“How do I get started with my law firm business development?” First of all, if you are asking this question I’m going to presume you’re probably still in the first stage of growth with your law practice meaning you have not yet achieved $20,000 of sustainable predictable monthly gross revenue.
If you’re in the first stage of growth with less than $20,000 a month in monthly gross revenue the way you get started is pretty simple, reliable, predictable and does not require a lot of money. By strategizing and planning you will not only improve your law firm but you will save lots of money!
The following steps will help you surpass the first stage of growth. First, come up with your goals. These goals include financial goals, personal goals and professional goals. When thinking in terms of financial goals, you may ask yourself questions like, “how much net income does my business need to earn in order to live the way I reasonably want to be living?” Once you have these financial goals in mind and you can picture exactly what it is that you want in your financial future, marketing and everything it entails now has a clear purpose and makes much more sense.
Personal goals are just as important as financial. You need to think about how many hours per week and weeks of the year you want to be giving your firm on average. I know we live in the real world and it’s never going to be exactly the same week after week. It’s going to fluctuate but you always need to have an average amount in mind. Do you want to be working a 40-hour week, a 50-hour week, or do you want to not have any control over it at all and have your law firm eat you alive?
Professionally you also need to set goals. Ask yourself, “where do I want to be professionally three years from now, five years from now?” Setting these goals is the first step in getting started with your marketing. The rest of the tools, the techniques, and the tasks are pretty simple. As your marketing firm propels past the first stage of growth, there is going to be one question that you will be asked over and over again.
The question is, what do you do? You need to be able to give people an answer that they care about when they ask you this. When people ask you what do you do, what they’re really asking is what can you do for me? Don’t bother to give them the obvious answer : I’m a lawyer, I’m a bankruptcy lawyer, I’m a family law attorney. No one cares about that, answer what you can do for them. We call that giving them your magic statement.
Also, you need to go to networking events. Here’s a secret, the best way for an introvert like me, people don’t realize I’m an introvert but I am, is to go to these events with a plan. Try and identify two or three influencers and meet them. Ask them about their favorite subject, their business and their favorite hobby. They will love to talk about their favorite things and will eventually ask you what you do. At that point you unleash your magic statement and set the hook so they remember you.
Next, you create what we call a (rainmaking) rolodex. Take your old-fashioned rolodex and every time you meet someone you add their name to the rolodex under every topic that you discover they’re interested in. This way, you keep these influencers favorite topics organized and you find ways to better network with them.
Another step for your firm’s development is calling all of your former and current clients and using your new and improved pitch or “magic words”. Using these magic words with clients will put an extra 10% revenue in your pocket consistently, reliably, and predictably every year. This works for everyone who does this, it will work for you too!
Here’s the next step, you call these clients and you say what else can I take off your plate? Everyone has a problem, everyone has an opportunity, everyone’s got something going on in their life that they would welcome getting some help with. Don’t worry about if what they need help with is legal work. Don’t limit yourself, just be of service to your clients, to your former clients, and to your potential referral sources.
Last and not least, is a quick, easy and reliable step. I shouldn’t say easy, this stuff is not easy but it is worth it. It’s simple all you have to do is make as many referrals as you possibly can. If you’re out there making referrals to everyone in your network, connecting people and being of value and of service to them they will think of you. These are very simple things that lawyers have been doing for hundreds and hundreds of years. Before we had computers, before we had the Internet, before we had videos we had worth of mouth.
These steps are reliable. Rewind this recording to the beginning and watch it again and take notes. These things will get you started and will propel you past that first stage of growth.
One last thing, I just want to share with you; the second stage from $250,000 to $500,000 requires less work than the first stage from zero to $250,000. That’s why it’s so important that we get you through that first stage quickly so that you don’t burn yourself out.