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Does your mother know what you do? Or more importantly, why you do it?

A couple of weeks ago I asked you to channel your inner Spice Girl. This week I’m tentatively continuing the musical theme with an (almost) link to the Abba song – Does your mother know?

How many of you have struggled to explain what you do in ‘plain English’ to your parents?

My parents are really proud of me … partly because they don’t really have a clue what I do but they know that I’m busy, have enough work and can keep paying my bills, plus I turn up at their door with a smile on my face and a cheery demeanour.

But they don’t really understand what I do … they know I ‘do’ marketing, they know I work with law firms, but I don’t think they appreciate the nuances e.g. that I run workshops for lawyers to set goals and agree activities and plans that will help them get more of the clients and work they want, that I host webinars with experts, that I do research that informs law firms in terms of how they can do better marketing.

They probably also don’t know that I use research, data, insights and experience to measure, refine and evolve what I do and that I have to spend many hours keeping on top of all the changes in marketing and BD – from research to consumer trends to new software and tools etc. etc.

In short – they haven’t got a clue!

And you know what … none of this stuff is important to them. Partly because they are not my target market, but more importantly, because the what and how I do what I do is not the why and it’s the why that matters.

You’ve all heard of Simon Sinek and his ‘Start with Why’ – right?

If not, or if you simply want a reminder, check him out in this short TED Talk.

We need to get back to basics. We need to get back to talking about Why we do what we do. In the case of lawyers – you help clients with law stuff. But that’s not what your current and prospective clients need to hear. They need to know your why.

And your why is not, ‘we do conveyancing, family law, corporate law, litigation’ etc. This is legal speak – not client speak.

Your why (and client speak) is more along the lines of ‘we help people buy and sell their houses, manage their employees, have fair and reasonable contracts with suppliers, sell their business, get satisfactory outcomes for any family or business disputes etc. and we do this all in a responsive, manner with the minimum of fuss’.

Law firms are getting better at talking in client speak. But are not there yet.

Research conducted by Hinge Research Institute found that only 37.8% of buyers are aware of what their professional services firm offers. 37.8%. That’s ridiculously low.

And why is it so low?

It’s a combination of language and also us not being more proactive in letting clients and prospective clients know how we can help them and WHY they should choose us.

So come on my professional services firm friends. Let’s change this. Let’s get better at communicating what we do. Let’s start to educate prospects about how we address their personal and business challenges AND the breadth of our services. Let’s stop assuming that they know.

Let’s make sure that our mother’s do understand what we do by talking in client speak. Let’s give them more reasons to choose us, to come to us and to recommend us.

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