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About Smart Law Marketing

Peter HeazlewoodI learned how to market through trial and error at my old firm. Boy was it hard!

I was admitted as a lawyer in 1984 and after working in law firms whilst studying and having attended the College of Law in Sydney, I can say there was nothing taught about marketing or management.  In those days marketing was looked down upon.  But in those days clients were far less well informed than today, there was no internet and less regulation. By 1986 I was in partnership and for years wondered how to better manage the firm and get more work through the door.  We knew we needed to get more work; the problem was how to do it.

I can remember asking a Management Consultant how to market my firm and brought a pad and pen to our meeting.  After our lengthy discussion, I had nothing written down.  I was expecting to write down the “answers” so that I could adopt them.  Simple, I thought.  Marketing doesn’t work that way.

For me what worked was to try things.  Some things worked and others did not. Fortunately, we had a positive attitude at our firm and my embarrassment was short lived. Eventually when I was sole principal, my role changed and my focus was entirely on management and marketing.  I became more confident and more experimental. Along the way, I reckon no-one has made more mistakes than I have.

So I approach marketing and management, not by holding a degree but from the practical “hard yards” earned by trying different things whilst running a growing legal practice.  Had we entered the BRW Fast 100 we would have been included twice, the second year within the top 10.

We were fortunate enough to be awarded a Quality in Law Level II award (as it was then known) and a year later a Level IV award, being only the 8th law firm in Australia to attain it at the time.  We also achieved an HR award for developing a new concept for an incentive scheme for staff members. 

My offer to you is to share in those many years of knowledge that saw my law firm grow over the years by using these very same marketing tools and skills.

Now my time is spent as a consultant with Smart Law Marketing, after my old firm merged a few years ago. On a personal note I am married with 5 grown up children, some at university and some in the work force.

If you would like to know more about how I could help here is how to contact me.

I look forward to help you grow the firm you want!

Best Regards
Peter Heazlewood

The people we cannot help

If you have not been to Smart Law Marketing’s website before you need to know that there are some people we may not be able to help:

Everything we teach and everything we publish is aimed at helping you achieve your goals as quickly as possible.  Why take 10 years to achieve this if LFM can help you achieve it in two? And think of the loss of revenue over the longer period as well as opportunities lost.  That said we don’t make sweeping statements with some ridiculous claims that will see your firm soar to double digit growth within 3 weeks, however, if there is a smarter way and a faster way of achieving the same goal, we will show you.

You should note that the most productive marketing strategies, the ones that give you the greatest long term results take time to develop. To build a proper newsletter (as one example) doesn’t happen overnight and you must go about it the right way. You need to understand that and view your marketing activities and the results they produce with a long-term perspective.

The work we do is not theoretical or based on academic studies, or nice-sounding but impractical marketing methods. Everything here has been tested and proven to work, either by me or by professionals or businesses in other fields.

There are many different marketing techniques that we teach. You can’t expect to rely on just one and enjoy success.  You need to employ many and varied methods. This is why it is amusing to hear some lawyers say they don’t need to market as they rely on word of mouth only. ‘Good on them’ you should say, because that is an opportunity for you and your firm. In fact it is really masking another problem (read on).

The systems and methods we teach work for any lawyer in private practice.  Your area of practice doesn’t matter, nor does it matter in what state you practice. Our seminars, for example, extend around Australia and New Zealand.  These systems will work not only here but in other countries too.

Your level of experience also doesn’t matter. New tricks can be taught to “old dogs” (meant in a kind way) as much as brand new lawyers with a brand new law office. The key is attitude and a preparedness to look at something objectively.  Every lawyer thinks they are different and that their practice is unique; their clients are more difficult; their city has the most competition, and but for one thing they would do whatever it took to embark on marketing…. These are not realities; they are excuses for not taking action. Everyone has challenges and successful people look for solutions, not for problems or reasons to justify their excuses.

We can’t help everyone. Even though our systems can help any lawyer, they can’t help every lawyer. We can’t help you if:

The various management strategies and marketing techniques we teach do require time. How much time do you need to put into them? Not as much as you think and your staff can help as well (note help) - not be the only ones doing it.  Consistency of effort and developing the discipline of management and marketing is more important than the quantity of time invested.   If you want to see meaningful results in growing your practice, you must be willing to invest a minimum of one hour per week. No, that’s not a lot. But you must do it every week if you want to develop momentum. The reality here is, the greater the effort the greater the reward. So, If you are unwilling (not unable - unwilling) to invest at least an hour a week to advance your career and your firm, sorry, we can’t help you.

The same applies to management; it is an ongoing process that touches everyone in the firm.

As you can see, we think the best approach is to tell it like it is. Having been exactly in your shoes, that is how I wanted to hear it. 

As always, all feedback is welcome.

Happy marketing and manage well!