51 Ways to Market Your Practice

I came across these marketing tips written by Terry Berger of Westminster, MD. I find it of particular interest since we are in tougher economic times and attorneys absolutely NEED to be marketing themselves EVERY chance they get.

Here they are:

1. Join your local chamber of commerce. It's great for networking and community credibility.

2. Get a unique business card and hand it out freely. You never know (and neither do they)when someone will need a lawyer. Also, make sure you ALWAYS have your cards on you no matter what you are doing, even walking the dog.

3. Give a client or other non-lawyer contact at least 2 business cards - one to keep and one to give away.

4. Give every employee his or her own business cards along with name, title, email address and website address. (What? No website...Are you kidding? In this day and age. You are losing way to much business. See point 51).

5. Offer to write an article for your local paper on a topic such as why everyone should have a will or questions to ask a contractor. Make sure the byline includes the name of your firm AND your website address and if possible, your email and direct line.

6. Add a signature block to your outgoing email that includes your name, the name of your firm, website address, email, full mailing address and phone number.

7. Try to get a local reporter to use you as a local expert. Send an e-mail offering commentary on a court case. Learn to translate legalese into English and reporters will love you.

8. Join e-mail discussion lists at the local and state bar level, as well as the ABA's Solosez group. (You don't need to be an ABA member to join Solosez).

9. Apply to teach at a local community college, community center or similar venue. This could be a for-credit course or a one day course on your area of legal expertise.

10. Make sure everyone in your office building knows who you are, that you are a lawyer and what type of law you practice.

11. Send holiday cards to everyone you meet and keep the list growing. Also, send them early. If your clients get cards on December 23rd, they may throw them away December 26th. If they get them early, the cards may sit out on the mantel for weeks.

12. Send personalized calendars each new year. Many websites will add your information to standard calendars at a low price. Try the long, thin calendars that are designed to stick to the top or bottom of a computer monitor.

13. Send birthday and anniversary cards to colleagues and clients. A simple calendar system and box of generic cards makes this task easy.

14. Ask your clients to refer others to you. At the conclusion of the client's case, when they express gratitude , hand them some cards and tell them you hope they'll send their friends your way.

15. Offer to speak to community groups or at senior centers on topics such as wills, fraud avoidance and similar issues

16. Register with your local bar association speakers bureau. If your bar doesn't have one, offer to help start one.

17. Make sure everyone at your church or synagogue knows that you are an attorneys and has your business card.

18. Advertise in school and church newsletters and local marketer newspapers. This sort of advertising is usually cost-efficient and such publications are surprisingly well-read by their target audiences.

19. Post your business card on the bulletin board at your barber shop, beauty salon, grocery store, community center and house of worship.

20. Send a copy of recent case or legal news clip to another professional, attaching your card and a note such as, "I thought this might be of interest." Make a commitment to send at least 2 a week.

21. Send a congratulatory note to other local business people in the news.

22. Donate last year's West Law books to your local library with a bookplate bearing your name, firm name and URL.

23. Donate magazines to your local jail, nursing home or school and hand over your business card when you drop them off.

24. Volunteer to speak at your local high school about law related topics. Not only might the students become clients, but their teachers and parents just might too.

25. Actively participate in community affairs

26. Give business cards to waiter staff at your favorite restaurant and other service people you see on a regular basis. Ask them to offer the cards to other customers who seem to need a lawyer.

27. Have lunch or dinner frequently with attorneys who practice in other areas and be sure you have plenty of each other's cards for referrals.

28. Cross-sell. When you complete work for clients, remind them that you handle other matters as well. Make sure they know that you would like the opportunity to serve them - or their friends, relatives, etc.

29. Ask your clients to allow you to be their first contact for any legal issue they may encounter. Let them know that if you cannot handle the matter, you know someone who can.

30. Get to know your clients business. If appropriate, visit your client's business. Showing interest reminds clients that their success is your success.

31. Tell clients what services you provide. Provide clients with all the necessary information about the firm so they can be better referral sources.

32. Send out press releases. Small local newspapers are especially interested.

33. Remind clients of obligations, such as lease renewal dates, business name registration and other important dates

34. Send congratulations to clients for any life event, such as the birth of a child or a graduation.

35. Come up with new ideas for clients or their businesses. Even if the ideas are not acted on, it shows clients that you are thinking of them and you are creative.

36. Every Monday morning (or Sunday night) write down five marketing activities that you will accomplish during the week.

37. Make certain everyone in your firm and your family knows what kind of law you practice and what type of clients you are seeking.

38. Write down a 15 second description of your practice and commit it to memory. This is called an Elevator Pitch. Use it whenever someone asks you what you do.

39. List five to ten people or businesses you would like to have as clients. Devise a plan to get their attention

40. List your ten best clients or your 10 newest clients. Ask each why they cam to your firm. This will allow you to determine which marketing efforts are best.

41. Never participate in an activity just to get business. Have a genuine interest in that activity.

42. Network, Network, Network. Remember, this is a never-ending process. It takes a long time to develop and benefit from contacts.

43. Never apologize for the size of your firm. Make sure that your clients know why it is such a benefit for them to work with you.

44. If there is more than one attorney in your firm, learn to cross-sell services to other clients.

45. Seek out free listings in directories - print and online

46. Write an e-mail newsletter about your practice area and send it to other lawyers. Archive the newsletter online.

47. Join the local trial lawyers association, even if you don't do much trail work. It's a good place to network and get name recognition from other lawyers.

48. Give out laminated "What to do after an accident" or "What to do if you are arrested" with your firms information.

49. Give out durable key chains or pens. Items that people use frequently.

50. Give vinyl or nylon briefcases to clients on their first visit. This will encourage clients to keep important papers for their case in one place and to bring everything to each office visit. Add a pen, key chain, pad of paper and some business cards in each case.


51. Make sure you have a well-designed, well-written and well-optimized website. With more people finding attorneys on the Internet than from anywhere else you are missing huge amounts of potential business by not ensuring that people can find you on the worlds most utilized search tool.

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