For many of us, marketing is the last thing we want to do. We’d like to take it on much like we did law school: grin and bear it and be done with it.
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough?
Is it possible to get the marketing over with and then focus on the practice of law?
Is it within the realm of possibilities that you can just suck it up, tolerate all the crap for a while, and be done?
These are tough questions for me to answer. This is not the way I’ve approached marketing. You see, for me, marketing is an endless task because I’ve always assumed we would just grow the firm indefinitely as long as the marketing continued to work.
However, I understand the desire on the part of many attorneys to get the marketing done and move on. You may be one of those lawyers who dreads selling your services and seeks to focus on delivering service rather than on bringing new clients in the door.
I’ve given it some thought, and I think the answer to the question is yes.
The Keys to a Self-Perpetuating Practice
I think that you can eventually stop marketing and just practice law.
The key to being able to stop is twofold:
- Deliver extraordinary service. You need every client leaving your office to walk out the door raving about the outstanding job you did. You need clients to serve as your marketing ambassadors by telling the world what a terrific job you do.
- Limit your growth. You need to achieve a certain size as a firm and commit to staying there. You need to be comfortable with staying as you are and ceasing to grow. That’s uncomfortable for some but exceedingly comfortable for others.
If you’re willing and able to deliver extraordinary service while limiting your growth, then I think you can stop marketing once you reach a certain point in your career.
You’ll need to use caution to wean yourself from the marketing. You’ll need to slow the marketing gradually as you continue to release the happy ambassadors into the wild. You don’t want to suddenly cut your marketing one day and assume you have sufficient word-of-mouth marketing working in your favor.
Slowly, over time, scale back your marketing efforts and test the waters. Make sure revenues hold steady and even continue to grow a bit before you make the next change. Be hypersensitive to monitoring your overall finances.
How Do You Know When to Quit?
How long will it take to reach a point where you can stop the marketing?
It won’t happen overnight. Word-of-mouth marketing takes time. You can only finish so many cases per year, and you can’t count on every one of those clients to actively promote your practice.
However, if you’re doing an excellent job of making your clients happy, you can be confident that they’re going to broadcast that information to the world. That’s certainly going to result in new clients knocking on your door.
You keep pumping out the happy clients and be satisfied with the size of your business, and one day you won’t have to worry about taking lawyers to lunch, building a website, being active on Facebook, or buying ads on Google.
Keep making your clients happy, and you’ll never have to market again.