Marketing Never Ends

Remember last week? Last week I warned lonely lawyers out there to beware Russians and marketers selling consulting services. Now remember me: I’m Milt Policzer, PS — professional skeptic. It’s not an official title — if it were, I’d have doubts about it.

So you’d think that anyone marketing to lonely, miserable lawyers would avoid calling my attention to marketing aimed at lonely, miserable lawyers.

I know you’ve already guessed what I’m going to say next: The very same day that last week’s column appeared in this space, I got an email addressed to me — Milt Policzer (the aforementioned skeptic) — that began with this:

“Hi Milt,

“I’m reaching out because I thought you’d be interested in covering this story on attorney Robert A. Creo, the principal of a new website, The Happy! Effective Lawyer, https://happy.lawyer/.

“Creo’s goal is to help lawyers via online courses, that teach eight core competencies backed by scientific research, that enhance performance and contentment.”

WTF?!?

This actually came from one of the “principal partners” of a “marketing and consulting” firm that presumably was hired by the happy lawyer. It seemed like pretty much the opposite of good marketing. Promoting a client to someone likely to ridicule the client has to be bad strategy.

Was it just a coincidence that this arrived on my computer that day? Did some prankster suggest this to the marketer? Did they read last week’s column and decide that I thought marketing consulting services to lonely, miserable lawyers was a great idea?

Maybe this was from a Russian trying to drive me insane.

But what the heck, I thought. Maybe I was missing something here. So I checked out the “Happy! Effective Lawyer” website.

You can decide for yourself whether this is a valuable service. I’m not going to dissuade any of you from seeking happiness — with both competence and contentment — for just $8 a month or $75 a year. It’s a bargain if it works.

I do, however, recommend the “Joyful Lawyer Blog,” much of which contains essays written by other people for other publications or speeches. You’ll be much happier if other people do your work.

Gaming the system. On another lawyer marketing front, the Legal Marketing Association last week posted a summary of a recent speech that recommended “gamification” for law firms as a way to encourage business development.

The idea is that lawyers will be more diligent about promoting the business if they can amass points that they can turn into prizes or at least enjoy the thrill of beating the guy in the next office. Somehow, this is supposed to change business development “from a chore into a game.”

I struggle with this concept. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like earning more money with more billable hours and/or clients is more of an incentive than a game prize. And doing a lot of things quickly to get points rather than focusing on quality work seems a bit potentially malpracticy (a word I just made up).

I’m definitely in favor of games, though. I like games and I’m sure they’re good for cheering up lonely, miserable lawyers. But they need to be games someone would like to play. The examples on the Legal Marketing site seem to be taken from a nursing home manual.

Here’s the graphic that accompanied one of the game suggestions — a weird, dumbed-down version of bingo:

Imagine lawyers madly scrambling to win this game. Now imagine how much work will get done while this game is going on.

My favorite square is “vodka tasting” but my favorite potential bingo is the bottom line of the card on the left: “coffee with a prospect” followed by “art gallery with client” followed by “take client to new restaurant.”

If there were another column, the next square would be “sex in back seat of Uber on the way to client’s place.”

Actually, this might be a good game for lonely, miserable lawyers.

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