At a small firm, maintaining and expanding your client base is absolutely necessary for growing your business. Maybe you don't have a large marketing budget for a fancy website, or maybe you're in small-town setting. Regardless of what situation you're in, you have the most valuable marketing tool of all -- you.
By getting more involved in your community, you can expand your network of contacts -- and potential clients. While all these options are free, they do take time and a little bit of effort. But, if you get involved in your community with honesty and sincerity, your integrity will be paid off in the form of new, lasting client relationships.
Here's how you can get involved in your community to build your client base.
1. Guest Speaking Engagements
Organizations and clubs are always looking for guest speakers. Reach out to local groups to see if they'd be interested in hearing you speak about your practice area at their next general meeting, or event.
3. Writing for the Local Paper
Our local paper has a column written by a "local legal expert" who answers residents' legal questions. See if your paper has such a column, and if not see if there's any interest in starting one. If it already exists, see if you can get involved too. Think of it as free advertising. Just be sure to follow ethics rules about informing people about legal representation.
4. Host Workshops
Town public libraries often host many types of workshops geared toward business owners or local concerns. For example, perhaps you have a trusts and estates practice and want to host a workshop on the importance of estate planning. Going through your local library may be a great way to start, and publicize a workshop.
Whether it's on the board of local non-profit organization, or a local city government commission, volunteering your efforts (even if non-legal) opens the door to you meeting many potential clients.
If you're trying to think of ways to get more clients, start by walking out the front door. Your community is an asset that is full of potential clients. The beauty of giving to your community is that it will all come back to you.
Editor's note, November 29, 2016: This article was first published in October, 2013. It has since been updated.
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