Mark and Jennifer Jones thought their success as attorneys was firmly in their sights. “When we graduate from law school, we’ll work for someone else for a few years, then go out on our own and create a happy, successful career and life.”
And so it went, at first. They were thrilled when they opened Jones and Jones, LLP. Family and friends were sharing the
news. They got a great write-up in the local paper!
Of course everyone knows you need a website, so they got a website. They admired it for a week… and then quickly forgot about it. It sat there, year after year, never changing.
Like many solo and small law firms starting out, they thought, “Business will come to us,” and “Clients will do our marketing for us by their referrals.” They even got involved with community activities, thinking “This will get our name out there.” And for a while, it all seemed to work.
Later, when things got slow, and someone suggested they do some marketing, they thought, “We’ve brought in business before, so why do we need to change anything?”
But finally they did try some marketing. They updated their business cards, letterhead and envelopes; had a print shop create a three-fold insert (from a generic fill-in-the-blanks template); and did a mailing. It snagged two clients. They got busy on the clients’ cases and forgot about marketing. Their boxes of flyers gathered dust in the storage closet.
They limped along like this for the next few years, struggling, until one day they woke up and realized they were… limping along and struggling. This wasn’t the dream!
What Went Wrong?
Mark and Jennifer finally realized they’d been in denial about how their firm was doing. They’d been complacent about the firm’s need to continually improve its marketing. Their marketing strategy was, “Clients looking for services will find us.” They’d disregarded the concept that marketing seeks out, and speaks to, clients with needs. They were caught up in death marketing.
Meanwhile, the marketplace had been evolving at Web speed. Google now listed them in its search results alongside all their local competitors, together with client ratings and reviews of the attorneys and firms. Attorneys with 4-star or 5-star ratings were eating their lunch, leaving only a few crumbs for Jones & Jones.
And then they were even losing a third of the crumbs, because their website wasn’t mobile-friendly and the new breed of clients was sourcing for attorneys on their smartphones. These prospective clients clicked to their site, and then clicked away in seconds. Jones and Jones were losing them to competitors.
Eventually, Mark and Jennifer “got it.” They came to realize what they were up against “out there.” They were being judged online in the court of public opinion, with a verdict being rendered before they had said a word. Worse, until now they didn’t even know about it.
Now that they knew what they were up against, they got savvy. They had their website converted to mobile-friendly, and got help with reputation management and online exposure. They got more clicks. They became proactive with the marketing side of building their practice as a business. As a result, things improved, and kept on improving. Momentum grew. Their situation of stagnation was over.
Their long-held dream finally began to come true.
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