Farming, The Grateful Dead, & Law Firm Marketing 

Our CEO, Marc Cerniglia, once talked with Gary Vee about the difference between hunting and farming. Hunting is to lead generation as farming is to lead nurturing. Many successful attorneys who have led solo firms for decades do not understand the difference between the two—and if they did, they would sleep a lot better at night. The topic surfaces during talks about social media posts. When they talk about what a social media post should accomplish, they worry that each post isn’t powerful enough to get someone to click on it, call the firm, and book a consultation. 

I agree and disagree with them here. Although social media posts may not be worded to convert a cold prospect into a client (very few are), they are still quintessential, practical marketing tools. When farming/lead nurturing, you’re speaking with your existing network. There’s no need to sell these people on your services because these people have worked with you in the past. If they are still in contact with you, they trust you and are willing to hear what you say by reading, watching, or listening to your content. Many people struggle to understand why they’re investing money in talking to people who have already won them over. Shouldn’t they be out hunting for new clients? 

The Grateful Dead Shows the Value of Farming 

As much as I love the Dead and hope you do too (check out any show from ‘69-’77 if you don’t already), this has nothing to do with their music. The point I will make still stands if you can’t stomach them—which is common. In Seth Godin’s This is Marketing, he talks about the sheer power of marketing when it’s aimed at your existing network (farming). Despite having only one hit song, the Grateful Dead made over $350 million before Jerry Garcia died. They accomplished this in a few different ways:

  1. “They appealed to a relatively tiny audience and focused all their energy on them.” (Godin, 95)
  2. “…they relied on fans to share the word, hand to hand, by encouraging them to tape their shows.” (Godin, 95)
  3. “Instead of hoping to encourage a large number of people to support them a little, they relied on a small number of true fans who supported them a lot.” (Godin, 95)

If you have read our blogs or listened to The Law Firm Marketing Minute, you will know exactly how much those points reinforce our position on using effective marketing strategies for the lowest possible cost. We have clients who have been practicing for decades, and during that time, they have earned the trust and confidence of thousands. How does that lead to increased revenue? Our Ultimate Solo Lawyer’s Guide highlights a study that says, “83% of your clients are willing to refer you. But, only 29% actually are.” Your previous clients will bring in new ones, but you must stay in contact with them. The Dead did it with tapes; you’re doing it with blogs, newsletters, podcasts, and social media posts. 

Look at Your Marketing Through A New Lens 

When approaching a marketing strategy, ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish. Though many people would think that lawyers want more clients, our 2024 Legal Marketing Trends Report points out that most law firms aren’t struggling to get more leads but better ones. Basic content marketing can help attract better clients—higher-paying, more qualified, and more preferred case types. Because your previous clients have first-hand experience working with you, they know what kind of client you are looking for. 

Focus on simplicity and effectiveness. A once-a-month email newsletter is an excellent (and affordable) way to stay in touch with your past clients. You’ve amassed a following deservedly; now, work with these people to keep the right kinds of clients asking for your services.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!