Not jumping off the cliff like a lemming

Law firm lemmingWhen you’re running a law firm, it’s easy follow the crowd.  For example, many decide to get advice from others that have a law firm or simply mimic what others are doing.  The end result is multiple firms begin taking the exact same approach with their marketing and management approaches whether it actually works or not.

The examples are limitless.  But take a situation where law firms began ditching the same webpage company for another.  It doesn’t usually take long for the word to get out and multiple law firms in the same region begin taking the exact same approach by hiring and firing the same companies (that are either in or out of vogue).  Or, if you see many law firms trying to advertise in a particular way (like PPC, the phone book, signage, billboards, etc.), it’s not long before multiple firms are taking the exact same approach with their marketing.

Some law firms will decide to hire multiple associates to try to grow their firm.  Once one firm does it with perceived success, many try the same approach.  Then, when one law firm seemingly encounters bumps in the road and trims back, multiple law firms seemingly decide to trim back at the same time.

Some law firms may decide to open multiple offices for their law firm practice, implement an organizational structure or offer various compensation systems based on what other law firms are doing.  When one law firm decides that this isn’t working, then many law firms will seem to ditch this approach in sequence.

Or, when one law firm begins advertising on being cost-effective and affordable, or some firm starts offering flat fees, it isn’t long before many try the same approach because others are doing it.  It doesn’t matter whether this approach actually works or whether it leads to the kind of clients the law firm needs and desires.

No matter the example, if others are doing it, the thought is that it has to be right for them as well.  Like lemmings, law firms are often inclined to do what others they know are doing.

The hardest part about running a law firm is knowing what works for your law firm versus following others off the cliff.  Instead of following what others are doing, taking the lead and trying something different is not what comes natural to most.  It simply isn’t normal for most to offer something that other firms do not.

The law firms that succeed having taken a thorough and honest assessment of their law firm.  They know what works for them and their clientele and what doesn’t.  Versus simply following what other law firms are doing, they are not afraid to be different. They are not afraid to take the lead and do something bold to please and attract clients.  They understand that those who are willing to separate themselves from the pack (and not follow others off the cliff by being a follower) actually stand to gain the most.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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