Most of my fellow bankruptcy lawyers are freaking out about the continued drop-off in filings. With fear in their eyes, they turn to a marketing consultant like me to get them fast results.
Though I understand the motivation and need to get things moving quickly, I tell everyone to take a deep breath before writing me a check.
You’re writing a check for the wrong thing, I tell them.
I’m a consumer bankruptcy lawyer, so I know the lay of the land better than anyone else who purports to serve the bankruptcy bar. I walk the walk, talk the talk, and clean up the messes.
The reason I became a marketing consultant is that I saw enough of the”big name” marketing experts stand on stage and spew crap at the crowd in an effort to dazzle them. They talked about how important it was to do X and Y, sold everyone on fear, and collected checks.
I figured I could do it better, if only because I had some spare time to learn the basics of marketing. I’m a computer geek so I understood the world of computers; that made it easier.
There’s No Place For Blind Faith
Once I began to put knowledge into action I recognized that the reason most legal marketing efforts fail is because the lawyer is writing a check based on bald assertions rather than an understanding of the techniques employed.
Now that most lawyers are trying to get more clients online, it’s easier than ever to fall victim to unsavory characters.
Take, for example, a recent blog post from a law firm marketing consultant. He recommended that lawyers submit their blog posts to Digg in an effort to get them to go viral.
This, in spite of the fact that Digg had just been sold and dismantled. It’s been reborn in a stripped-down way since the post went live, but at the time it was all but dead.
In other words, it was stupidly bad advice.
Of course, you didn’t know that if you were blindly following his advice. Nor, for that matter, did you know why Digg was a good use of your time for your particular practice.
Had you been paying this gentleman for his time, you would have gotten no benefit.
Your Money, Your Practice, Your Responsibility
If you’re hiring a legal marketing consultant for your bankruptcy practice, it’s your responsibility to be certain that you understand the strategies being employed as well as the reasoning behind those strategies.
Don’t jump onto Pinterest because “they” say so. Know what it does, why it exists, and to whom it is compelling. If that group of people is likely to be interested in filing for bankruptcy then it’s up to you to learn how those folks operate and to what they respond. From there, you’re off to the races.
Same thing goes for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I spend a fair amount of time watching bankruptcy lawyers make fools of themselves on LinkedIn, all because they’re paying a marketing company to handle their social media presence.
Don’t Be A Sucker
If you’re a consumer bankruptcy lawyer then you get a ton of mail and phone calls from people trying to sell you on the latest fad. Whenever you go to a workshop or conference, someone’s trying to sell you something.
Don’t be a sucker. Make them justify and prove their ideas. Learn the basics of marketing your bankruptcy practice. Pick up a book or self-study course. Spend a few hours on this site. But whatever you do, please avoid being a sucker.
Forewarned is forearmed.