Last weekend, I attended a fantastic conference last week in San Francisco called The Traffic & Conversion Summit, put on by two marketing entrepreneurs and their attorney partner.
Alexis and I met several lawyers taking massive action in their businesses and enjoying the benefits of clear, decisive action amidst everyone else’s paralysis.
It’s funny – there are people who are always blaming the economy, and there are people who are always making money, no matter what the economy is doing. I learned years ago during my brief stint as a real estate investor that markets are cycles. When you know where you’re at in the cycle you can take appropriate action, and often get very wealthy.
To be successful, you have to be smart. Some of us got lucky because we entered the market at ‘the right time.’ The truth is, every time is the right time if you can read the market cycle. And that takes a different type of intelligence than they teach in law school. I’m not even sure they teach it in business school. They sure did teach it at the Traffic & Conversion Summit…
Want me to let you in on the biggest insight I took away from the conference?
According to the gentlemen who put on last weekend’s conference (and who, incidentally, generate about $160MM a year in sales) roughly 80% of small business owners feel stuck.
They feel stuck for several reasons, which the speaker went on to list as the business owner’s perception of lack in the following categories. (I went ahead and surveyed our newsletter subscribers to find out which of these resonated most with them):
- Lack of Marketing (36% of our lawyers admitted to this)
- Lack of Talent (11% of our lawyers admitted to this)
- Lack of Systems (23% of our lawyers admitted to this)
- Lack of Capital (21% of our lawyers admitted to this)
- Lack of Know-How (9% of our lawyers admitted to this)
Now, I’ve been dabbling around with raising money to grow this business because something inside me believed that we suffered from a lack of capital.
What I ultimately learned is that an influx of capital would only serve to magnify the lack of marketing, talent, systems, and ultimately know-how. Again, I added know-how, because it takes more than just an awareness of what’s lacking to fix it. It takes an understanding of why it’s lacking, how to transform it into an abundance and then steward the abundance in a positive, upward spiral.
The rest of the presentation, which was titled: The 100 Year Business, went on to explain how to fix the lack of marketing, talent and systems. The know-how presented was very broad, very general, and while absolutely accurate from an abstract level… almost completely useless to the average business owner with no clear road maps for how to implement the strategies and tactics, let alone a mentor or coach who’s done what they want to do (ie, grown an identical business from a similar size or stage to the size they want it to be).
One thing they did teach, which I found interesting is that the only way to fix the lack of marketing is to either:
1.) Learn how to market yourself – which is what Alexis & I have done,
2.) Hire a marketing copywriter / consultant – which, they claim, is very expensive and almost impossible to do well unless you know how to market fairly well and can spot a marketer worthy of your trust and investment dollars), or
3.) Partner with a marketer - which they claim is the only way to attract top talent to do your marketing because, as they said, “you can’t afford top talent and they know what a huge impact they will have on your bottom line, so they will want a piece of the action to make it worth their while.”
It’s interesting that they would say this, because many of the businesses that comprise their $160MM/yr sales portfolio were given to them as equity stakes in return for multiplying the companies’ revenue from 8-10x using the marketing we were all their to learn at the conference. It’s the old “smaller piece of a bigger pie” mentality. And it’s totally legitimate – don’t get me wrong. It’s just not a feasible strategy for the kind of business most lawyers are building.
Why isn’t partnering with a marketer a feasible strategy for most lawyers?
First, good luck finding a marketer who will work strictly for the proceeds of their own campaigns. They’re out there, but the ones you’d be hoping to find are looking for companies with hard goods to sell, capital equipment to leverage in order to pay for the extensive marketing campaigns required, and a stake in something that they can ultimately sell in a 3-5 years for a hefty profit. They don’t want proceeds of their marketing, they want proceeds from selling the business they’ve grown.
What I believe you are looking for, if you’re a lawyer reading this blog, is a lifestyle business where you can practice law in a way that feels really good because you’re serving clients and your community, working hours that suit your family and recreation time, and ultimately get paid what you are worth, plus a little extra. If that’s not you, you a probably in the wrong place.
Since you’ve read this far, I hate to leave you hanging.
There is a solution designed to get your marketing cranking without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars going to weekends seminars, watching DVD’s and practicing the fundamentals of direct-response marketing in all your spare time (like Alexis & I have); and without betting the ranch on a marketing partner who wants to get his hands in your law practice pie.
If I’ve piqued your interest, follow this link to learn more about the Done-For-You marketing solutions we provide to our Personal Family Lawyer and Creative Business Lawyer members.
Each month we create a marketing campaign for you to send out in your community – many of them based on the campaigns Alexis used to build her practice into a million dollar a year cash machine in under 3 years – along with a customized newsletter for you to mail out, blog articles to post, a customized lead generation website, and much more… all the things you need to transform your lack of marketing into an abundance of marketing without becoming a slave in the process.
This is the heart of our work as Law Business Mentors – we’ve built the kind of lifestyle business you want to build, and we’re committed to helping you do the same. Take a closer look and let me know what you think.