Ten New Rules of Legal Marketing

Legal Marketing has changed.  It used to be enough to keep an ad in the yellow pages and belong to the Rotary Club.  Not anymore.  Times are tough, so I present to you Ten “New” Rules of Legal Marketing.  Let me know what you think.

1.  “My lawyer can beat up your lawyer” isn’t a marketing strategy.  “My lawyer will call me back before yours will” is.

2.  Google tells me there are 337,000 “Full Service Law Firms” out there.  Which one was yours again?

3.  Unless the person who founded your firm 100 years ago is still alive and practicing law, he’s completely irrelevant to every client who’s thinking of hiring you.

4.  Market to a “want” not to a “need.”  By the time your clients realize they “need” you, it’s often too late — for them and for you.

5.  Your “keep great clients happy” budget should exceed your “try to get new clients” budget by at least 3:1.

6.  Thanksgiving cards say you’re thankful for your clients’ business.  Christmas cards say you’re just like everybody else.

7.  Having the scales of justice on your business card says you’re a lawyer — an old, stodgy, unimaginative, do-what-everyone-else-has-done-for-fifty-years lawyer.  Same is true for your yellow pages ad.

8.  Speaking of yellow pages, don’t abdicate your marketing strategy to their salespeople.  They don’t know marketing.  They only know how to sell you a bigger ad each year.

9.  Your future clients have been living their entire lives online and will expect the same from you.  If you’re invisible on the web, you won’t exist to them.

10.  The single best marketing strategy in the world is to find your best clients and ask them, “How do I get more clients like you?”

Look for ten more rules next month.  For hundreds of legal marketing ideas, check out my Marketing Category on this blog.  And if you want to get these in real time, follow me on Twitter.

14 Responses to Ten New Rules of Legal Marketing
  1. Jay Fleischman
    October 27, 2008 | 9:03 am

    Re #2. My point exactly in the post link to bkpracticepro.com.

  2. Laurie/HaloSecretarial
    October 27, 2008 | 9:54 am

    What a fabulous post Matthew! My favorite points are numbers two and nine. So true! Thanks for sharing the link via Twitter.

  3. The Winery Web Site Report
    October 27, 2008 | 5:09 pm

    Marketing Thought For The Day

    From the [non]billable hour: The single best marketing strategy in the world is to find your best clients and ask them, “How do I get more clients like you?”Involve your best customers in helping you find new customers (“We’ll send…

  4. Norris Krueger
    October 27, 2008 | 8:02 pm

    Thanks again for the Boise Idea Market!

    But it’s #6 that’s genius. Thank you notes are ALWAYS in order, especially for no apparent reason. Just that you’re grateful.

    And we all have more to be grateful about than we recognize.

  5. Jared Hawk
    October 28, 2008 | 2:02 am

    Great post, Matt. I think the google stat is a little eye-openening for me, and I live online!

  6. Matthew Crider
    October 28, 2008 | 4:07 pm

    Matt, another great article. Keep up the good work. Matt

  7. Gerry Oginski
    October 28, 2008 | 4:38 pm

    Excellent post. You hit the nail right on the head. Those lawyers who choose to ignore these key points will scratch their heads when their colleagues who “get it” surpass them with minimal effort.

  8. Patrick J. McKenna
    October 31, 2008 | 5:05 pm

    Matt: Brilliant! I love them all, especially your point #2 – about asking yourself just how googlicious are you.

  9. Richard Granat
    November 11, 2008 | 9:34 am

    Some of your law firm readers may be interested in applying for the James I. Keane Memorial Award in Excellence in eLawyering, awarded by the ABA at ABA TECHSHOW in April, 2009.

    Here is the relevant information:

    The James I. Keane Memorial Award for Excellence in eLawyering is awarded once a year by the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association at the Annual ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago. The Award is named for James I. Keane, the founding Chair of the ABA eLawyering Task Force. The Task Force was created in 2000, when ABA President William G. Paul, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, took the unusual and creative step of asking a Section to assume responsibility for one of his presidential initiatives, namely an examination of ways that lawyers could use the Internet and other electronic resources to deliver legal services to people of moderate means more efficiently and effectively. Last year’s recipient was the law firm of Cowell Taradash, P.C., based in Chicago, for the web site at Illinoisdivorce.com . The ABA eLawyering Task Force of the Law Practice Management Section will review the nominations and select the recipient. The Award Guidelines and Nomination Forms can be found here. Law firms can nominate themselves. The deadline for submission is January 15. 2009.

    link to abanet.org

  10. Paul Jacobson
    December 18, 2008 | 1:51 pm

    Thank you so much for these lists, particularly this one. I had a good laugh at some of them. Number 3 really tickles me.

  11. Bob Friedman
    December 18, 2008 | 1:51 pm


    Number 5 grabbed me by the neck. I’ve been neglecting my “great” clients.

    Thank you for the reminder.

  12. Dave Lorenzo
    January 16, 2009 | 5:58 pm

    Great stuff. Exactly on point.

    I would also add something about getting a website that looks like everyone else’s and putting up a blog, updating it once a month and then complaining that you don’t get enough clients from it and saying “blogging isn’t worth it”.

    Dave Lorenzo

  13. Steve Lombardi
    January 22, 2009 | 7:54 pm

    Great post . . . especially love the point about Google. Most solo and small practice lawyers make the mistake of viewing Google as the solution to their new business problem. Most end up disappointed. Online marketing can be powerful for attorneys, but it starts with the distribution.

    link to lawfirmsadvertising.com

  14. Gyi Tsakalakis
    July 21, 2011 | 1:24 pm

    +1’s for 5,9, & 10. Good stuff.

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