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Episode 134: Lawyer Marketing 101 - Your Marketing Mindset

by Heather Moulder | Life & Law Podcast

​Want your legal marketing to be more effective? Before honing in on your strategies or making any changes to them, take a look at something you’re probably overlooking that’s even more important… Your lawyer marketing mindset.

In today’s episode you’ll discover how your mindset around lawyer marketing matters (and how to start changing it for the better).

Episode Transcript

[00:00:48] Hello, hello, everybody. Welcome to today’s Life &Law Podcast. We are getting into Lawyer Marketing 101: your marketing mindset.

So, today is really about the foundational thing you must focus on to be good at lawyer marketing. Which is your mindset – the mindset, the perception, the attitude you bring to marketing in the first place.

Because here is what I know to be true about how lawyers approach legal marketing

Based on my own experience practicing law, all the lawyers I knew throughout my legal career, and then all of the lawyers that I talk to now, both through my coaching and speaking and everything else…

I hate to say this, but it is so true.

We lawyers are not a good mix when it comes to marketing.

Lawyers and marketing aren’t a great mix. Here’s what I’m talking about.

Think about when you’re putting together your legal or your digital marketing strategies for the year ahead. Maybe you’ve been doing this recently.

A lot of lawyer partners and shareholders are going through as we speak, or have recently been going through their year-end review meetings. [I like to call them the Justify Your Existence meetings.]

And a lot of times they ask us, well, what are your plans for the year ahead? And as part of those plans are your business development plans. Like, how am I going to grow my business?

And so you are probably, as part of that business development plan, thinking through legal marketing strategies. What are my legal marketing strategies going to be for the year ahead?

And how you might start taking action on some of those strategies. What are the tactics and the things that you will actually do within those strategies? How will you do them, right?

Some of you may be leaders of law firms, or have a solo or a small practice where you’re actually having to put together a whole legal marketing strategy or plan or even a digital marketing strategy or plan for the year ahead for your entire firm. So, when you are doing that work…

What are you thinking about lawyer marketing?

And what are you feeling? Is it something you dread or no?

And when you’re taking action. So, think back to the last legal marketing thing that you did. Maybe it was:

  • Posting on LinkedIn.
  • Preparing yourself for a webinar or workshop.
  • Updating copy on your website.
  • Trying to determine, are we going to advertise in the year ahead? And if so, what will that look like? And what is our budget going to be?
  • Entertaining a speaking opportunity for a big conference next year.

So, these are all ways in which to market your services. These are legal marketing strategies.

How did you feel about it as you looked at the thing you had to do? Because all of those things you actually have to go take action on.

When you’re putting together your legal marketing strategies & when you’re actually doing the activities to implement those strategies, are you thinking…

  • “I dread this.”
  • “Oh, no. What if I say or do the thing I want to say? I’m not sure I can say this.”

Are you worried?

And a lot of times it’s because we don’t like to be perceived in the wrong way. This is especially for those of you who think you can or should be posting on LinkedIn, start doing it and then get all worried about what you’re putting out there.

We get really weird about that for whatever reason, in a way we don’t when we’re writing an article. That’s something I’ve definitely discovered.

“Oh, no, I might not be able to say this. Maybe I shouldn’t do this. This is too far out on the ledge.”

Or maybe you’re worried about legal ethics issues, right? You’ve got to be careful how you say something.

Maybe you’re thinking:

  • I shouldn’t have to do this.
  • I don’t want to be doing this.
  • I can’t believe I signed up to speak at this conference. I have no time.
  • It’s probably not going to even be worth it. No one’s going to read this post. Nobody’s going to read this article.

There’s a lot of things that go through our head as we do these things, right? And a lot of times they’re negative, not positive.

Ask yourself: how are you showing up when you’re thinking those things?

How are you showing up?

Because your mindset around your marketing matters a lot. If you have a negative…

  • “I shouldn’t have to do this”,
  • “I don’t want to do this”,
  • “I have no time for this”, or
  • “I’m worried what people will think” mentality,

It’s going to impact what you do, how you show up and so on, which will impact the results you get.

