Business Development and Marketing for Lawyers

Jung, Myers Briggs, Friedman, Rosenman, Rohn, Kretschmer:  do you just love a personality behaviour and trait learning course?  Of course you don’t, because you may well be a lawyer reading this blog and you may have already fallen asleep.  I, on the other hand, love psychology for business.

I am not a practising solicitor, but have worked in law for 20 years and have a wealth of experience of different lawyer types – the first we have of course, is confrontational v non-confrontational.  Then within those categories you have the Personality As and Personality Bs – oh and don’t forget if you’ve done the DISC test then you could be a bright red but vaguely mixed with blue (purple?).

DISC

My point is that it doesn’t really matter what type of solicitor you are – you have been either trained or you are innate (chicken / egg) with a risk averse nature.  In my experience, 90% of solicitors, are risk averse and therefore the drive for change, opportunities and seeking new business doesn’t sit comfortably.  Generational changes play a part – for example, when did the estate agent start earning more than the conveyancer?  Sadly it doesn’t even matter if you qualified in 1965 and you were worked so hard to get those articles when becoming qualified “appears” easier these days.  That’s a WHOLE other article.  Change is like death and taxes – it’s inevitable.

Business development, client relationship management and general networking is surely for the big firms – isn’t it?  What if you’re a sole practitioner? Do you rely on word of mouth or the Pareto Principle? I speak to so many sole practitioners and small legal firms of solicitors that believe they don’t need a good website or digital marketing skill set and wouldn’t know where to start anyway….however – they really do need those basic skills because the client of today is very savvy.  Oh yes, even my 80 year old mother in law uses the “web” (she’s not quite there with a smart phone yet…..) to find good deals/search for places/look up train times/find an excellent Private Client solicitor – you get the gist.

If you belong to a large firm of solicitors and your job is as an associate or partner – then that is your job – to practise the law.  Maybe a bit of networking, but predominantly stick to the law.  You will have a colleague who deals specifically with new business development and have a good marketing department.  Belong to a mid sized firm?  Possibly the Senior Partner will have cottoned on to the fact that the legal marketplace has changed drastically in 10 years and that their firm may have the budget for a marketing and business development head to lead them to the correct audience.  SPs and small firms – mme…no budget for marketing and client relationship management and really hate that side of the job in any event.  What to do?  Carry on chasing your tail and drowning in compliance?  My advice would be to set yourself daily half hour targets.  My next blog will go into more detail on how to love the nitty gritty of law yet embrace the digital world of keeping your business alive without having to step out of your comfort zone.

So – next blog – how to market yourself, bring in new clients and retain them, without losing out on your fee earning day.  If you’d like a FREE audit of how your business development and marketing could improve, please contact Elaine here.