Marketing one's firm is crucial for a number of reasons. Not only does it put you and your associates on the map as an option for those seeking legal representation, but it reminds your past clients of the connection that they've made. And could need again.
The problem with all the educational and legal training that we've gotten thus far is that it usually focuses on substantive law. In law school, there are no business classes, no 'how to get a client' seminars, no outlines on how to market or even run a law firm.
With that said, here are 5 simple ways to market your firm.
1. Make the first move, instead of waiting. That's right, make the first move. You already know about firm handshakes and exchanging business cards at networking events. But, go beyond that. Don't sit around waiting for these connections to call you, but, rather, you call them.
Every time you exchange a business card or contact info with a fellow attorney or source of referrals, follow up. Remind them that you met, what specialties you focus on, and how you might be able to help. Remember to adhere to your state's rules for contacting potential clients. Typically, this means no cold-calling, telephone, or in person solicitation. You may, of course, return their calls or contact them via mail.
2. Go beyond the firm's holiday greeting card. Set you and your firm apart from the rest. Take note of your clients' and past clients' birthdays, or the day they first came to you and send them a nice little reminder, some candy, or just a simple card to celebrate that occasion. While clients may be inundated with the usual stack of holiday cards, something like a birthday is far more personalized and will be appreciated much more.
3. Keep your online presence updated and active. Make sure that your social media platforms and your websites are all constantly updated, look modern, and don't contain any inaccurate information. Often, your online presence is the make or break.
4. Turn clients away, sometimes. The cold hard truth of the matter is not every problem needs a lawyer. There are certain types of claims that can easily be handled through mediation, or in small claims court, or, even with a simple conversation. If you make the most efficient use of your time and a prospective client's, they'll not only appreciate you for the honesty, but might remember you for the next time they actually need you.
5. Know your demographics. The more you know about the type of prospective client pool that you can draw in, the better. Learn about the traffic to your site through your website creator, or by using a system like Google Analytics. Use that new information to help better market your firm in terms of location, pricing, and other cultural and demographic trends or needs.
Remember: it's often the little details that set you apart from the rest.
- Branding 101: Attracting the Right Clients (FindLaw's Strategist)
- Internet Marketing Basics for Lawyers: Website Considerations (FindLaw's Strategist)
- 10 Tweets of Advice: Social Media Lawyer Marketing (FindLaw's Strategist)