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Episode 155: Attorney Marketing - Unlock "Why You?"

by Heather Moulder | Life & Law Podcast

There are a million attorneys out there that your perfect clients could hire. Which is why your attorney marketing efforts must answer the question “Why you?”. Today, you’ll learn how to think about this question and – more importantly – answer it in a compelling way (without feeling awkward).

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:53] Well, hello, hello everybody. Welcome to the Life & Law Podcast. This is your host, Heather Moulder, and today we are getting into attorney marketing.

If you are in private practice, then you’re likely going to need to master this at some point. And when I say mastering attorney marketing, don’t worry because you can. It is not rocket science. Anyone can be good, maybe even great, at it.

I’ve talked quite a bit about attorney marketing in the past, and I’ve even had some really amazing guests on to discuss varying attorney marketing strategies. We had somebody last season who talked about digital marketing for lawyers. I had somebody else the season before to talk through LinkedIn lawyer marketing, and I highly recommend those episodes. I also recommend some of the episodes where I’ve talked more specifically about business development, especially one of my early ones where I talked about the top myths that attorneys tend to believe that really holds them back from effective attorney marketing and business development.

[00:01:53] So if you have not heard those, or if it’s been a while since you’ve heard those, you might want to go check them out. I will put links to those three episodes in the show notes. But there is something even more foundational that I want you to start with.

[00:02:09] You first need to answer the question, why you? Why should they hire you?

So let’s talk about why you even need to ask this question (for attorney marketing).

A couple of reasons.

[00:02:22] First and foremost, there are lots of attorneys out there.

Your perfect fit clients can hire just about anybody, but you don’t want them hiring anyone. And they don’t want to hire just anyone either. You want and they want the right-fit attorney, just like you want the right-fit client.

Visibility To The Right-Fit People/Clients

[00:02:42] Answering why you will help you become more visible to them. It will help them find you. It will help you guys get the perfect fit because you got to differentiate yourself from other attorneys. As I said, there’s lots of them out there. We’re going to get into how in a moment, because that’s really about what answering this question is all about.

[00:03:06] But you’ve got to tell them, what makes you different? What is your secret sauce that they would care about?

Answering “Why You” Makes Attorney Marketing Less Uncomfortable Because You Know Yourself

[00:03:13] The second reason is attorney marketing can sometimes feel super uncomfortable. Okay, so I’ve written about this before in my newsletter. I may have mentioned it here on the podcast. I honestly don’t remember, but I know I mentioned it on my newsletter, and I’ve mentioned it in some LinkedIn posts. When I first started this business, I remember talking to my husband about it and him laughing out loud, saying “Heather, you’re going to have to market yourself”.

[00:03:40] Which was very hurtful, yes. But honestly, very true.

Because at that point, I was like most lawyers. I didn’t like to “sell myself”, and I felt like marketing was selling me. Well, I’ve definitely done a 180 since then, and I’ve talked about this in other podcasts as well. But selling is helping. And if you sell to solve problems, and if you sell in the sense of, I’m out here to help the right fit people, I’m not selling to everybody. I’m not marketing to everybody. I’m not trying to get everybody to hire me. Right? You don’t want that either.

[00:04:13] What you want, again, are the right fit clients:

  • People who will respect your efforts, time, and energy.
  • People you actually enjoy working with, who enjoy working with you.
  • People who have similar values and who feel like you fit with them from a personality standpoint and from a stylistic standpoint, and how you lawyer and how you client manage.

You want right fit clients. They want right fit lawyers.

[00:04:39] Knowing the answer to the question “why you?” is going to help you get past some of that discomfort. Or at least – I’m not saying it’s never going to be uncomfortable, because good attorney marketing includes trying new things, speaking up, being a bit vulnerable and that is going to be uncomfortable. But when you answer this question correctly, authentically, then you’re going to be more firm in who you are, who you want to work for, and why.

[00:05:08] And it’s a great reminder for why you’re doing attorney marketing in the first place. This was that thing I needed back when my husband laughed at me that I didn’t have, that I then developed over the next couple of years and fully went 100% into, yeah, I can market myself. Yeah, I can sell to people. Because guess what? I’m not selling me.

[00:05:33] I’m selling a service that can help people. And I’m only selling to the people I actually want to help. So I will have consults with people. And this actually doesn’t happen a lot anymore because I’ve done such a good job in branding and explaining to people who I am, who I work with, how I help them and my style. People have a pretty good understanding of all of that before they come talk to me. When we first speak, many of them tell me, you sound exactly like you do in your blog posts, in your newsletter, on your podcast. Well, that’s purposeful because I show up as me and how I help my clients. I come here very similarly. Right?

