Escape the Cycle of Lawyer Shame: How Affordable Premium Fees Can Transform Your Law Business
If you're still billing hourly like most lawyers, you're working long days that are made even longer because of the time it takes to accurately track and calculate your hours. And you might be dreading sending another invoice that your client will resent.
Or maybe you're one of the lawyers that ditched hourly billing for flat fees, but your flat fees are too low. And your low flat fees continue to create a massive time debt that leaves you struggling to deliver high quality outcomes for your clients while barely staying afloat financially.
Sometimes it might seem impossible to escape the never ending cycle of stress, frustration, and burnout.
But what if there was a better way?
The secret to building a successful law business that gives you complete freedom with your schedule, fulfillment in knowing you’re providing a truly meaningful service, and the resources to create whatever lifestyle you desire is having a high value service that's priced and packaged in a way that makes it easy for clients to say 'yes' to it.
Today, I will share with you how hourly billing and too low flat fees are holding you back and why learning how to charge affordable premium fees is a key component in creating a high value service that makes it possible to have a life and law business you love.
How hourly fees limit your growth and fulfillment:
- Hourly fees limit what you can earn: billing hourly means you only get paid for the time you put in, and time is limited, so there's a limit to how much you can earn.
- Clients hate hourly rates, and it damages the attorney-client relationship: clients don't like the uncertainty of not knowing how much they'll be charged, and it can lead to them avoiding open communication with you.
- Billing hourly requires you to keep meticulous records of your time, which can take up a lot of work time that could be spent on other things.
Why too low flat fees make it impossible to offer a high value service:
- Charging too low of a flat fee can force you to take on too many clients to stay afloat financially, which makes it impossible to spend enough time with each client to provide meaningful outcomes.
- If you do provide a high value service with a low flat fee, you'll likely spend way more time on the project than you anticipated, putting you in a time debt and leaving you overworked and underpaid.
Why most lawyers get pricing and packaging wrong
Many lawyers undercharge because they don't think clients will pay more. They assume the less they charge, the more clients they'll get. I know that many of these lawyers have a sneaking suspicion that their services aren't actually worth it. We call this lawyer shame, and I had it too. I had a real fear that my services weren't really worth it because I didn't know how to charge for a service that was really worth it.
And when you charge too low of flat fees, you cannot deliver on a truly meaningful service that is going to work. And that's why you don't feel like your services are good enough to charge more. It's a vicious cycle. But let me tell you, if your fees are too low, it's not your fault. We were never taught any other way.
That's why I created a New Law Business Model to help lawyers escape the cycle of lawyer shame and undercharging and feel good about charging what they need to provide a meaningful service they love to deliver.
How to price and package a high value service: Affordable premium fees
I know you want to be the most affordable option for your clients but you also need to charge enough to be able to take the time necessary to provide a quality service you believe in. We call this “the affordability paradox” and it’s important to understand if you want to be affordable to your clients without sacrificing your quality of life or the quality of your services. After investing $20,000 for expert advice from the best consultants on pricing professional services, I created a pricing model that will allow you to have the support you need to deliver meaningful outcomes for your clients without being overworked and underpaid.
Affordable Premium Fees:
- Allow your clients to choose the right fee for what they need based on what it would cost them to do nothing: by showing clients what it would cost them to do nothing, you can help them choose the right fee for their needs.
- Make it more affordable for clients to hire you than to go it alone.
- Focus on the outcome of your services: when pricing your services, affordable premium fees allow you to focus on the outcome rather than the time it takes to complete the project. What's the value of the outcome? What's the cost of doing nothing or DIY'ing it and getting it wrong?
- Allow your fee to be compared to the cost of doing nothing or DIY'ing it: by comparing it to the cost of doing nothing or DIY'ing it, you can show clients (and yourself) that your fee is a worthwhile investment.
- Affordable Premium Fees allow your clients to get the best and most affordable outcomes. By charging Affordable Premium Fees, you can provide your clients with the best possible outcome while still being affordable.
I've heard from lawyers who are hesitant to charge affordable premium fees because they feel uncomfortable being "salesy" or they think they are asking for too much. I hear things like, "Oh, those Personal Family Lawyers, they're charging so much money. I could never do that in my community." But let me tell you, affordable premium fees are based on what your clients actually need and want.
When you charge affordable premium fees for a high value service you believe in, you don't have to be "salsey" or try to convince clients of anything. You connect with them from a place of service for a meeting called a Family Wealth Planning Session, where you help them clarify their goals for their family, lay out their options, and let them choose their own fee based on what level of support they want.
During a Family Wealth Planning Session, you are helping your clients choose the most affordable fee for them, which is critically important based on what it would cost them if they did nothing. So you need to base the value of your fees on the alternative cost of not hiring you.
And if you price your services right, it is actually more affordable to hire you than it is for them to go it alone. It's more affordable for them to hire you and have you do it right instead of ending up in court and conflict or with their loved ones unable to find their assets once they're gone.
Charging affordable premium fees instead of hourly billing or too low flat fees allow you to provide a meaningful high value service that you and your clients love while having the support and the resources to live whatever lifestyle you want.
Learning to charge affordable premium fees transformed member lawyer Amy Hsiao's life and law practice. When she first joined us her average fee was only $950 per engagement. But after going through our program, including our training and coaching around mindset and creating a high converting client intake system, Amy's average fee increased to $5,000, and her client engagement rate increased to 90%. Now she makes 6-figures a year and she has the freedom to travel 2-3 months out of the year.
These are the transformations we help our lawyers achieve. If you become a Personal Family Lawyer (PFL), you'll discover how to offer a high value service with a better pricing model, better engagement strategies, and a more fulfilling way to practice law. The great news is once you choose to make this transformation, you're going to love your life and law practice a whole lot more. It will help you become the lawyer you dreamed of being when you decided to go to law school in the first place. And, you'll discover a way to be a lawyer that is truly fulfilling financially, emotionally, and spiritually and makes you proud of the lawyer you've become. If you would love to build your law practice into a business using Life & Legacy Planning as a Personal Family Lawyer…
You can apply to speak with a Law Business Advisor (LBA). Please note: since our LBAs are extremely full due to high demand, and we want to make sure you get the most value from your call with them, we're moving to an application system:
- Your first step is to apply for a call with an LBA here
- Then, you'll be given some "required reading" to prepare for the call, and talk with our Client Engagement Manager to confirm your readiness.
As you continue to explore if our program is a good fit, you're also invited to join our free Facebook community. The Lifestyle Lawyers' Club is our exclusive, lawyers-only Facebook community of like-minded entrepreneurial lawyers. (It's literally like having access to thousands of helpful senior lawyers who've already been where you are.)