By Claudia King, CEO + Founder
By investing your time wisely and looking beyond trading hours for dollars, you could be earning money with your legal expertise in ways that you haven’t thought about before.
As a lawyer you can monetise your legal expertise in these 7 ways:
Where you focus your efforts and leverage your legal expertise is important. Ideally, you’ll want to be making the most money in the least amount of time.
When deciding where to focus, there are two things to think about:
All 7 ways lawyers can make money fit somewhere on the #LawyersMakeMoney Matrix:
Where do you want to be on this matrix? You wanna be on top right where the orange arrow is because that means you have the highest pricing potential and you have the most automation possible.
So which of the 7 ways to make money do you think that is? Let me show you - let’s first look more closely at each way you can make money from your legal expertise to see where they fit on the #LawyersMakeMoney Matrix:
Yep - good old fashioned legal work that we all know and…..well…..love on some level. Legal work is generally manual work where a client pays you for a legal service, usually based on the number of hours you work for them. Doing legal work takes a lot of time and can be stressful. Depending on the type of legal work you’re doing, it is often well paid work. That’s why legal work goes here on the #LawyersMakeMoney Matrix:
Effective legal coaches provide strategy, support and guidance to other lawyers or some other niche group based on their specific skill set and the needs of the clients they serve. For example, a coach who helps lawyers launch their own law firms or a coach that helps law firms create and implement strategic digital marketing plans.
Coaching can have a good price point, and parts of it can be automated, so we’ve put it here on the #LawyersMakeMoney Matrix:
Getting paid to speak at legal conferences and other events can be exciting, rewarding work. Speaking fees vary greatly - it’s not unheard of to earn several hundred, even thousands, through speaking engagements. Just be sure not to overlook the time invested in organising travel and accommodation, the day or two of travel, emails back and forth, preparing your slide deck, etc - a lot more goes into a speaking gig than the time you’re on the stage. That's why speaking sits here on the #LawyersMakeMoney Matrix:
Teaching as a lecturer or tutor at a University or Polytech is another way to earn money from your legal expertise. These teaching gigs vary in pay rates, and you’re usually only paid for your teaching hours - not the prep work you need to do to teach the class well or marking assignments and exams. Teaching sits here on the #LawyersMakeMoney Matrix:
Time to get #instafamous. You will have seen Youtubers, podcasters, and bloggers, with big followings, attracting advertisers and brand sponsorships, and selling merch. You can do this too - start by seeing the wider potential that your personal brand holds. You can generate buzz, and an audience, from content about you and whatever you’re expert at, using blogs, social media, a podcast, Youtube, webinars, challenges, or a video series.
Once you’ve built an audience and have influence, you can work on attracting advertisers and brand sponsorships - talk to legal industry service providers like legaltech companies, insurance companies and legal recruiters who are interested in being promoted by legal influencers. While this can be lucrative, it can take a lot of time to organise, although you can get an agent to help. So that’s why it is here on the #LawyersMakeMoney Matrix:
The key difference between a legal product and a legal service is a legal product can be produced and sold at scale, while legal services are usually delivered one at a time. Legal products include things like online courses, apps and ebooks.
Once you’ve started building an audience (see 5 above), you can create a legal product based on your legal expertise and sell it to your audience.
Online courses will command a higher price point but could be more labour intensive over time. Ebooks will take a big time investment at the start, but once you’ve written it you can delegate most of the ongoing promotional work needed to a team. Here’s where they sit on the #LawyersMakeMoney Matrix:
Online legal solutions (aka productised legal services) bridge the gap between legal products and legal services. They are a new type of legal services where intellectual property is leveraged, processes are standardised and most of the legal work is automated by software. Companies like LegalZoom and LawPath have shown that demand for productised legal services exists - but they can’t make the most of the opportunity because they are not registered law firms and can’t practice law.
Online legal solutions are one of the biggest opportunities for your law firm today. They include one-off purchases from your firm’s website (like buying one-off legal documents), monthly subscriptions (like 24/7 access to a range of legal documents, help resources and a certain amount of legal advice from a lawyer) and bespoke online legal solutions like document portals for VIP clients. Here they are on the #LawyersMakeMoney Matrix matrix:
So where on the #LawyersMakeMoney Matrix do you want to be? How will you use your legal expertise to earn revenue in 2019? Ideally, with the least input of time, by creating a scalable business leveraging your legal expertise.
That’s what I want for you in 2019.
If you’re keen to know more about creating online legal solutions so you can make money while you sleep, head over to my new Facebook Group. Join me and a community of entrepreneurial lawyers talking about how to scale their law firms with online legal solutions.