As a busy lawyer myself, I’m not going to pretend that marketing is on the top of my to-do list. I’m sure the vast majority of my colleagues in solo, small, and even mid-sized firms will agree.
To avoid shouldering the entire weight of marketing your own practice, you should consider online services such as LegalMatch, which directly channels clients to you. The LegalMatch system allows you to quickly grown and maintain a thriving practice with much less effort than traditional marketing efforts.
Whether or not you use an online marketing service such as LegalMatch, you should still consider the following 10 tips to ensure the success of your practice.
1) Get Out There – I know, it’s easier said than done. But taking an hour to head to a happy hour for one of the your local bar associations, or spending a few hours a week grabbing lunch or coffee with local professionals (that may wind up being good referral sources) can pay off in a big way. Plus, you have to eat and you have to drink; may as well make the best us of your time.
2) Online Presence – So you have a website; now what? And big deal. Your online presence is only as powerful as you make it, and it will not get you far if it just sits still. Comment on forums, run a blog, even write op-ed pieces for local papers. At the end of the day, any presence is good presence, so make the most of it.
3) Pick a Market – One of biggest pitfalls for legal marketing is casting a net too far. Pick a potential market, and focus your efforts there. For instance, depending on your locale, targeted mailings may be more effective than a billboard or ad in a local publication.
4) Reach Out to Predecessors – First, and more obviously, experience is the best teacher. Moreover, things change, but the demand for (most) lawyers likely will not. Reaching out to an older colleague in your area of law, perhaps one who is considering hanging up the reigns soon, may not only be a great way to learn a thing or two, but also maybe pick up some new clients that the older attorney is no longer willing to take on.
5) Arrest Records – This may be catered specifically to criminal defense lawyers, but same concept plays true for family law lawyers, who notice pro se litigants on the docket, or personal injury lawyers hearing about a car accident - be resourceful in searching out potential clients. Often times, public information may be your best bet.
6) Speak at a Seminar – Legal or non-legal, getting in touch with a community organization that’s putting on some sort of seminar and speaking at it is a free way to put your best foot forward. Clearly, your occupation and why you’re in front of strangers giving a presentation will come up, so be charming, and linger for a bit after to answer questions and hand out business cards.
7) Speak Out – Similar to an online presence, taking time to leave favorable reviews for lawyers you know and respect will speak volumes about your character, and likely result in the favor being returned
8) Get Out There, But Be Humble – Think back to law school, where there was always the one “gunner” talking about how well they knew something, or how high their GPA was. Nobody liked that person. Don’t be that person. No one will hire you based on how much you say you know, but rather based on how much you show you know and how much esteem others hold for you.
9) Return the Favor – Even if it has yet to be done to you, refer clients to lawyers you know and trust in your area. Once you do, pick up and phone and let them know. They’ll not only be flattered, it’s highly unlikely they’ll forget.
10) Be Yourself – Sure, it sounds cliché. But that advice your mother gave you is some of the best. Be yourself.
To see how LegalMatch can help you effectively grow your practice, review this guide for How LegalMatch Works.
Authored by Matthew Izzi, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law