[00:06:10] So because of that, I’m here to serve and I’m here to find the right fit people. And so when people come to me and they don’t feel like the right fit, I tell them that. If it’s something I can’t help them with, I tell them that and I try to refer them if I can because I know others who can help them. Not always, but most of the time.

I don’t want wrong fit clients. You don’t either.

Knowing “Why You?” Builds Your Confidence

[00:06:35] And so what this does is it helps you become more comfortable with the whole selling and marketing process so that you don’t feel so uncomfortable, you don’t feel so vulnerable. You own it. And you come across much more authentically, but confidently as well.

[00:06:54] So now the question becomes, so how do I answer this question? Right? What is it really getting at and what should you consider when answering it?

How To Answer “Why You” For Attorney Marketing Purposes

[00:07:04] Couple things.

One, go back to your bigger picture why.

[00:07:12] Why did you choose to go to law school and become a lawyer? Why did you choose to practice this specific type of law, the practice that you do? Why did you choose the law firm you chose or to build the law firm and the culture you’re building – if you’re building your own firm. Why?

[00:07:32] What’s the answer to all of that? Write this down and get real clarity around it, because this is a bigger picture “why”. It’s helping to create what one of my clients calls their capital S story.

[00:07:46] And it’s important. It’s important to who you are. It’s important to why you’re doing what you’re doing.

[00:07:53] And caveat. You don’t have to have chosen this for some big purpose. It can be for very interesting reasons. Maybe you went to law school because you weren’t sure what else to do, or you had a degree that you didn’t know what to do with, but you’ve chosen to stay. Why stay? All of this is important, and it uncovers some important things about you, who you are, what’s important to you, what your values are.

[00:08:22] Think through as you’re going through this first part:

  • Who are my perfect fit clients that I have now? The clients you really feel close to connected with, love working with and love the fact that you get a phone call from them (you’re not like shying away from them when they call?
  • What is it you enjoy most?
  • How are your values aligning? What is it that you enjoy about working with them and doing for them?

[00:08:52] Again, write this down. Brainstorm this, get clarity around this. Why?

Then the next thing is to consider your specific strengths, skills and personality.

[00:09:05] So what are your strengths and what are your skills and how do you actually enjoy using them? What’s your personality? Are you more introverted? Are you more extroverted? Who are you?

[00:09:15] How does all of this show up in the work that you do for your clients? In the relationships, the type of relationships and the way the relationship is built with your clients.

Your why you isn’t actually about what you know from a legal perspective. That obviously is important. You want to bring to the forefront what you do in your marketing so people have a clue as to what you do so that you can establish credibility, so they know you’re an expert, so they trust you in that area.

[00:09:45] But a lot of your marketing is going to be about showcasing you, your strengths, your personality, your values. That, my friend, is your secret sauce.

[00:09:54] You’re going to paint a picture for people around how you serve your clients, how your values show up in the work you do, in how you manage clients and how you have relationships with them.

[00:10:10] Because again, the point is to attract the right fit clients, not just anyone.

[00:10:18] This is a huge piece to attracting those people and turning off the wrong fit clients because you don’t want, again, those people. They’re the hard ones. They’re the ones… We hate it when that phone rings and we like, ugh, before we answer, right, you don’t want those.

How Answering Why You Helps With Branding

[00:10:37] This is a big piece of branding, by the way. Ultimately, your brand is what others say about you. You can’t 100% control that, but you can greatly influence it. And the best way to do that is to show up in your attorney marketing the same way that you show up for your clients and how you show up in your day to day. You want congruence and you can’t have that congruence, you can’t have it unless you know clearly who you are and how that influences your style – of how you lawyer, of how you client manage, of how you create relationships with people.

[00:11:14] You want to put this out there as a selling point, y’all. And not just any selling point, but as your main attorney marketing point.

[00:11:24] Yes, you’re John, the amazing attorney who knows the ins and outs of the whistleblower act. But you also bring some calmness to the situation because of your presence. Your clients love that about you, so you want to showcase it in your marketing and networking. How do you do that? Through stories.

