As a lawyer who is the CEO of a legal tech company, I read a lot of books and articles about business. Nearly every week I discover ideas through my readings that I wish I had known while I was starting, building, and running my law firm.
I’m currently reading a book called “Play Bigger” which talks about category creation as a way to create and own a market and become the market leader or “category king.” Some examples of category kings are Apple with smartphones, Google with search, and Tesla with electric vehicles.
There’s a lot in Play Bigger that I believe is applicable to law firms, and I’ll share thoughts on how attorneys can create and rule over categories in future posts.
For now, I’m writing this quick blog post about something in the book that struck me as true and applicable to all solo practitioners and small law firms. Here’s a quote from page 24:
And as for branding — we call branding agencies “tattoo parlors.” You don’t want to wake up with Mike Tyson’s tattoo on your face, so don’t let someone else tattoo you. Brands don’t make a category king.
Attorneys waste a lot of money and miss a lot of opportunities tattooing their firms when they delegate their marketing to agencies under the assumption that branding is what potential clients care about and respond to. In reality, what usually happens is the firm spends a lot of money on an agency. Then, a non-lawyer who doesn’t understand or relate to the firm’s potential clients tells the firm how to present itself. Crazy, but common.
I think it’s because, since Bates v. Arizona State Bar was decided in 1977, most lawyers have subscribed to a pervasive and reasonable (but ultimately flawed) assumption that legal marketing is best delegated to a third-party because it’s complex and inaccessible.
It’s not about the logo, or the website layout, or the colors, or the images. Sure, those things are necessary, and there’s a best way to do them on a law firm website. But doing those things the right way is table stakes (and baked into LawLytics so you don’t have to spend energy thinking about them). The rubber meets the road in how you talk with your potential clients about your firm. It’s your voice they want to hear (or read), and no tattoo artist can do it better than you.
See how LawLytics makes online legal marketing simple and accessible for all lawyers so you can easily skip the agency, save money, and get better results.