Building A Profitable Practice with David Ward

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In this week’s episode of The Law Practice Doctor, Sam Gaylord interviews David Ward, who is an expert in the area of marketing and building a profitable practice and using technology to advance the law firms position. During the show, Sam and David discuss marketing, referrals, thinking in terms of clients not cases, systematic follow up, lifetime value of the client, lawyer to lawyer referrals, and website essentials.



  • How do you go about building a referral network?
  • Talk about systematic follow-up after a referral is made.
  • What are common problems lawyers are coming to you with?
  • What is the first step?




  • Think in terms of clients not cases.
  • When you make the referral, always have marketing in your mind to acquire the lead.
  • Stay involved in the process once you have referred a client to another attorney, and follow up to ensure they are getting the attention they need.

Systematic Follow-Up

  • If the referral attorney is new on your list, make sure to check up on them and build a relationship so that when they need someone who does what you do, you’ll be the one that they call.

Lifetime Value of a Client

  • Embrace the concept of lifetime value of a client.
  • Think long-term and in terms of clients, as it’s all about relationships with people.
  • You are building a career and not just trying to make this month’s rent, so the person who pays you $1K today may over their lifetime provide you with business and referrals of $50K.


  • Advertising is a part of marketing, but advertising is not marketing.
  • Marketing is being able to determine what is actually working for you.

Lawyer to Lawyer Referrals

  • Approach this with the mindset that if you help enough people, they will be willing to help you.
  • Do a good job of informing other lawyers of what your ideal client looks like so they can do a better job of recognizing them.
  • Put it in writing and let them know the best way to make that referral to you.
  • Prepare a booklet or letter that outlines the referral system and information, and get it into the hands of attorneys you know.
  • You can also deliver the letter to attorneys you don’t know. This is showing that you can help them by handling existing clients and those that they are turning away.

Common Problems

  • Most attorneys don’t like or want to market, and prefer a turnkey solution.
  • Delegating the relationship building isn’t the best way to go about marketing.
  • Many attorneys also don’t want to do a lot of advertising and also need to separate the idea of marketing from advertising.
  • A lot of attorneys don’t like the concept of sales; however, a sale takes place when a client signs up, but that doesn’t mean you’re a sales person.


  • Clients prefer a specialist.
  • If you have a general practice, you will limit the number of attorneys who will want to give you referrals, as you’ll be a direct competitor.
  • Attorneys also need to specialize in the types of clients that are handled.
  • You can accept clients outside of your niche, but when it comes to targeting clients, where do you network?
  • Work smarter, not harder.

The Essentials

  • When someone is referred to you, the first thing they will do is go online and try to find you. Make sure they find information that you have created and not some third party.
  • You must have a web presence that you own, and not on someone else’s platform.
  • Even if you aren’t doing things to get traffic, have a place to send prospective clients and professional contacts so they can learn about you.
  • A simple way to show people what you do and how you can help them is by writing about it.
  • Show examples of people you have helped with the very problems people come to your website are likely to have.
  • Show them, don’t tell them, what you do by having updated content.
  • If you have little time, post a description of the services you offer and frequently asked questions.

The First Step

  • Take your calendar and carve out 15 minutes per day to start a marketing related activity.
  • Make this a daily appointment with yourself, and focus on the consistency.
  • Your attitude and results will change. You don’t have to take massive action every day, but you do have to do something consistently.


Attorney Marketing  



Are you thinking in terms of clients not cases? Find out why you should w/ @attymktng @gaylordpoppllc


What is best practice when it comes to lawyer to lawyer referrals? Find out w/ @attymktng @gaylordpoppllc



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