Friday, November 01, 2013

The ABC's of Legal Marketing - F is for Feedback

What is your brand in the business community?  Do you know?  Are you making assumptions about how you are viewed by clients, prospects, referral sources, vendors, other lawyers, etc...? Do those who give advice sugar coat their words to avoid hurting your feelings?  Can it be that you have little name recognition and are not even noticed by others?

Obtaining realist feedback is very important to ensure that your efforts are paying off to market your practice and position yourself as a solution to those who seek counsel in your legal area of expertise.  If you are not aware of your "mindshare" in comparison to your competition then you could be missing out on valuable client opportunities.

Getting feedback is harder than it sounds.  We live in a polite society, so few people will ever tell you when you are doing something wrong or are just blah.  Plus, with so much competition in the legal field you need to have amazing marketing to ever provoke meaningful reports.  Most will not have unique marketing that creates buzz, so they will never know what others think.  Too many lawyers try to market only to have it fall into a black hole of no results.

Additionally, most of the people you may ask for feedback are not really qualified to understand what they are reviewing.  People look at websites, or other marketing materials, and have no point of reference to identify how it stacks up.  "Good job", "Nice site", or "I like it" are taken to mean that the effort is successful, when really that means nothing if it is not registering with potential clients and referral sources.

Often a lawyer or firm spends money to create a look and feel that is the same as all their peers. If you are a carbon copy of all your competitors, you go unnoticed.  If you are a commodity then clients shop on price.  Yet simply looking at most lawyer websites you see photos of their skylines, state capitol buildings or the scales of justice (quick, go look at your firm's homepage!).  Sameness is not marketing.

An attorney cannot review their promotions in a vacuum, but many do just that.  Reviewing materials they created themselves, or with the help of the consultant hired to do the job, is not enough.  We all look fondly on our own work. You need to get meaningful third part feedback.  This could be formal or informal, but without seeking out the opinions of several others you are just applauding yourself while standing alone in a field.

This review is about more than brochures and websites.  A full examination of your overall brand is needed, and you have to be open-minded to the input that comes back.  It will not always be pleasant.  At best you are not showing anything special to others, and at worst you have left negative impressions on others through your actions.  But not knowing the truth makes it impossible to improve.

Putting together a board of advisers that includes other lawyers, clients, vendors, etc... can be a great way to see past the walls in your mind.  But it takes courage to even ask others to help you.  Hiring a consultant to review your image, who is not someone you will hire to fix the problems, is a great idea.  Keep in mind f their purpose of giving feedback is to sell you solutions they may not always the right choice (although maybe).  There are many with expertise in legal marketing whom you can find to help you.

Always seek honest feedback, and do not get mad when you hear the bad stuff.  Celebrate those who are brave enough to help you see clearly where you need to improve your messaging, actions, branding, etc....  

Final point: You may not always agree with everything you hear, and those giving feedback may not always be right in their observations.  But to not seek feedback is a mistake.

Have A Great Day

thom singer 

Thom Singer is experienced in legal marketing and business development.  He regularly speaks at law firm retreats inspiring attorneys to embrace their brand and increase their sales.  He also teaches lawyers ways to improve their presentation skills as the firm's secret weapon for business development success.  More information at

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