“KNOW WHEN TO HOLD EM’ AND KNOW WHEN TO FOLD THEM” – Kenny Rogers, “ The Gambler”
I’ll be honest- I’m a take-action kind of guy. I don’t want to talk about stuff. I want to get things done.
Many people ask me how I’m able to do all that I do in a typical day, week, or business quarter, and the truth is that I’m wired to dive in and plow through. I create to-do lists, prioritize the needed actions, and then push full steam ahead. It’s what most every successful business owner has learned to do.
For me, along with my action mentality, is the desire to immediately change course when I observe a strategy that isn’t working. Being able to pivot when needed is an essential element to any successful business. You must be data-driven, and forward-thinking – and when your data shows a particular strategy isn’t producing results, you need to be able to make a change, pronto.
But there’s also a significant place for that classic line from Kenny Roger’s old song, “The Gambler.” You gotta know when to hold em’ and know when to fold em.’”
Like with any good poker player, a law firm owner has to recognize when it’s time to pivot, and when it’s time to wait. Sometimes, in our zeal to implement the latest new strategies, we fail to give our current strategies the time they need to come to fruition.
This concept is sometimes easier said than done.
But here’s a great case in point: One of my NAMIL (National Academy of Motorcycle Injury Lawyers) members shared a recent experience with me: He’d been a NAMIL member for several years, and was starting to get frustrated because he just wasn’t signing up a significantly increased number of motorcycle cases. He was implementing a number of the strategies NAMIL teaches, so that he could break into the Biker community, and stand out as a trusted legal advisor in his market, but just wasn’t seeing appreciable results for his firm’s new efforts. Just when he was getting ready to drop his NAMIL membership, he had a month where he signed several large motorcycle cases. Thinking this was probably a fluke, he was still set to drop NAMIL, but then, the next month, the same thing happened again; more high-value motorcycle cases – and this pattern continued. While the strategies he’d implemented through NAMIL didn’t initially produce results, with just a little more time and continued investment, he began to build relationships in the Biker community, and began to see his firm’s needle move. Needless to say, he kept his NAMIL membership, and has renewed energy, and optimism when it comes to his Motorcycle Injury practice.
Sometimes, slow and steady does win the race.
You are probably experiencing this yourself when it comes to your firm’s Social Media Marketing. Getting your firm’s name and brand out and building a following takes time. While going instantly viral is every business owner’s dream, for most of us, this just isn’t the way it is going to work. It is that consistent pushing out engaging videos, short reels, and relevant keyword content that will build likes, views, and engagement that ultimately leads to sign-ups.
It’s the same with your Lawyer Referral Marketing. If you want more attorney referrals, you have to create a strategic plan and be willing to dedicate some time and effort to reaching out to non-competitor attorneys in your market who practice in other areas. Take them to lunch or meet them for coffee and express your desire to send them referrals, and then follow through. Start sending them referrals first. Stay in contact with these lawyers and build relationships. Over time, you will begin to see reciprocal referrals from them.
The same critical concept applies to creating a Client-Based Referral System through strategies such as setting up a Client Advisory Board. In a nutshell, the Client Advisory Board is a group, or “board” of your firm’s best raving fans – the ones that already send you referrals or people you’d like to start sending you referrals. Many of these people never have an opportunity to sit on any organization’s “board,” so being asked to do so will feel like an honor to them. Your objective is to set aside time several times a year, to invite your board to dinner at a local restaurant, and during the meal get their feedback on how you can improve your law firm’s client service and get more referrals from the community. (If you are a PILMMA Member, the step-by-step guide for setting this up is in your Member Resources). Over and over again, I see the same thing – When lawyers take the time to set this Board up, and stick with it, before long they begin to see a significant increase in past client referrals. The ripple effect is a fantastic ROI, I promise you! But the lawyers who give up too quickly miss out on referrals they could be getting through this strategy.
Newsletters work the same way. Sending out a digit and/or hard copy newsletter to your past clients every month or two is a great way to foster an ongoing relationship with them. It helps you create and maintain the top-of-mind awareness you need in order for them to refer their friends and family to your law firm. If you don’t have time to create these newsletters, you can hire an outside vendor to put them together for you. This strategy is a simple but powerful strategy for increasing your sign-ups – if you stick with it.
Here’s the Bottom Line: Effective Law Firm Marketing requires both pivots and patience. The key, of course, is knowing when to take which step. When it comes to pivoting, be data-driven. When it comes to marketing strategies that are based on building relationships, then be prepared to give it a bit more time before you expect to see results. Take Risks. Take Action. Be Bold. But temper your zeal with patience, too, so that you can reap a better long-term ROI.
If you want to learn more about NAMIL, click here.
If you want to learn more about PILMMA’s powerhouse of member resources, click here.
If you want to join PILMMA’s Mastermind program or get more details, click here.