A Law Firm Marketing Blog Series: Edition #2
Welcome back to our new blog series, in which we talk legal marketing with real law professionals. In this edition, we discuss best marketing practices with lawyer turned award-winning entrepreneur, Dina Eisenberg Esq.
We hope hearing the thoughts and ideas shared by the people in these blog posts, will inspire you to make positive changes to your marketing strategies. We also know that marketing legal services these days is more complex and challenging now than ever before, and hope that some of our readers may identify with some of the marketing struggles presented here, and perhaps be able to offer solutions.
The biggest goal of this blog series is to get the conversation going, so let’s dive in.
A Marketing Conversation With Attorney Dina Eisenberg Esq.
Dina Eisenberg practiced as a prosecutor before launching her own mediation/training firm, which eventually evolved into an advisory firm for lawyers. Her main mission is to change the way lawyers experience practicing law; from chaos to calm. In our below conversation, Dina provides insight on the value of delegation, the changing expectations of today’s law consumers, and the importance of emotional intelligence.
AL: Can you give us a little bit of background information on the services you currently offer for legal professionals?
Dina: I teach solo and small firms how to successfully delegate and share with them hand-picked talent from my on-demand delegation resource and training library called “Dina’s Rolodex”. The goal is to help lawyers regain control and balance in their lives by designing a law practice that fits.
AL: What inspired you to want to help other legal professionals?
Dina: I was inspired by senseless loss. I mastered delegation as a corporate Ombuds, but I saw that many small business owners, especially lawyers, resisted getting virtual help. My ex-husband lost a million dollar business after a sneeze required emergency back surgery. He never wanted to have a team out of fear, so his business stopped when he did. His large corporate clients deemed him unreliable and took their business elsewhere. I knew solo lawyers who were in the same precarious position- too afraid to let go and too busy to be happy.
AL: Marketing a law practice can require a lot of time and effort from an attorney. Would you say that it is necessary for today’s lawyer to reach out to others for help with marketing their firm?
Dina: Solo and small firm lawyers must delegate as much of their administrative and marketing work as possible. Lawyers only bill 1.6 hours out of an eight hour workday, according to the 2017 Clio Legal Trends Report.
The simple solution is to hire a virtual assistant to help. The virtual assistant industry has grown up and continues to find new ways to support lawyers. Legal virtual help is available, too, on websites like Book-It-Legal or Lawyer Exchange to help you manage more and bigger matters.
AL: On your website, you use the tagline, “Do what you do best. Delegate the rest.” Can you go into a little more detail on what this means, and why it’s a good rule for law professionals to follow?
Dina: Lawyers are smart, highly capable people. We think we can do everything we put our minds to, which is true. However, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should.
Let’s take creating graphics as an example. I know lawyers who love to jump on Canva and spend a couple of hours creating a graphic for their Facebook ad or Instagram. The financial and opportunity cost of that is staggering. If you consider the average billable rate is $260, then that attorney has invested over $500 in a graphic that could have been purchased on Fiverr or Upwork for less than $20 and done with better quality.
As marketing trends and tactics change, lawyers can’t possibly learn it all and still maintain a profitable practice. It’s much better to focus on what lawyers are trained for and allow other professionals to handle the rest.
Social media management is another great example. Management has three phases: curation, production and promotion. Most lawyers want to curate or write their own content to retain their ‘voice’. The reality is they often become the bottleneck because they don’t have time to write or promote so their content grows stale, which implies to legal consumers that the lawyer is also out of date. There are legal writers who can capture your ‘voice’ and create consistent, relevant content on topics that legal consumers want to know. By doing this, the lawyer is freed up to actually practice law.
AL: Are the expectations of law consumers different now than they were say 5-10 years ago?
Dina: Law is now a buyer’s market. Legal consumers have plenty of new options to solve their legal problems so lawyers are not the only game in town anymore. Consumers are demanding more efficiency, lower costs and a better client experience.
The lawyers who will flourish in this new environment are the lawyers who are willing to unlearn the old ways of legal delivery, marketing and client experience and embrace the new ways. Lawyers have to increase their emotional intelligence so they can better connect with and serve clients. Lawyers must embrace technology because that is how clients want to interact now. Younger generations want to text, not talk to you on the phone.
AL: In your opinion, is it time for all attorneys to start using automation?
Dina: Automation is essential! It’s no longer optional. For example, look at client communications. Failure to communicate is the most popular reason that a client brings a bar complaint against a lawyer.
Lawyers struggle with keeping their clients updated. Now, lawyers have many options to communicate regularly with clients with tools that don’t require their time. Of course, tools won’t totally erase the lawyer from the picture but they do allow the lawyer to focus on lawyering, not administrative work.
AL: You mentioned earlier a need for attorneys to increase their emotional intelligence. Can you go into a little more detail on that?
Dina: Lawyers with high emotional intelligence can tactfully handle difficult clients or client situations. For example, lawyers complain when clients disclose case facts on Facebook. A lawyer who is EQ (Emotional Quotient) strong recognizes that clients need an outlet to vent their fears and frustrations and provides advice on how to best do that in a private way.
Lawyers with high EQ can convey their strengths and their value to their clients and the world. You understand how your role impacts others and you have the confidence and the communication skills to convey your value to others. You also know what client qualities or attributes are a red flag for you so you can avoid selecting bad clients in the first place.
Lawyers with high EQ can detect when their own emotions are impeding the growth of their law business. Some lawyers struggle with business development because of fear and pride. They don’t want to look vulnerable in front of colleagues or friends and fear being judged as unsuccessful if they ask for referrals. Increasing emotional intelligence allows for a shift in their perception while providing coping tools.
The ability to offer the combination of both strategic planning and emotional skill building is what sets my services apart in the marketplace