And you’re probably saying, okay, I get that. I see that.

Yet you’re not dealing with putting together the right mindset, reapproaching it in a different way. And I know that because this is so common, y’all. So common.

I see this all the time.

And here’s the thing: because we don’t acknowledge it fully, it’s a problem.

We look at it as:

  • I have to do this,
  • It’s another thing on the checklist,
  • Let’s push, push, push and get it done.

Which by the way, when you look at it that way you’re a lot more likely to drop doing it at all because of the way you’re thinking about it when you get busier. You’ll make the excuse that “Well, I just didn’t have time” when you could have made time if you had looked at it differently.

This is why your mindset matters. It impacts whether you do it in the first place. And then if you do and you push through and you’re going at it with this dread or this worry or this resentment…

It impacts how you show up.

It may not show as dread or worry or resentment in the post or in the speech. But I guarantee it’s going to impact the energy that you are giving off. It’s going to impact the product you put out – not in a good way.

I want you to ask yourself, be honest, identify the last three marketing activities that you did.

Okay, how did I approach it? What was my real mindset around it and how well did I think I did?

So, do it this way:

  • First identify what are my last three marketing activities? And if they’re a long time ago, then look at this because it’s probably because of this mindset.
  • Identify what those are and think back what was my attitude around this? What was I thinking and how might that have impacted what I did, how I showed up, the energy I gave off?
  • How well are you really doing with this mindset? Are you putting off things you could be doing or not doing them at all because of this mindset? Are you less consistent than you could be as a result of this mindset?

What could your mindset be around lawyer marketing?

Could you start thinking:

  • This is actually pretty interesting,
  • I can say and do this in a particular way,
  • I’m a creative,
  • I can figure out how to say this in a way that doesn’t go against the legal ethics rules. Let’s see how I can do that. It’s a challenge for me to figure this out.
  • I get that marketing is necessary and it can even be enjoyable so long as I find a way to do things I’m good at, that I enjoy.

There’s lots of marketing activities, y’all. Maybe you need to change not just your approach but the what – what you’re doing.

So that you can say/think:

  • I’m excited to be going to this conference to speak because, even though I’m busy, these three people are going to be there and I’m excited to see them. And I’m sure I’m going to meet new people that will be interesting and could help me with future business.
  • This is worth it because I’m talking about a relevant topic that people need to hear about, and I’ll promote it to those I know who need to hear it too.

These are the things you want to be thinking, right?

So something to really note here.

If you are a private practice attorney, I want you to embrace the fact that as soon as you start building your own book of business, you are a business owner.

You’re not just a practitioner anymore.

If you want to thrive as you get more senior, as you get to be a partner or a shareholder, you’re going to have to embrace the fact that you are a business owner. And it does not matter whether you are in a big law firm, a small law firm, or solo.

If you want to be successful – i.e., make the money you want, serve the clients you want, do work you actually enjoy – you must market yourself. You must market your firm, your team.

So you might as well embrace it and learn how to enjoy it. Because the truth is this: you can enjoy marketing.

Lawyer marketing does not have to feel so hard or like it’s something you are forced to do. There are so many ways, as I said earlier, to market yourself.

It’s really important to do your lawyer marketing in a way that works for you.

And I mean: leverage your strengths and skills in a way you find enjoyable. So maybe it’s that you want to rethink what your marketing strategies are for next year.

Because if you don’t like writing, don’t write. You don’t need to.

If you don’t like speaking, you don’t have to speak. Or maybe you like speaking, but only in front of smaller groups. Great. Do it that way.

There are a lot of ways to do this.

This is something I help my clients with. And what I have learned is that…

Although, yes, there are some tried and true ways to market (you can speak, you can write, and so on), you can do those in different ways, and you can do them in a way that suits your own unique strengths and personality.

And by strengths, I mean so, for example…

I love to inspire people to see what they’re fully capable of and to hold on to that and figure out a way to get out in the world and share their voice.

And that’s not always through speaking, by the way. My clients don’t all speak. Some of them do, many don’t. It depends.

