A business and litigation attorney lost 75% of his business in the downturn. Here is how he redirected and rebounded.
Every so often the economy takes a downturn and when that happens, businesses are left scrambling to figure out how to keep bringing customers in and making money. But what happens when the economy tanks and you lose almost all of your business at once? That’s the question Kenneth Eade had to ask himself when he lost a large portion of his business and corporate clients due to downsizing. This case study will examine how Eade bounced back and was able to get clients flowing to this legal practice again.
The economy is always up and down, up and down, but one of the downturns almost cost Los Angeles-based business and civil litigation attorney Kenneth Eade his practice.
“When the economy took a downturn, I found myself with a business and corporate practice that had lost 75% of its business because of corporate downsizing,” Eade says. “The increased regulatory environment also slowed down business, when less executives were willing to go into a risky type of business for fear of being sued or running afoul of regulatory authorities if the business did not achieve its goals as expected, or lost money.”
Practicing business law can be a challenge in and of itself, so the economy’s downturn just made it worse.
“Business partnerships and ventures are always great in the beginning,” he says. “Everyone has a positive outlook and is working together as a team. When the economy went sour, it affected new business ventures and relationships.”
This large decrease in business had Eade scrambling to bring new business in, and to bring it in as fast as he could. He had to find a way to:
- Bring clients in consistently
- Thrive even in economic downturns
1. Redefine the Practice
For starters, Eade wanted to find a focus for his practice that would allow him to thrive no matter what the state of the economy was. So he re-created his business from a new angle.
“I decided to redefine my practice,” he says. “While I still practice business law, I have gone back to the old staple of civil litigation.” In order to redefine his practice, he had to make some tweaks to the way he was marketing himself, especially online. “I redrafted the description on my website and [in]my bios to emphasize business law and civil litigation,” he says.
In order to redefine his practice, he had to make some tweaks to the way he was marketing himself, especially online.
“I redrafted the description on my website and [in]my bios to emphasize business law and civil litigation,” he says.
If you find yourself redefining or refocusing your practice, be sure to update all of your marketing materials, including your website, social media sites and any bios you use.
2. Create and Share Success Stories on the Website
Eade knew he could dip into the client base he had left and offer them business litigation services, which he could then parlay into a civil litigation practice.
“I revamped my civil litigation practice by handing litigation matters for my current business clients,” he says. “I then went on to define my practice as a civil litigation practice, using the results I achieved for the clients as marketing success stories.”
He took these success stories and placed them on his website as a way to show potential clients the results he’s already helped his current and former clients achieve.
“I think that the success stories have brought clients in because new clients specifically tell me that they know about the cases,” Eade says.
If you want to use client success stories to help drive clients to your practice, Eade recommends only including outcomes, rather than writing up all of the case details and specifics.
“In the success stories, I included only the favorable outcome,” he says. “Ultimately that is all the client cares about.”
3. Share his Opinion Publicly
Eade had a long list of cases he’d won, as well as a few topics he was particularly passionate about, so he decided to use his opinions and writing skills to bring in new business.
“I am writing op/ed articles for a California law periodical, discussing the issues that have arisen from the cases I have handled,” he says.
He’s also a freelance contributor for the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
“When I wrote the first article, I did it on my own and sent it out to a number of newspapers,” he says. “The Los Angeles Daily Journal accepted the first article, and since then I have written over ten of them that have been published in the paper.”
If you want to start writing op/ed pieces, Eade recommends sending your articles to several different papers at first, until you find a paper that’s willing to publish them. Then you can just stick with that newspaper exclusively, if you want to.
As for finding topics for your op/ed pieces, he recommends looking to your cases for inspiration.
“For the op/ed topics, I took one of my success stories,” he says, “such as a victory over a big bank in a predatory lending case, a victory over a homeowner’s association, or a victory over credit bureaus in a credit reporting case, and discussed the law as it applied to common consumer problems that I had researched for those cases. Then I began writing about things I was passionate about, such as the Monsanto Protection Act, or challenges to the EPA’s approval of neonicotinoid pesticides. Anything that has a legal angle to it, I will write about.”
Eade has even begun to write books as a way to spread his brand and showcase the topics he’s passionate about. Two of his books are: Bless the Bees: The Pending Extinction of Our Pollinators and What You Can Do To Stop It, and A, Bee, See: Who Are Our Pollinators and Why Are They In Trouble?, a bestselling children’s book.
“All of the books [I’ve written] were born out of articles I wrote for the Daily Journal,” he says.
1. A Consistent Flow of New Clients to His Practice
While Eade does attribute some of his flow of new clients to the success stories on his website, he says the main thing driving people to his practice are the op/ed articles he’s writing for the Daily Journal.
“These articles have resulted in more business in the space of homeowner’s association abuses, lender and mortgage fraud, and actions against credit bureaus for negative credit reporting,” he says.
2. 248,622 Video Views and 259 Subscribers On YouTube
Eade created video trailers for all of his books, which have gotten almost 250,000 views in total. This has helped to not only drive sales for the books, but drive new clients to his legal practice too.