When I first started out in my own law practice I knew nothing – literally nothing – about business.
Within 3 years I had a million-dollar-a-year revenue-generating business.
Systemization & Automation
This goes well beyond mere marketing — marketing alone is a waste of your precious resources if you aren’t systematizing and automating your practice.
I learned from Dan Kennedy, Michael Gerber and the most successful service-based entrepreneurs in the direct response marketing world that it all comes down to systems, and the best systems are either delegated or automated entirely.
So, I went to work. Not just working in my practice – doing the day to day routines of meeting with clients, preparing the estate plans and business documents, handling the marketing, managing the office – but I started to work on my practice.
In my first few months in practice, I didn’t create much. I was just figuring things out and doing a lot of ‘failing forward – fast.’ I failed at hiring my first team member, I failed at engaging most of my prospects, I failed at collecting fees… and I made one smart decision.
I stopped trying to learn from other lawyers and started studying the best practices of other entrepreneurs outside of the legal profession.
In my first full year in practice (2004), I hired my first real part-time employee, and I worked 5-6 days per week applying what I was learning. We brought in $250,000 in revenue that year.
In my second year (2005), I created a system for engaging nearly every prospect who called my office and my revenue increased to $450,000 per year. That year, I was working a solid 5 days a week in my office, but that year, my office was my own, and we brought in a few more team members to help Susan and I manage the flow. We renovated a carriage house on a historic property and made it our own.
In my third year (2006), I created a system for filling my prospect pipeline with a steady stream of new clients and we began to teach other lawyers how to engage clients in our office. I was still working a good, solid 5 days a week in my office, sometimes more, but we increased revenue to just over a million bucks that year.
In my fourth year (2007), I automated our systems for serving our clients in such a way that they felt extremely well taken care of and as if they were getting highly touch, highly personal service, and yet we were able to pull it off behind the scenes with less effort than ever before. Revenue remained at more than a million, but I was only in my office a couple of days a week and our systems were running the practice more than ever.
At that point, I felt like I had mastered the game and shifted my focus to teaching these systems to other lawyers.
Now, I’m the type of person who loves to be creative, to start new things, to challenge myself in areas I’ve never explored before. I’m a risk taker and I love doing things ‘they’ say can’t be done.
From my experience of talking with other lawyers and the long hours I put in working ON my law business, I know that the hardest thing in the world is finding the extra time to create the systems, automate the marketing, and make everything run like clockwork.
As I was building my systems — and investing the big bucks, the blood, sweat, and tears it took to do it, I kept a running mantra in my head “Alexis, you aren’t just doing this for you. You are doing it so no other lawyer ever has to reinvent the wheel again.”
So once I got it dialed in, I began packaging and selling my proven systems for turning a law practice into a business for lawyers who wanted my level of freedom and income without investing years to reinvent these systems.
(Note: I was at dinner last week with one of our Personal Family Lawyers, Kenn Neeley, who began with us a year ago by hiring a total estate planning novice to join his successful consumer bankruptcy practice, used our systems to get her up and running and now has a thriving second revenue stream. This would not have been possible without our systems. Period.)
It was a hit! Lawyers couldn’t get enough.
So, I sold my practice and expanded my lawyer training company to include all my client attraction, client engagement, client service, and client retention systems. We even offer done-for-you marketing services now so you can simply send out fresh marketing campaigns we’ve created based on what we know attracts clients.
I tell you all this because I want you to understand 3 things:
- Lawyers (like any business owner) need systems to succeed
- Systems take a lot of additional time and effort to create
- You can buy proven systems for a fraction of what it would cost you to create them from scratch