In my last post, I revealed the reason why most lawyers and law practices fail themselves and their clients. Judging by the dozens of email replies over the weekend, it struck a nerve. This post is the follow-up, this time with actionable take-aways.
Let’s get right to it.
This is my list of the most common law practice mistakes I see lawyers making, after coaching over a thousand lawyers the past ten years – and how to see them, fix them, and create a life and law practice you love.
The 15 Most Common Mistakes Non-Entrepreneurial Lawyers Make
(Plus, How To See Them, Fix Them, and Create a Life and Law Practice You Love. )
Mistake #1: You have no set revenue and productivity goals for your life or law practice, or you do (if so, that’s rare), but then you have no accountability structures in place to ensure you meet them.
Mistake #2: You worry a lot about finances in your law practice, however you do not have a system for cash flow forecasting that lets you breathe easy and sleep well at night.
Mistake #3: You want more clients, but you don’t have a system in place for filling your prospect pipeline and then shifting people from interested to engaged (and paying you) without feeling as if you are convincing people to hire you or feeling like you are selling.
Mistake #4: You understand that you need to invest in marketing, but you’re inconsistent with your email newsletters, blog posts, advertising and direct mail campaigns (and don’t really understand how it all fits together or how to get it all done).
Mistake #5: You speak at local events, but these engagements rarely turn into new clients, or worse…
Mistake #6: …You don’t book any speaking engagements. Instead, you rely on networking events and lunches, hoping you’ll make valuable connections.
Mistake #7: You either have no team support, or you’ve built a team, but they feel more like another costly overhead expense that you wish you could rethink.
Mistake #8: You’re trying to grow your practice out of the revenue you are bringing in, and can never get enough ahead to hire support or have consistent cash flow you can count on.
Mistake #9: You’re growing your revenue, but it still feels like you’re drowning because your expenses are growing out of control and you are running out of time.
Mistake #10: You worry about having enough in the bank, but you haven’t learned to read your practice’s financial records.
Mistake #11: You think more clients is the answer, but you haven’t yet realized that more clients on a broken practice model just digs you into a deeper hole.
Mistake #12: You are crazy busy, and since you haven’t fully gained control of your calendar, you are capped out on what you can earn, but still not earning enough to have the life you want.
Mistake #13: You’re nervous about your law practice’s survival, so you take whatever client walks in the door, even though you know you might not be the best lawyer for them — you figure you’ll figure out what they need, as they need it, but always feel as if you are failing.
Mistake #14: You engage new clients but you haven’t learned to “WOW” them. So they don’t remember your name (and can’t possibly refer you to anyone if they don’t); they’ll never be repeat clients; and they’ll never send you a single referral because “meh”.
Mistake #15: Your follow-up communication process is broken, so if someone doesn’t hire you right away, they never hear from you again – and instead hire your competition when they are ready to move forward — or, worse, they do engage you, but you lose them to another lawyer when they fall into a black hole after they hire you).
Now, Here’s How You Can Fix These Mistakes Once and For All
Check out that list again. Cringeworthy, isn’t it?
In my own experience, I can tell you — I’ve been guilty of almost every single one of these.
Also, in my own experience, and after working with thousands over lawyers over the past decade, including many hundreds of hours in one-on-one coaching, I can tell you that each of these mistakes is avoidable.
It only took investing tens of thousands of dollars in business coaches, masterminds, and marketing mentors — not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars (millions?) I lost by committing the mistakes to begin with!
Here’s What To Do Next
Begin engaging clients and creating a practice you love with our Law Business Manifesto