Evangelists: How to Get Others to Market Your Services for You

Adventures of a Gen Y Solo Practitioner

Evangelists: How to Get Others to Market Your Services for You

Rachel Rodgers, Esq.

The Other 80-20 Rule

This week I had the pleasure of sitting in on a fascinating call with Tim Ferriss of Four Hour Work Week fame and Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich. These guys are the real deal. Not only are they successful entrepreneurs and authors, they are outside the box thinkers and came across as totally down to earth.

During the call many topics were discussed and I am sure you’ll be hearing more from me about them. However, the thing I found so interesting and therefore want to share with you, was some advice from Tim for business owners (which includes solos; hopefully, you’ve already picked that up):

“Most entrepreneurs spend 80% of their time on marketing and 20% of their time on making the best product possible. Do the opposite. Spend 80% of your time on making the best product possible and then you’ll only need to spend 20% of your time on marketing.”

This statement came after Tim described how he was able to get so many bloggers, including those at Tech Crunch and Mashable, to write about his new book. The idea is that if you’re product is really spectacular, people will immediately become evangelists for it.

I have had this experience. One of my very first clients has sent me several excellent referrals. That was before I had a website or a receptionist answering my phone. I was still using my yahoo email address back then! And yet she had such a great experience with me that she can’t help but tell all of her friends and family (her cousin is another great client of mine) about me. Her frequent referrals made me step back and say, how can I be sure to re-create the experience she had with me for all of my clients?

How Can You Make Your Product Better?

One way to make your product better is to think about the client who thinks you’re the bee’s knees. The one who has been most pleased with your services. Figure out what you did that they loved so much or better yet just ask! (I’ve been discovering the importance of market research and testing for entrepreneurs and will be writing about it in the near future).

We spend so much time on figure out the right technology for our practice and wondering what new improved way we can market ourselves (or maybe that’s just me?). Instead, what we should be focusing on is our clients and how we can go the extra mile for them.

Tim Ferriss’ Thoughts on Improving Your Product

When Tim was asked, how can we make our products better? His response was, “build your self-confidence.” Initially, I was confused by that. I thought, ‘what does my self-confidence have to do with creating a better product.’ After thinking it through, I realized that a lot of us lawyers already have a great product, it’s us. The relationship I have with my clients is what seems to really matter to them.

So have confidence in yourself and your ability as a lawyer, focus on your clients as people and you will have plenty of evangelists to market your services for you.

To learn more about turning your clients and friends into evangelists, check out Bob Burg’s free guest lecture at  Solo Practice University called ‘How To Cultivate a Network of Endless Referrals‘.(seventh down the list!)

All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.

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6 comments on “Evangelists: How to Get Others to Market Your Services for You

  • “So have confidence in yourself and your ability as a lawyer, focus on your clients as people and you will have plenty of evangelists to market your services for you.”

    Just last week I recognized I was being negative with myself by thinking I’d have to explain to potential clients why I don’t have an office, secretary, business cards, etc.

    I soon remembered something I learned here at SPU: “To get new clients, provide excellent customer service to existing clients.”

    Thanks for the reminder, Gen Y Lawyer!

    • Paul, you apologize to NO ONE!! Your reduced overhead, your highly technological office allows you to provide both value and efficiency. They should appreciate your approach. NEVER APOLOGIZE OR EXCUSE ANYTHING! They are buying ‘you’. Now, frame this :-)

      • I love it! So true! What client doesn’t love getting their legal problem resolved for less? And I have had several clients and friends tell me that they hate going to an attorney’s office!

    • It is no secret that i am not a fan of the whole “value added” concept. It does not have to do so much with whether someone charges fixed fees, bills in unit costs or the like. It is that most lawyers use is as an excuse to price compete. They say they do not, but they do. I see it every day. “Getting legal problems solved for less”, is an example. I know that Rachel is not selling it that way to her public, and that she is sharing the concept with us, her friends and colleagues. I just do not think it works — again not the billing type as much as the cost competition element of it.

      And, I am not saying that you should not discount your fees for someone that really needs your help and deserves it.

      As far as fixed fees, unit costs, capitation fees, hourlies and the like, to clients it is tantamount to comparing insurance policies and coverages. It is simply impossible on any rational basis. The client has a problem and they want it corrected. They are concerned about costs overall, but they are more concerned about how to get the matter resolved. That is the sales point. That is the power point. And, from my limited experience of going solo out of law school and practicing for 25 years, if you charge too less, if you bring in clients based upon price or billing, they will view you as the lawyer equivalent of Dr. Nick Riviera on The Simpsons. They go into the relationship perceiving less than great service, and you cannot often deter them from this concept no matter how good the service. They go into the lawyer-client relationship feeling that they have settled. No amount of “excellent customer service” is going to much change the perception once you allow lower fees to be your brand.

      I know how hard it is to turn down clients who cannot or will not pay the freight. But, just because your overhead is low, does not mean you can or should charge less. You also cannot fill your system with more and more clients to make up the difference because of your solo-ness and low overhead. You have limited hours in the day, and you have to make them (1) profitable and (2) enjoyable. You do not as a solo turn down the work, and defeat yourself on fees because you are not sure where the next client is coming.

      Again, I know how hard that is. Sometimes it still happen to me, today. But, if you will concentrate on your niche and on marketing, building relationships, and being the best person and lawyer you can be, it takes care of itself. It does. Trust me. If it does not, it is because you are not concentrating on these matters.

      As for working at home. Susan is right. Do not apologize for that. I advertise that fact. It is no secret. I do have clients who say they want to come to my office and I tell them that I work at home. The truth of the matter is that clients with legal problems really do not want to go to the lawyer’s office. They view this as something akin to the boiler room that is the finance department at a high volume auto dealership. I can tell you that if you are comfortable with it, soon everyone will feel comfortable with it. Again, clients have problems they want solved. That is the point of concentration.

      Anyway, that is my rant for today. Sorry if it is off putting.

  • Your welcome, Paul! :) Its so easy to get caught up in the trappings of delivering legal services but I realized recently that some of my best clients have never been to my website! Trappings just cost money and create more work. Some of the them add convenience to your life as an attorney so they’re worth it or provide great marketing. Others not so much. Check out the article on the MicroFirm on Gen Y J.D. That’s another interesting discussion of “the extras” in solo practice. :)

  • I am an RN,Certified Legal Nurse Consultant ( CLNC ). I am profoundly interested in the question asked last December. “How far will you go if you don’t grow. I have been a clinical Medical surgical nurse for 34 yrs. I became certified as a CLNC last April 2010. I have been aspiring to start a consultant business. AND yes I do have a website, business card and a brochure. However still awaiting that first attorney client and case. How far?

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