Heck, Aretha Franklin sang a whole song about it. There is nothing wrong with people acknowledging your awesomeness – whether that’s in your personal or professional life.
However, if we try too hard to get people to recognise our accomplishments or, if we care about what the “wrong people” think, then we sabotage our chances of success.
We’re programmed to care what others think
Humans are hard-wired to seek external validation from a very young age (next time you’re near a toddler, check out how they turn to see what mum or dad think after doing pretty much anything). Most people transition from relying on external affirmations, to giving weight to their internal barometers, throughout adolescence and into adulthood.
Lawyers are trained to seek colleagues approval
Unfortunately for lawyers this coincides with graduation and our first legal positions. We find ourselves in law firms where the traditional partner structure ties our professional success to our ability to impress our colleagues. We start entering awards, attending black-tie dinners, promoting our wins to people inside our law firm.
We do these things, not because they make us better lawyers or allow us to deliver our clients better results, but because we know it is the path to getting ahead. We have all seen hard working, excellent lawyers passed over in favour of people who are great at promoting themselves to their seniors.
Happily, impressing grey men in grey suits isn’t something that we need to do anymore. Savvy lawyers need to shake off those shackles. You need to stop wasting your time and energy chasing validation from other lawyers and instead focus on delivering amazing results that will blow your ideal clients away.
3 reasons you shouldn’t care what other lawyers think
Firstly – and this really is a no brainer but it’s always good to hear – what another lawyer thinks about you or your law firm is inconsequential. You’re out doing it for yourself and your success is no longer tied to the opinions of a random group of colleagues.
Furthermore, if (and it’s a very big if), another lawyer doesn’t like what you’re doing or doesn’t get it, it says waaaaaay more about them and their (limiting and old fashioned) thinking than it does about you and your law firm.
Smart lawyers will get that you are freeing yourself from many of the legal profession’s biggest drawbacks. That you are building a modern, scalable law firm and using automation to easily find new clients, to stop doing boring, repetitive work and to sell your legal expertise anytime, anywhere. They’ll be envious that you’ve found a way to earn reliable revenue without trading hours for dollars, that you’re working only with ideal clients and that your legal expertise is having a greater impact.
Put your time and energy into what – or who – really matters
The second reason you need to stop trying to impress other lawyers is it takes up LOADS of time and energy you could be using to get amazing results for your ideal clients.
Think about it, what’s a better use of your time? 40 hours writing an awards submission in the hopes of winning your name engraved on a glass sculpture most people will never even glance at? Or 40 hours developing a cool tool that will help you get a better result for your ideal client and transform their life in a meaningful way?
Back yourself to go forward
Finally, caring what other lawyers think, holds you back. No one loves being the object of someone’s disapproval but trying to avoid it is really just the same as seeking someone’s approval – they’re merely different sides of the same coin.
For example, if you’re worried about the opinions of other lawyers your predisposition to perfectionism will stop you putting something “out there” – just in case it has the slightest defect or isn’t 100 percent functional. You won’t be able to niche down and choose a really specific ideal client if you’re concerned someone is going to call you out and question your credentials. Your marketing will be weaker if you are worried about blowing your own trumpet for fear that someone might challenge your ability to deliver transformative change.
Impress your clients – forget about your colleagues
- Instead of entering legal industry awards, figure out the wins you get for your clients and tell potential clients all about them.
- Don’t write a thought piece for a legal publication, get your law firm into the industry journals, magazines and websites your ideal clients read.
- Instead of hosting a charity event and putting photos on Facebook or Instagram, get yourself invited to events that your ideal clients attend. Whether it’s an agriculture expo, a trade event or a sports game you know resonates with your ideal clients, immerse yourself in their world, talk to them and get a better understanding of the collective challenges they face and the opportunities these present for you.
- Scrap any content marketing that isn’t targeted to your ideal client. Does a potential client care that you’re a pioneer of using legal tech? Nope, they want to hear about the results you’ll get and how that will transform their life.
- Change the way you speak and write so your words resonate with ideal clients (be that CFOs, small business owners, people about to retire or millennials starting out in the workforce), not the partners of the law firm you used to work at.
- Don’t worry about appearing salesy (or desperate) to lawyers by including strong calls to action. Your marketing should be so targeted to your ideal clients, lawyers will only see it if they fall into that category (in which case, make sure your kick-ass call to action converts them into a client!).
Success will always impress
Ultimately the best way to get the attention of other lawyers is by kicking ass and building a scalable, 7-figure law firm that produces amazing results for its clients.
I can help you do that. My popular Scale Up program has taught lawyers just like you how to leverage their professional skills, personal strengths and IP to create a million-dollar law firm.
If you want to hear what some of those lawyers think about the program then watch the recent panel discussion I had with three Scale Up lawyers. You’ll hear why they joined the program, how it’s transformed the way they sell and market their legal expertise and what they’ve learnt.
Pay special attention at 25:10 when Martin Richardson, Principal at Corvus Group, shares the “ah-ha” moment when he realised he had always been concerned about what other lawyers thought about him and how Scale Up taught him how to focus on his clients instead.
Then click here to schedule your FREE Scale Up Session with our team today and learn how to create a law firm that will blow your clients away!