I recently attended the Clio Cloud Conference 2017 in New Orleans.

I’ve never been to New Orleans. While I was there, I figured out a couple things about the city:

  1. It’s beautifully dumpy.
  2. It has the best food of any city in America.

Honestly, I ate better in New Orleans than New York, San Francisco, Seattle, L.A., Washington D.C., etc., etc., etc.

Brennan’s and Bananas Foster

One of my favorite spots was Brennan’s. It’s an established restaurant near the French Quarter, and it’s famous for inventing an iconic American dessert: bananas Foster.

At Brennan’s the bananas Foster (a mixture of bananas, butter, brown sugar, banana liquor, rum, cinnamon, all lovingly placed on vanilla ice cream) is made table side. They flambé the banana liquor and rum in front of you. It’s a real treat, and the taste is incredible. Everything works and the cinnamon launches it over the moon.

As you can tell, I dig bananas Foster. And since I cook to relieve the stress of being a divorce attorney, I decided to find a copycat recipe on the internet and make some at home.

Funny thing happened when I went to find a copycat recipe: I found the original one. It was on, of all places, Brennan’s website (click here is you want to see it).

Never in a thousand years did I expect Brennan’s to give away the recipe for free. I figured they would hide it like the recipe for Coca-Cola. But no, there it was for all to see and make at home.

What Attorneys Can Learn from Brennan’s

What I realized as I thought more about why Brennan’s would give away their recipe for free was this: having the recipe will not deter me from eating bananas Foster at Brennan’s the next time I’m in New Orleans.

In fact, making bananas Foster at home makes me want to go back to Brennan’s even more.

Why is this? Because every time I make that recipe, I think about Brennan’s and how much better they do it than I do it.

There’s a lesson here for attorneys.

Attorneys tend to keep information to themselves, especially information about how they do their jobs. They treat their tactics and legal knowledge as if it were the Coca-Cola recipe — never to be had by others.

I think we do this because we want to be mystical, which we think will draw in clients. “If they don’t know what we do, they’re hire us to do it,” or so goes the logic.

Screw that logic.

If Brennan’s teaches us anything, it’s that we can give away our “secrets” and people will still hire us.

No matter how much you tell someone about how you do things, no matter how many templates you give them, they will still hire you to do the actual work of a divorce.

This is because people are scared of being their own attorneys, and they want to pay someone to get it done and get it done right.

If divorce attorneys position themselves as the person providing tactics, knowledge, and secrets, potential clients will see those attorneys as experts, and they will hire them.

Sure, they could figure out temporary orders on their own — maybe — , but why would they when they know the guys who taught them what to do can still do it 10x better than they can?

We make bananas Foster (as it were) better than a pro se litigant ever will, and they know it, which means they’ll hire you to make it for them. Because you gave them the recipe means they trust you.

So, go put stuff on your website. Lots of stuff. Share everything you possibly can. Share templates. Share procedures. Share tactics. Share tips. All of it will set you up as an expert in the eyes of that poor guy going through a divorce. He’ll love you for sharing, and he’ll hire you.

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