It's a fundamental of common business sense: Nothing fails like success. Usually, and Jim Collins hammers that in his book "How the Mighty Fall," it's because of hubris. Winners perceive themselves as infallible.
But what's not cited so often as a reason for the failure of success is that players become one-trick ponies. They keep implementing what had been effective previously. Now and then they add a few new and improved whatevers. But essentially they keep riding that one pony.
Yet, the marketplace continues to change. They also change. About the latter, they may be aging and still leveraging a youthful branding. In contrast, the Beatles got it to present mature music and lyrics as they aged.
Here is a typical example of a one-trick pony. A former top dog in the dating game returned to the niche after years doing something else. His one-trick pony was direct mail, print and digital. Of course, I explained the need to create branding and post Calls To Action (CTA) on social networks and in social media. I even developed a plan for him.
Nonono was his response. When the last few invoices didn't get paid, I parted company. And that had reinforced for me to always audit and be ready to reset how we search for business. That extends to the gig economy. In a sense, we are all day workers.
Too many lawyers I have encountered have a narrow notion of what is appropriate in marketing. They are among those who used to (and may still) sneer at personal injury firm Carter Mario. It was a trail-blazer in leveraging heavy late-evening television commercials to position itself as the go-to firm. That one-time central Connecticut firm has branched out into New England.
And, no slouch at picking up on marketplace shifts, Carter Mario had added to the menu billboard advertising, wrap-around ads on public transportation vehicles, and more sophisticated broadcast promotions. It also has included the Chat feature on its website. The emerging branding is that it's a family business. The daughter has joined the firm.
Among the major one-trick-pony defaults in the legal sector are these four:
It's only part of the marketing equation. Look at price, who will be team members assigned to the project, recent outcomes, cybersecurity, and tech as tool of cost-efficiency.
Search engine optimization (SEO).
That makes lawyers vulnerable to scams. Before even embracing that tactic, lawyers have to do their own research about what is effective.
Lawyers are trained to take control through verbal skills. But listening is the new killer app. No one listens to anyone else. Even in commercial situations. Therefore, the edge comes from not talking. Those who can assign work should "hear" you listening.
Remember the old adage: The C students get to be the bosses of the A students. So many lawyers screw up a sale by presenting themselves as the smartest kids in the class. Instead, focus on the simplicity of what approaches could work and give prospects a choice.
The coming Fourth of July holiday gives lawyers an opportunity to reset their marketing communications. For every strategy and bit of content the question must be: Does this move us toward closing the sale?