But Mom, all my friends are doing it! Generation after generation, it’s the argument that’s guaranteed to fail. And the ironclad response? “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you follow them?”
From the time we enter school, our parents try to teach us not to follow the crowd. As lawyers, we’re trained to think logically and systematically. We are also armed with the knowledge that law schools do not provide business education. Hence, neither we nor our peers have any formal training on how to effectively run or market a law firm.
Yet we hang out our shingle and what’s the first thing most of us do? Look around at how all the other lawyers in our area do things and follow along in lockstep. The problem is, without training, most lawyers are mediocre at best at effectively running a law firm.
If you want to dominate your market, you have to take your mom’s advice. You must be willing to do what the competition is not willing to do. Looking to your peers will only have you fighting for the scraps…not a great strategy, unless you want to get stuck.
So, where do you look for inspiration? There’s a whole world of innovation outside the legal profession. And you don’t have to look too far:
- Medicine: Many doctors have been delegating tasks to nurses and physician’s assistants for years – you never lay eyes on your doctor until a nurse has first asked you a litany of questions, taken your blood pressure, and possibly performed a number of other procedures.
- Accounting: Accountants long ago saw the value of adding ancillary businesses, such as financial services, to increase their value to clients.
- Insurance: Life insurance is a multibillion dollar industry that has decades of lead generation and marketing strategies we can learn from.
Of course, the legal industry has its own ethical constraints and business needs. But that doesn’t mean we’re stuck following the crowd. There are limitless other sources of ideas and strategies that we can draw from, modify, and tailor to fit our needs and the needs of our clients.
Sanford M. Fisch
CEO & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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