Think about the dominant estate planning firm in your market. If it’s not yours, then the truth is, you’re fighting for scraps. If you want to become the dominant firm in your market, you need to re-think your methods for getting and dealing with clients. The first step is to stop following the crowd. It doesn’t matter what the other firms in your community are doing, because in all likelihood, it’s not working for them. Following tradition is what lawyers tend to do, and most lawyers are mediocre at best when it comes to managing their practices.
If you’re going to be the leader in your market, you have to be willing to stand out. You also have to be willing to stop worrying about what other lawyers think about you and your practice. After all, you’re not practicing law for them; you’re practicing law for yourself and your clients.
In order to dominate your market, you need to set yourself apart in terms of the way you obtain and deal with clients. There are lots of ways to do this, but one of the most effective is creative marketing of your practice. Lawyers have been allowed to advertise for decades now, but it amazes me how many of us are still resistant to the idea.
You might offer the best legal services in the world, but if potential clients never hear of you, then your firm won’t be a success. So, what’s involved in effectively marketing your firm? The first thing we at the Academy suggest is to stop throwing money into Yellow Pages ads. Everyone seems to have one of these ads, and it’s incredibly difficult to stand out if you’re stuck in the middle of page upon page of other firms’ ads. Your money is better spent elsewhere. We’re big believers in direct response marketing, as well as online marketing… including using social media to connect with referral sources and prospective clients.
What have you found to be the best way to connect with prospective clients? We talked about this and other ways to establish dominance as part of our teleseminar for non-member attorneys on August 10, 2010. If you’d like to request the recording, go to www.aaepa.com/recording.
President & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
6050 Santo Road, Suite 240
San Diego, CA 92124