Despite attracting some of the best and brightest, the legal field isn’t known for being quick moving. Attorneys tend to be drawn towards proven methods and principles, which is great for understanding the law. But when it comes to business development, your firm may be suffering from denial-driven inertia—the belief that the model that brought you success in the past will continue to lead you to success in the future.
The truth is that in business, doing what you’ve always done is usually a recipe for eventual failure. Take Kodak for example: when it first broke onto the scene, the company was incredibly innovative and dominated the market. But when digital technology began to transform the camera industry, they chose to stick to film. When’s the last time you saw someone using a Kodak film camera?
Getting out of denial-driven inertia often requires a major shift in thinking. Are you still attached to these myths that are no longer true?
• Myth 1: Do good work and good work will come. Certainly, attorneys need to be ethical, hardworking and knowledgeable. But how will potential clients know how great you are if you don’t tell them? Relying on referrals and word of mouth may give you a steady stream of clients, but it’s unlikely that you’ll achieve significant growth with that strategy. Which brings us to another myth:
• Myth 2: Marketing isn’t necessary. With a quick Google search, potential clients are confronted with thousands of good law firms available for hire. New firms are entering the market all the time, and established firms are experimenting with innovative billing models, hiring strategies and technologies. Why should potential clients choose you? They won’t—if you don’t clearly define and communicate what makes you different. If you want to ensure the longevity and success of your firm, marketing needs to be a priority.
• Myth 3: As long as clients are coming in, you don’t need to measure return on investment. Here at Berbay, this seems to be the myth we come across the most—and it’s a huge misstep for law firms. Measuring ROI allows you to dig into where your business is coming from and adjust your investment accordingly. Before implementing an ROI measurement plan, many of our clients were spending significant portions of their marketing budgets on tactics they assumed were working, only to discover that most of their leads and revenue were coming from other sources. If they hadn’t measured ROI, they never would have known their money wasn’t being well spent.
• Myth 4: Futuristic technology has no place in a law office. Clients will always need a real, human expert to advocate for them and help them navigate the legal system. But that doesn’t mean attorneys have no need for efficiency-boosting technology. By avoiding technology, you’re missing out on opportunities to more effectively communicate with clients and partners, store and search electronic files, and automate small, time-sucking tasks. Implementing technology-supported work processes is a great way to control costs, too.