As an attorney with your own business of several associates, you take great pride in knowing your specific area of the law, whether it be criminal, bankruptcy, real estate, wills, or elder law. The main focus of your business has been to represent your clients at trial and keep up-to-date on the latest laws pertaining to your area of concentration.
But what about business development? Who is taking the time to advertise your legal services and promote your business to new clients? This is a critical area that keeps your business successful and operating in the red. It’s not always at the top of the list for many attorneys. Here are some law firm marketing techniques to follow.
First, you need to have a business development plan. Take some time from your busy day and write down where you see your firm in a month, a year, or five years out. Putting pen to paper or writing it on your computer makes you organize your thoughts and see what you might be missing. Write down whom you want to call, when you’re going to meet them, and what type of outcome you expect to gain.
How much time should you devote to business development? A good rule of thumb for any size law firm is about four to five hours a week. Try to sit down with a new client at your local coffee shop for an hour or follow-up with a referral source. Attend a trade association meeting or a local Chamber of Commerce meeting during lunch.
While those in-person meetings are crucial to bringing in new business, it’s just as crucial to set time aside to develop an online presence for your law firm. This website is your portal into learning about you and your associates, your field of expertise, and why a new prospect should choose your firm. You’ll need to put effective, high quality compliant content that includes a compelling message and video on your website that will shoot to the top and garner lots of eyeballs on social media and search engines.
Once your website is up and running, it’s important to get active in a trade association in your local community that will put you in front of potential new clients. This might mean a group of real estate agents, medical doctors, or construction builders. See if you can get on their board of directors. Perhaps you’ll be invited to make a speech or presentation in front of the group. This gives you the ability to demonstrate your expertise and introduce your law firm and its practice.
Finally, track your results; find out how you can see how many people have visited your website. Take the time to compile how many people you’ve met with and how many hours you’ve spent in business development. By seeing the outcome of your efforts, you’ll be able to see where you need to improve and what’s working. Bring along your colleagues to gain extra effort in networking and promoting your law firm. Discuss who you want to meet or target and why. In the end, you’ll be able to go back and ask yourself, “Did this work? Did it lead to a new prospective client or connection?”