Paul Simon may have sung about 50 Ways to Leave your Lover, but the ABA Journal has just published an article on 50 ways to market your law practise – counting everything from seeking a few weekly referrals to writing LinkedIn endorsements.
The Journal reports that successful law marketing involves having a marketing plan and targeting the right audience – as well as acting consistently.
1.) Some lawyers believe that if you do good work, people will automatically come to you. They are wrong. People need reminders.
2.) Contact three to five potential referral sources a week—every week, regardless of how busy you are—and arrange to meet for coffee, drinks or a meal. That works much better than reaching out only when business is slow.
3.) At business receptions, ask organizers whether you can be a greeter. This gives you a great reason to introduce yourself to people.
4.) If you have a practice-related blog, write posts with information that’s truly useful to business targets. More often than not, that doesn’t include descriptions of how competent you or your firm are.
5.) Your firm’s holiday card is probably one of many that clients or potential clients receive. Find another holiday (or make one up) that you enjoy and that complements your practice. Separating yourself from other, similar messages is of real value.
6.) Think hard about who your target market is, and where the decision-makers are in that market.
7.) When you meet a potential client, focus on his or her immediate needs. It may have nothing to do with your practice. Maybe that person’s immediate need is to find a dentist. If you know one and can connect them, there’s a better chance the person will think of you when services you offer are needed.
8.) Organize a monthly dinner group of law school classmates, varying the practice areas so attendees have greater referral opportunities.
9.) Develop a marketing plan around activities you enjoy. If you like to write, think about an electronic newsletter. If you connect better with people one on one, consider volunteer work with an activity that complements your practice.
10.) Focus on good lawyers who are your contemporaries when thinking about potential referral sources. More experienced lawyers already have people to whom they refer cases.
11.) Don’t adopt a false marketing persona. Be yourself, and figure out the best way to present yourself in a way you find appealing.
12.) You don’t need to hand a business card to everyone you meet at a reception if it feels forced and desperate. Instead, get other people’s cards, and email your contact information afterward. There’s a better chance they will remember you.
13.) Providing they label it attorney advertising, personal injury lawyers may send ad letters to accident victims. And arrest reports can offer good leads for criminal defense lawyers. Family law attorneys may send advertising letters to pro se defendants in divorce cases, determining who to contact based on parties’ ZIP codes.
14.) If you hope to be hired for an appeal, read all the briefs as well as related cases, and figure out the case’s arguments. Be prepared to speak with the party about the case—without notes—for one hour.
15.) Posting tweets between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Eastern time gets the highest click rate, according to Mashable. You can schedule tweets to be posted by services like HootSuite. But be careful if you have work during those scheduled times. You don’t want a client to think you are tweeting while you’re defending a deposition.
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