A few weeks ago, I encouraged readers to close out the year by identifying their greatest triumph during the past year. (Hopefully you did so.) Here’s the reason I made that recommendation: One of the keys to growing a law firm—or any other business, for that matter—is to clearly identify the things that are working and focus on doing more of those things. This one simple principle—do more of what is clearly working—will create more growth for your law firm than any number of “how-to” books or business growth theories.
To illustrate my point, let’s look at two common marketing strategies many law firms use: direct mail and email. Let’s suppose you have worked with both strategies, and for whatever reason, you notice that between the two, your target market responds more consistently to direct mail ads sent to your neighborhood monthly. You’ve built an email list and you send emails, too, but typically you don’t harvest many leads from that strategy.
However, suppose you attend a marketing seminar where you’re told that direct mail is dying and email marketing is the future. The promote a turnkey plan that is “guaranteed” to boost your leads via email. You decide to try it, and for the next three months you divert the funds normally designated for direct mail to this new email strategy. After three months, you find the needle doesn’t move at all. You’re still getting the same very few responses to your emails. Meanwhile, because you skipped the direct mailings, your overall new leads are down for the past three months.
What happened? You simply ignored the obvious. Instead of trusting what was already working for your target market, you bought into a theory whose results were bland, at best, consequently sacrificing your tried-and-true results.
Theory Versus Experience
This example underscores a critical truth: Proven experience always supersedes theory. In the example above, there’s nothing inherently wrong with trying a new marketing strategy, but new strategies should only replace things that aren’t working, not things that are.
Not every strategy works for every law firm. You already know what works for you because you have measured your efforts and noted the results. Keep measuring, keep testing and tweaking, keep improving—but don’t throw away proven experience on an untested theory. Make it a key principle of your business to identify strategies that actually work for your law firm, then double down on those strategies. You’ll soon begin to see your business grow exponentially.