The Importance of Storytelling Within Your Attorney Marketing

[00:11:39] Storytelling is extremely important here. We got into this last week when talking about business presentation tips, we are going to go more in depth into how to weave stories into your business development efforts later this season. But this is your starting point for good storytelling. As I said earlier, one of my clients calls this the capital S story.

[00:12:01] This is why you do what you do, where you do it, with whom, how your values come into play, into why you chose the profession, why you stayed, what your practice is, what your firm is, all of that. Who you like to work with the most, how you utilize your strengths.

[00:12:18] This is what guides your approach to lawyering and management and relationships.

[00:12:26] What’s your why?

[00:12:28] Get clear on it. Weave it into your marketing. Create a clear brand that showcases who you are.

[00:12:36] So I sometimes do workshops for law firms on this very thing. I did one earlier this year.

[00:12:42] We had a small group of about ten attorneys where I asked the questions I’m asking you. I’m telling you, you can come up with a great, compelling capital S story just from answering these questions.

[00:12:55] We got into their past, things they hadn’t even thought about in years.

[00:12:59] Some of them had really interesting stories about even accidentally getting into the law or the specific area. Except guess what? I said this earlier. It’s not accidental because they didn’t end up being accidental. They chose it later, right? They stayed. They chose to stay for a reason.

[00:13:18] Tease all this out.

[00:13:20] Those reasons are important. They showcase specific values. Tease it out so that you can start seeing your own “why”. So you can get really firm in it, and you can start showcasing it to others.

This is more important than you think. Your clients care about this more than you realize.

[00:13:40] They might not even know, but they do care.

So you know when you feel drawn to somebody, yet you’re not quite sure why.

[00:13:49] And when you quickly trust somebody that you’ve talked to for maybe ten minutes and you barely know them, yet you feel really drawn to them, and they, years later, end up like the best friend that you never thought you’d have. It’s likely that’s because they share your values. There are things that just come through that are very clear and some of their why has come out that aligns with your why and your values.

This can be a game-changer for your attorney marketing.

[00:14:18] It’s how to highlight a big piece of your secret sauce. Now, the other part is through your other stories, not your capital S story. We’re going here through more like that capital S story.

[00:14:32] And by the way, just going through this process and writing it all down will help you show up more fully in your marketing without even having to tell the story. That’s the amazing thing about this. Just getting clear about it, getting comfortable with it, knowing it will help it to come out in what you say and how you choose to say it. Even if you don’t tell the whole story, you don’t always have to. Okay?

And as I said, the other part is through your smaller stories, the stories that showcase your specific approach, your way of thinking, your strengths.

[00:15:10] Those are your client stories.

We’re going to get to that later this year, how to tease some of those stories out and then tell them effectively in your attorney marketing. But for now, what I want you to do is to ask yourself and answer really honestly, why you?

Interested Getting Your Attorney Marketing To The Next Level? Check Out ELEVATE Attorney Business Growth Mastermind

[00:15:28] All right, before I leave you today, a quick note. If attorney marketing and business development in general is on your radar screen, then I highly recommend that you check out my attorney mastermind. Elevate.

[00:15:43] It is specifically for lawyers in private practice who are ready to grow or build their practices. Okay, so if you are, you know, knowing you need to be doing more marketing but you’re not quite sure, well, should I write? Should I speak? Should I do both? Where should I do it? What about networking? Where should I go? How often do I need to do it? You know, we have all those questions.

Elevate is designed to help you uncover your perfect fit, marketing strategies, even your capital s story.

[00:16:13] It will help you create a simple, strategic business development plan that you can actually be consistent with. And it has the support of peers who are on a similar journey as you with similar goals, and me to help you take consistent action and brainstorm through issues and trouble that comes along. Because guess what? Not everything goes according to plan. If only, right?

[00:16:37] Elevate is offered only once per year and doors will open before you know it this fall. If it sounds interesting in the least, then I invite you to check it out. I will put a link in the show notes and to join the waitlist. The waitlist will get you first access, early access when doors reopen, and also early access to some exciting bonuses that only those on the waitlist will be getting access to another bonus by joining the waitlist. Now you’re going to get my client development blueprint so that you can get started now.

All right, I hope today helped you. We will be talking again next week. Bye for now.

A podcast for lawyers ready to become happily successful.

Heather Moulder in kitchen wearing light purple top

I’m Heather Moulder, a former Big Law partner (with 18+ years of experience) turned lawyer coach who traded in my $2.5MM practice to help lawyers achieve balanced success. Because success shouldn’t mean having to sacrifice your health, relationships or sanity.

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