In this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast Guy is joined by Ali Katz, the Founder and CEO of the New Law Business Mode. Ali founded the New Law Business Model to teach her techniques to other lawyers who want to serve families and business owners as a trusted advisor, while loving their lives and law practices. The focus of Ali and Guy’s discussion is on the challenges and issues lawyers face with the “modern law firm model”, and how they can address these challenges in order to execute successful online marketing strategies. Ali and Guy also discuss the importance of defining your niche as a lawyer and ways to do so. You can connect with Ali on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.
Podcast Show Notes
1. What is broken with the modern law firm model?
Over the years, and especially with the rise of technology and the increase of new lawyers, we shifted from this trusted advisor model into what I am calling a billable and scalable model. In this billable and scalable model our focus is to be on billable hours, oftentimes broken down into six-minute increments and being the cheapest solution out there. This puts us in direct competition with the myriad of online legal document services that are arising. So, through all of that, we cannot as lawyers provide the best service possible, and we can’t build lives and law practices that we truly love.
2. What are the typical challenges lawyers face when marketing their law practices?
The challenges lie in what they’re marketing. It’s very difficult for a potential client to differentiate from one personal injury lawyer to the next. The biggest challenge that lawyers face when marketing their law practices is knowing how to speak to the people who need and want their services. The reality is, that the consumers who are looking for lawyers, don’t know how to find you because of the way you are marketing your services. There are so many people who need your services, and when you speak to them in their language, they’re going to want to work with you.
3. What is the real problem underlying their challenges?
I believe lawyers have this scarcity-based mentality. We are told we can’t market to everybody, and you must get really clear on who you serve. I remember I was personally terrified to do it myself and it took me quite a while to do it because, in my mind, I thought, if I do that I’m going to starve. Eventually, I focused my entire practice at that time on serving families with young children. I identified the holes in the current planning that most lawyers were doing for families with young children, I wrote a whole book on it called Wear Clean Underwear, and I went all in on my niche. Within just two years after making that decision, I had a million dollar a year revenue generating law practice. When you decide to focus your marketing efforts on your niche, you must develop a strategy to educate that very specific community.
4. What are the 3 foundational blocks that lawyers must follow?
The first foundation is to find the people that you love to serve and speak to them in their language. The second foundation that is critically important is to have a client engagement system. The client engagement system begins from the moment that somebody inquires into your service by email, phone, or on your website. There is a scripted and tested intake process and then engagement process that once you meet with them, will result in them hiring you nearly 100% of the time. The third foundational block is having a structure that pays you well to deliver on an exceptional service. These are not hourly fees and they’re not too low flat fees, these are healthy flat fees that you’re excited to deliver on.
5. Why do you think many lawyers feel resistance around moving away from hourly billing into new fee structures that focus on the value they are able to give?
Ultimately it comes down to a choice, you must recognize that you are the creator of your life, based on the choices you make. You’ve got to switch from this one-off transaction model into a relational model where you can truly get beneath the surface of what your clients want and need and provide services to them as a trusted advisor. If you focus on meeting people where they are and then moving them into a relational model where you get to be this trusted advisor for life, you can build a really fulfilling practice.
The modern law firm billing model may be showing signs of age. Instead of lawyers once focusing on providing trusted services as an advisor, we have strayed into this cold, robotic scalable structure in which we focus on billable hours. Making sure you resonate with clients by building your practice around Ali’s 3 foundational blocks can make your firm not only more successful, but more human. Join Ali’s Lifestyle Lawyer’s Club Facebook Group to receive access to the client engagement formula worksheet.
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