Last Thursday I had the opportunity to sit in on the CLE hosted by Steve Fretzin, Attorney Coach, contributing writer for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and Attorney Dan Lear, Director of Industry Relations at Avvo. I am not an attorney, but since my clientele is made up of over 800 attorneys I make it a point to stay up to date on as many legal matters as possible.
The subject matter was of particular interest to me since I have been all-hands-in with my own online marketing efforts lately. To be honest, the presentation and materials were great and about 10 minutes into the class I was sitting at attention and taking notes, no small task for someone who has dealt with a level of ADHD all his life. When Dan starting talking about branding a law firm, he keyed in on three themes: authenticity, knowing your ideal client and consistency. I guess these are all easy concepts to understand, but try practicing them and see how easy they are.
As you would expect from someone with experience working at Avvo, Dan brought up several examples to demonstrate these three points, but two really stood out for me. The first was an east coast law firm that specializes in 2nd amendment compliance & consulting. The firm is named Think Pink Law and uses the tagline “We do law. Differently”. Pink is not the last name of a partner, but it sure stands out and is very memorable. If I ever learn of someone in need of legal advice dealing with the 2nd amendment, I am quite sure I will remember Think Pink Law.
The second example I clearly remember from Dan’s presentation is from an immigration attorney who targets a specific clientele by offering assistance in filing Form I-864 for financial support. The target audience is divorced spouses of green card holders. Now I am sure this is only one part of their immigration law practice, but this one very targeted campaign really hits home with their clientele. After they provide quality service to this group, how many client referrals are they adding to their monthly intake? Target marketing such as this is a great way to grow a law practice.
Dan then went into a Top 10 Intake list for lawyers which was very insightful. You can view Dan’s entire list here. Many parts of this list is inspired by this article by Chicago-based Gyi Tsakalakis Lawyerist.
Then if all this wasn’t worth the price of admission (and the free lunch), Steve launched into understanding the “buyers’” mindset and started asking questions like, “What is your motivation for doing business development?” and “What makes someone successful at business development?” (I guessed at this one, somewhat incorrectly). Just for clarification, I translate “business development” to “keeping your new client intake machine churning even when you are on vacation.” Steve explained how behavior influences attitudes which in turn affects beliefs.
To me, this partially explains how a very knowledgeable attorney with a discomfort of speaking to strangers (think networking in an unfamiliar group) is able to change their attitudes and beliefs by attending more networking events and interacting with others. Steve also discussed how to choose the best networking opportunities and how to make the most of these sometimes-difficult learning experiences. If you are serious about growing a thriving law business while also enjoying the business of life you really need to attend Steve’s classes.
Steve has a great understanding in the field of building successful law businesses. After all, he has consulted hundreds of attorneys, both experienced and new practitioners, written two books on the subject, and speaks to lawyer groups around the country. Steve’s full presentation can be found here. You can also visit his web site and learn more about his newest program for attorneys, Origination Station, at www.fretzin.com.
As I mentioned earlier, Steve Fretzin is a contributing writer for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and his June article, which can be found here, analyzes if the Differences Between Sales and Legal Business Development are just Semantics? and is a great read, offering some great tips to get away from the traditional “pitch” to clients and how to hold back to better understand what will motivate the client to hire you.
Ron Bockstahler has has worked with individual attorneys and law firms for the past 30 years, gaining an in depth understanding of the business of running a law practice. He is the co-founder and CEO of Amata Law Offices and Managing Broker for Amata Realty Group, LLC, a real estate firm dedicated to consulting attorneys on their office space needs. Ron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (312) 924-0204.