Marketing for Lawyers Who Hate Marketing

Presented by Irene Leonard, Lawyer Coach, to the King County Bar Association Solo and Small Section Meeting February 14, 2007

Today I hope to do three things:

  1. Help you change your beliefs around Marketing
  2. Have you learn some marketing ideas that you will feel comfortable doing
  3. Have you leave determined that even if you still hate marketing you will start doing three things on a consistent basis to build a more rewarding practice.

Developing Relationships

Marketing is about developing relationships, combined with a numbers game. By that I mean, that the greater the number of people that know, like and trust you, the more referrals and work you will get. Today we are going to talk about how to get people to know, like and trust you in three different ways:

It is important to be continually adding to your contact data base. Losing a major client or referral source will not impact you so greatly if you are able to replace that loss easily. And you will be able to replace the clients more readily if you have a large number of relationships to draw upon. Keep in mind that the more you help others the more they will be willing to help you.

Why do you Hate Marketing?

What do you hate about marketing? It is important to understand what you don't like about marketing so that you can address those concerns and find ways to remove the concerns enabling you to market in a style that you find comfortable.

Possible reasons you don't like marketing:

Find ways to market or sell yourself where you don't feel pushy. Give yourself permission to come up with a marketing style that fits you.

Lawyers are not Natural Marketers

For most lawyers many marketing actions are not a natural inclination. The combination of personality and training of lawyers results in a high proportion of lawyers not liking to engage in marketing activities. Lawyers are trained in the concept of Caveat Emptor - buyer beware. So of course, you are worried that others will be worried about what you are offering. But that being said clients need not worry about your services if the services that are purchased are not defective. So make sure you are selling a good product.

In the Myers Briggs Type Indicator 57% of lawyers are Introverts while only 25% of the general population are Introverts. That means 75 % of the general population are Extroverts. So consider the impact of not being like the majority of the population. You can use the extraversion/introversion distinction to become a more effective marketer by adapting your communication style to the style of the person you wish to win over. For more information on that concept, see Ronda Muir's article "The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers".

When you hate doing something you don't do it and if you do do it you don't do it well. I want to help you find activities that you will like doing in order to promote yourself.

We all have environments where we are more comfortable in interacting with people:

  1. our office
  2. one-on one
  3. a structured networking event
  4. a seminar or talk like this
  5. casual networking
  6. speaking engagements
  7. writing
  8. our home
  9. a coffee shop
  10. our children's soccer game
  11. a party

View or Download the "Actions to Form New Relationships" Exercise (PDF).
View or Download the "Actions to Deepen Relationships" Exercise (PDF).
View or Download the "Actions to Maintain Relationships" Exercise (PDF).

Today I hope you take away the importance of having at least three marketing actions that you feel comfortable starting and you believe you will do consistently. Monitor their effectiveness. Give your actions time.

May your efforts result in a successful, rewarding law practice.