Why Following Your Heart is Key to Marketing a Law Firm with Luke Russell
Jul 13, 2023
There's no one-size-fits-all marketing formula to marketing a law firm. In the legal field, as in any business, failure is a part of the journey. However, rather than viewing setbacks as defeats, see them as opportunities for growth and improvement. Analyze your mistakes, learn from them, and dust yourself off. With diligence and putting trust in the process, your law firm's growth potential is limitless.
In this episode, Luke Russell joins us to discuss why it’s okay for law firms to fail in their marketing ventures. He emphasizes that the key is finding a marketing strategy you genuinely enjoy. He also encourages us to use social media as a relationship-building tool, not a channel for getting attention. Most importantly, Luke urges lawyers to embrace experimentation, recognizing that failure is integral to successfully marketing a law firm.
If you want to know how to start building a marketing approach that captures your personal values and your firm’s brand, this episode is for you.
Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode
- Find out why part of lawyers’ frustrations is around entrepreneurship and marketing.
- Learn how to navigate marketing a law firm.
- Discover the importance of pre-planned measurement in marketing.
- Luke has been honing his writing and programming skills since grade school. He developed an interest in the concept of honoring rules versus breaking the norm.
- He went to business school for a year and dropped out to start his business at 19.
Luke: “When everybody goes this way, I go that way.”
- He didn’t want to do something somebody else was already offering when starting his business.
- He learned that people with only business cards for marketing don’t have money to pay for an inexpensive one-page website.
- He made a whole $800 in his first year, which sent him down another path.
Getting into the Legal Field
- He hired another business coach who had Ken Hardson as a client in 2011, who then pulled him into the legal space.
- He knew nothing about personal injury lawyers but started talking about Facebook marketing to that market.
- Some people got interested, and he ended up working marketing a law firm for several years as a contracted director.
- Getting into the marketing space required him to always come up with different ideas, leading him to focus on mental health in the legal area.
- Currently, Luke runs an ad agency focused on social media advertising and hosts his podcast. He also serves as a community ambassador for some of his clients.
The Business Problem We Need to Solve in the Legal Field in Relation to Mental Health
- The American Bar Association has published various studies on stress in the legal field.
- One study says that what makes a great attorney often leaves lawyers more alone in their profession.
- Contingency lawyers especially go through constant stress.
- One of the biggest frustrations Luke had heard from lawyers is that what works for one person may not work for the next twenty.
Luke: “You can replicate the exact same marketing, [but] it doesn't necessarily work.”
Entrepreneurial Frustrations as a Lawyer
- A lot of lawyers’ frustrations stem from the fact that they signed up to be a lawyer, not to run a business. Marketing a law firm wasn’t what they thought they’d be doing.
- Part of running a business is marketing and making decisions, which most lawyers lack training and genuine expertise in.
- Luke says he has no answer for it. But he encourages lawyers to market themselves in a way that at least feels good to them.
Luke: “What we hear about at these events is everybody's great case studies, everybody what worked. We don't hear about the next dozen people who did the same thing, and it didn't work.”
- It’s not that everybody’s marketing is going great, and yours is not. It’s just that you don’t hear about the failure stories.
Moshe: “The answer is not the same from one firm to the next, and the answer is not the same from one industry to the next or [from] one practice area to the next.”
Navigating Business and Marketing as a Lawyer
- Luke runs a business because he doesn’t want to work for somebody else, and he likes having creative freedom.
Luke: “For me, my business is very much an expression of myself, and especially my values and the impact I want to have in the world. And so with that, I don't want to do any marketing, that doesn't feel good.”
- Luke doesn’t recommend TikTok for lawyers because the lawyers who used it early already got ahead. If you jump in on it, you’re just one in a million.
- Your personality will shine through if you really want and enjoy the marketing you’re doing.
Luke: “Marketing never always works. It never does. Nobody has a magic green thumb when it comes to their marketing to make every venture work.”
- Marketing a law firm sometimes works because of just simple luck and perfect timing.
- You can try to replicate others’ success, but it will never fit the same if it’s not your style. Go after what works for you.
- Doing YouTube is one thing Luke recommends to lawyers.
- It’s a sound strategy, but it takes a lot of work and time.
- There’s not much marketing that can get lawyers cases and also be a profit source itself, and YouTube is one of them.
- A 100 views can be a case on YouTube, while a million views on TikTok may not have a single dollar tied to it.
- Tune in to the episode to learn the importance of testing and tweaking in finding the right marketing strategy for you!
Pulling the Plug When Something’s Not Working
- From Luke’s experience, lawyers are very quick to pull the plug when they’re unsure what they’re doing is working.
- Pulling the plug early can save you from going too far down. But sometimes, people stop things that will end up turning around because there’s no patience.
- Luke and his team started putting minimums so there’s room to show how the project is pivoting.
Luke: "Most marketing fails, most businesses fail. That can be depressing sounding, or it can be freeing."
Perfectionism vs. Diligence in Marketing a Law Firm
- There’s a perfectionist trait in the idea of wanting to make sure every marketing works.
- In reality, what you need to do is to be diligent.
- You need to have your starts and stops in place so you know how to reevaluate your vendors.
- Having a pre-planned measurement and having your vendor on the same page makes for a good relationship.
Luke: “Go out, try stuff, recognize it's probably going to fail, so have fun trying it, and something will most likely work eventually.”
- Listen to the full episode to know how you can use something as a core pillar of your marketing without being in it yourself!
Luke’s Parting Piece of Advice
- Almost everybody’s social media is generic. Marketing a law firm on socials isn’t a must.
- If you want to use social media, forget about it as a platform to get the most views. Instead, consider it as a tool for building relationships.
- The biggest cases would come from your relationships.
- Talk about other people while showcasing your values on your social media. Then, you have to cultivate the relationship you built from that by showing up.
Luke: “It's relationship building, and that's when it (social media) becomes authentic rather than a channel to try to get attention. It becomes about amplifying other people's voices. You'll stand out because 99% of people are probably never going to be even willing to consider such a strategy.”
- Tune in to learn how trusting the process worked for the Profit with Law Podcast!
Luke Russell is a marketing strategist and the founder of Russell Media, an advertising agency helping personal injury lawyers get cases through social media advertising.
With over a decade of experience in the field, Luke is a trusted advisor to law firms seeking to cut through the marketing clutter and attract their ideal clients. As an entrepreneur, he is driven to go against the grain. He’s known for his creative marketing approaches paired with his strengths in forging human connections.
Connect with Luke on his LinkedIn, Instagram, and email.
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