Sunday, April 10, 2011

Law Firms that Never Had to Market

Billable hours came easily to many law firms and lawyers prior to the great recession. I am working with or have spoken to many attorneys lately who did little to no legal marketing for 20 years. Up until 2009, that is.

Now that the economy is picking up steam in 2011, these firms are realizing that the good old days are probably gone for good. Attracting qualified prospects now takes more than waiting for the phone to ring and doing some occasional networking.

"Where do we start marketing?" is a commonly asked question. Here are 3 important steps to launching an effective legal marketing campaign.

1. Define your business development goals. What kinds of business do you want and who do you want it from? Take note of what legal services people are buying in your practice area, and make sure you are offering a competitive package in terms of pricing and delivery. Create a written marketing plan (see below) to organize your business development efforts.

2. Market to your current and past clients. It may be hard to believe, but chances are that your current clients do not know the full scope of your legal services. Communicate with your clients via phone calls, personal meetings, newsletters, and social media to remind them of your availability and offerings. Find out what clients need; if you can figure out a way to provide clients with solutions to their challenges, you will be a hero.

3. Accelerate your referral networking. Dust off your rolodex, fire up your LinkedIn profile, and get to work making and renewing strategic connections. Write yourself a cheat sheet elevator pitch in advance, to stay focused. Tell your contacts specifically what type of work you seek, then make every effort to reciprocate when you do get referrals.

Click here for a free 2011 Legal Marketing Plan to get a head start on expanding your law practice.  All of these business deveopment ideas are outlined in great detail in my legal marketing book, Courting Your Clients.

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