagine walking into a car dealership. You’re excited to get a new car, but you’re dreading the inevitable.
Maybe you’ve discovered car dealership utopia. Maybe you’ll get the salesperson who helps you talk through what you want from your car so you make a good decision.
The goal of authority marketing for lawyers is simple. You want to be the first name that comes to mind for the type of legal work you provide for a specific audience.
Most people think of this in terms of building a referral network that’s responsible for most, if not all, of a law firm’s business in a particular practice area. That is valuable, but it’s a very old-school way of thinking about authority marketing.
A better approach is to look for ways to expand your inner circle of referral sources – people who trust you and refer you without hesitation. This would allow you to get business from a larger, more diverse circle of referral sources.
If you’re like most attorneys, you have precious few dependable referral sources. If one of them stopped feeding you business, it would probably be more painful than you realize.
The marketing options for law firms are endless. So is the amount of people trying to sell you those options. Naturally, they assume all lawyers are rich (if only) and have stacks of hundred-dollar bills set aside for marketing.
That leads us to the million-dollar question. How do you sift through what you’re being told you should do to market your business, and hone in on what actually works?
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.
When it comes to legal fees, most attorneys figure out a way to charge clients when they start their practice. More often than not, they establish a fee structure, usually billable hours, based on what every other practice does.
Aside from the occasional increase, they don’t think about it. They set it and forget it.
It’s time to turn off the cruise control.