By Tiana Hardison, Esq.

Why are some law firms able to grow quickly- while others experience little to no significant growth each year, despite their best efforts?

 If you have been a law firm owner for even a year or two, then you have probably already figured out that being a “great” lawyer isn’t really the key to rapidly growing your law firm. Gone are the days when simply hanging the proverbial “shingle” and doing excellent legal work will make your phone ring and your client list accelerate. 

In today’s glutted legal market, if you want to experience law firm growth, then you must be able to market your law firm, and that means discerning how to differentiate yourself from all the other law firms in your market, as well as the national law firms with their multi-million-dollar advertising budgets. 

For most lawyers, the growth process is a laborious and expensive process involving years of trial-and-error strategies. Having a great website isn’t enough. Having a few google reviews isn’t enough. Spending exorbitant sums on SEO or PPC isn’t enough.

Marketing dollars spent does NOT equal marketing success when it comes to law firm growth. And providing exceptional legal work certainly isn’t enough. 

So, what is the secret formula? 

While there’s no denying that some lawyers happen to be innately expert marketers, with a Midas touch for law firm growth, that is NOT how most successful law firm owners experience dramatic and sustainable growth or market domination. 

Many highly successful law firm owners have tapped into a formula for rapid growth that doesn’t depend on innate talent for marketing or take years of expensive trial and error. And it isn’t based on finding the perfect Vender offering the golden egg of market domination.  

Their secret is actually simple- 

They join a Robust and Genuine Law Firm Owner’s Mastermind Group- so that they have immediate access to the winning strategies that other successful lawyers are implementing in other markets. Then, they take those proven strategies and implement them in their own firms, thereby circumventing the trial-and-error process altogether. 

Each member of the group comes to the table, sharing their best strategies with the other group members. Thus, each member is able to achieve 10 to 20 times the ROI.  

You have probably heard the term “Mastermind” quite a bit in the last several years. There are “Mastermind” podcasts, “Mastermind” conferences, and “Mastermind” webinars- But they are misnomers.  

The true legitimate Mastermind group- the kind that yields the exponential growth of its’ members is not a podcast- webinar or a highly attended legal marketing “growth” Conference. 

Now don’t get me wrong here. I’m not knocking podcasts, webinars, and summit-style conferences, far from it. I have my own weekly podcast for law firm owners and host monthly Webinars and several widely attended conferences each year. And I try to ensure each of these events brings as much true value to attendees as I can.

But none of these platforms are actual “Mastermind” experiences. While valuable in their own right, they are not Mastermind groups and cannot produce the same results. It is like comparing apples and oranges. 

The entrepreneur Napoleon Hill coined the phrase “Mastermind” back in the early part of the 20th century. Giants like Henry Ford and Rockefeller were members of such a small, elite group. 

These groups still exist today- and the lawyers that are able to join these genuine groups reap huge benefits and exceptional growth. 

Here are the 7 Critical Characteristics of any Genuine Legal Mastermind Group

  1. It’s a small group- usually no more than 10-20 members.

Since each member is expected to come to the table, participate, and share strategies and ideas- the group, must remain small enough for each member’s voice to be heard.  

In a genuine Mastermind group, you learn from one another. Everyone needs ample time and opportunity for the powerful exchange of ideas that can and should occur, which isn’t going to happen in a large group setting.  

2. It’s Geographically exclusive. 

No great business owner is going to pull back the curtain and share his or her most successful strategies with their competition. So, in a genuine Mastermind group, each member must hale from different and non-competing markets. This criteria is impossible to ensure in a large conference setting- filled with general attendees. It’s not going to occur in a webinar – and certainly not in a podcast. Successful lawyers will not share their greatest business secrets and top strategies unless they are doing so amongst a group of trusted non-competitors. Period. 

3. Each member is similarly situated.

In a true Mastermind group, each member is of similar size and revenue. First-year law firm owners aren’t paired with 8-figure law firms. 

Beginning marketers aren’t in the same group as those with millions in their marketing budgets. Ideally, the facilitator handpicks each member of the group to ensure the proper fit- so that every single member is learning and sharing from one another. 

There shouldn’t be a table with only one giver and the test takers. Each member brings valuable strategies that will help the other members of the group. 

Putting these groups together isn’t just a matter of whoever signs up. There is a delicate balance that must be achieved so that every member is challenged but not overwhelmed. Optimal sharing and learning for all members can’t happen if the members are unequally yoked. 

4. Each member is a true participant and comes to the meetings prepared.  

Each member of a robust Legal Mastermind group is coming to the table willing to both share and learn. There are no place keepers. This requirement raises the bar for every participant and ensures that there is a lively exchange of quality ideas and insights. No one’s time is wasted, and every participant leaves the meeting with a host of quality strategies, fresh insights, and relevant perspectives to implement when they get back home

5. Great Strategies are Shared Freely.

Because each participant is not competing with anyone else in the room, there is an opportunity for candor and sharing each member’s best and most successful strategies with one another. Insights like the very best PPC vendors or SEO vendors to hire, the quickest ways to hit the Google 3-pack- or best strategies for amassing more 5- star Google reviews, and so forth are shared.  

6. Failures are also shared openly and honestly- 

Your ability to jump-start your firm’s growth is heightened when you join a real Mastermind group because you learn what to do and- just as importantly- what NOT to do from the other members. 

These members are comfortable with themselves and the group and willing to share not only their greatest victories but also their failures- As a result, members learn from one another’s mistakes and avoid making those same mistakes themselves. Imaging a roadmap for law firm growth that shows a clearly marked path to your desired destination, and with detours, bottlenecks, and potholes duly marked as well. Your path to success becomes more evident, and your likelihood of reaching your goal quickly increases greatly. 

7. There is a seasoned lawyer who facilitates and mentors the group.

Ideally, each genuine Mastermind group is orchestrated and facilitated by someone who has “been there, done that” themselves. They’ve built their own successful law firm (s). As a result, they are able to propel the group forward, offering insights, ideas, and problem-solving strategies, when roadblocks arise or unusual challenges are faced. 

For example, law firms have ethical concerns that don’t even come into play with most other businesses. 

Non-lawyers are unlikely to be able to assist or weigh in on issues that have these unique concerns. Having an experienced attorney at the helm of the Mastermind group- handpicking the members and overseeing the meetings helps to ensure that each group has the greatest opportunity for mutual growth and edification.

Rapid law firm growth happens when you are able to grab ahold of a road map- with ready access to the successful strategies other law firm owners are implementing- and can hit the ground running to implement those same successful strategies in your own firm. That’s exactly what a genuine Legal Mastermind provides for its members. Just as importantly, rapid growth also requires the knowledge of what roadblocks and pitfalls to avoid- and a genuine Mastermind group also provides its members with this important knowledge. 

There is no substitute for a robust and genuine Mastermind group if you are serious about growing your law firm as quickly, effectively, and efficiently as possible.  

If you want to experience rapid law firm growth, then look for a genuine Mastermind group that meets the 7 criteria set forth above. 

Joining such a group will change your life and transform your law firm. You don’t need to be an expert marketer- and you don’t have to know all the answers- Genuine Mastermind groups give you the opportunity to grow in ways you cannot do on your own. It is the place where Iron sharpens Iron, great ideas abound, and motivated lawyers have the opportunity to grow exponentially.