Some of them write on LinkedIn. Not all do.

Some of them write longer articles because that’s what they love and that’s what works for them. And within their practice area, it can vary. But you’ve got to do something, okay?

My Own Experience With Marketing

And something that I’ll note when I talk about utilizing your strengths, and I’ll just use me as an example again, because I just mentioned it. I like to inspire, and I love mindset.

I’m really good also at helping people take what feels kind of ambiguous or complex and narrowing it down into something very concrete and practical. And figuring out, oh, this is how I could approach this, or this is how I could do this in a very practical way for themselves and their lives and their circumstances.

And yes, it helps me in coaching. That’s obviously what I do. But I do it through this podcast too.

So, my podcast is a big marketing strategy, right? I’m helping you. I’m inspiring you. I’m helping people take that next step. And I’m doing it in a way where I get to talk about the things I love the most, mindset being one of them, values being another.

That’s what I’m talking about. And also…

Leverage your strengths in your lawyer marketing.

Figure out not just what are my skills and what I’m good at, but how do I go even deeper? What are my actual strengths and how do I enjoy using them? This is where your personality comes into play.

You marry those things, and you can actually start enjoying your lawyer marketing activities.

This is part of shifting that mentality. But you’ve got to start with where you are now.

Figure out: what is my lawyer marketing mindset right now?

What feels hard or like a slog or like, I’ve got to just push through whenever you do it. Why? What’s behind that?

  • What are your thoughts?
  • What are your opinions?
  • How could you change that?
  • How could you shift your perception?
  • Is it a pure perception mindset issue? Or do you also need to tackle the what, how you’re doing it, the strategies you’re using?

Ask also, how am I perceiving others who market really well? And why and what beliefs are behind these feelings? Those are additional clues to your marketing mindset.

Once you identify how you feel, get behind those beliefs.

What are the beliefs behind these feelings? Pay attention to those the most. That is what you need to tackle so that you can change how you feel.

That is where you need to dive deeper and start asking, “What could I believe starting now that moves me toward a better marketing mindset?”. Toward…

  • “Hey, I get to do this.”
  • “Oh, this is interesting. This is a challenge.”
  • “This is actually kind of enjoyable.”
  • “I’m excited to be doing this.”

All those things I talked about earlier, right? That is where you want to be.

And note: when changing your mindset, it doesn’t mean you have to absolutely love lawyer marketing immediately.

So I think I’ve talked about this before, and if I can find the episode where I talked about this, I’m going to put it in the show notes. I talked about it specifically around affirmations and the way that most people approach affirmations.

Self affirmations are done wrong. I mean, they’re too hokey and they don’t work.

Creating this big image of the perfect life or the perfect thing or the way you want to show up and you’re nowhere near that is not how to get started. We want to stairstep those.

A self affirmation is to help change your mindset.

So, you’re doing the same thing here. Whether you’re saying it out loud on a daily basis or not. And I actually do recommend you could (say it out loud). That can help you.

So where would you ultimately like to be? That’s great. Maybe you will get there, maybe you won’t. But… Where could you get closer to now? What’s one step closer? Start there.

I know this feels a little more ambiguous than my typical practical stuff because it is purely about a mindset shift. It may feel kind of hard for you. So, I have a special limited offer for you.

Lawyer Marketing Strategy Session

If you are an attorney who is looking to shift your mentality around marketing and finding it a little difficult, I am offering to the first ten people who reach out to me prior to my next podcast release a free 30 minute lawyer marketing strategy session.

I’m going to ask you some questions and then I’m going to give you some starting points for how to start shifting that mentality. This is a pure coaching session just for you, but it is only open to the first ten people who sign up because I only have so much time.

I will put a link to that in the show notes. Please note it will only work for the first ten people, so it is limited in people. And even if all ten slots are not taken, it will only work for the first seven days after the release of this podcast.

Again not going to sell you on anything. It’s 100% devoted to helping you shift your mentality starting now. So please take me up on that offer if this is something you would like to work on.

All right, that is it for this week. We will be back next week with an amazing guest. Bye for now.