When I start working with a law firm on their marketing strategy, one of the first things I ask is:
Do you want more clients, or do you want better clients?
In many cases – this might not be something they’ve thought too much about.
Perhaps it’s because of the traditional approaches to marketing where they would place a listing in the Yellow Pages and an ad on the radio and just start taking calls. Or perhaps it really just isn’t something they’ve ever considered.
Either way, it seems to be a very common occurrence that “more clients” is the one and only marketing goal in many lawyer’s minds, and if they’ve got enough clients, they don’t consider marketing all that important.
Of course, I’m of the opinion that just because you have work coming out of your ears doesn’t mean you couldn’t have more lucrative, less stressful, more engaging work coming out of your ears instead. Here are a few things to consider:
- How many of your recent clients took up an incredible amount of your time for no substantive reason?
- How many of your recent clients didn’t pay (or paid with great delay)?
- How many of your recent clients were “difficult”?
- How many of your recent clients were rude?
- How many of your recent clients were dishonest with you?
- How many of your recent clients gave you work outside your core areas of practice?
If the answer to any of these questions was “more than a couple” – then it might be worth considering refocusing your current marketing strategy.
Instead of just broadly “getting the phone ringing” – why not figure out a more careful, targeted, approach, to get the right people to ring the phone?
Alternatively, even if you still feel like you’re at “full capacity” – does it not still make sense to look deeper into bringing more inquiries to your practice, just so you have more freedom of choice in the clients you take on?
If you can hash out a good legal marketing strategy, and work out a way to cultivate the sorts of clients you want, in the certain areas of practice that you’re passionate about, with a bit of work you could end up:
- Working less,
- Charging more,
- Receiving more recurrent business,
- Doing more engaging work that you genuinely enjoy.
Even if “any client” is more your firm’s style, it’s still something worth thinking about.