6 Forecasts for 2015 for Law Firm Marketing

LexisNexis recently asked a several dozen experts for legal industry predictions for 2015, which we will publish here later this week.  Larry Bodine, the editor Law Practice Advisor, provided six for law firm marketing  and we’ve  decided to run his viewpoints as a standalone post.

Here are the first three of Mr. Bodine’s six predictions for legal marketing next year:

1.The firm website becomes the sine qua non of legal marketing. A law firm website is now the essential element of its marketing. Hinge research showed that 77% of professional firms generate new business leads online. 70 percent of law firms in another survey said their website generated new matters, according to Alyn-Weiss research.

2. The rise of the review sites.  Because so many consumers habitually look to review sites before buying anything, lawyers will have to pay close attention to reviews about them on Avvo, Personalinjury.com, Yelp, Google and Facebook.

3. Content marketing takes hold. Google has moved away from keyword searches and so have clients. 62% of searches are non-branded keyword searches (e.g., “Miami personal injury attorney”) and they produce an excess of junk results. 32% of non-branded searches are “long-tail searches” like “Chicago divorce lawyer for family with special needs.” These searches find on-point results from websites with content that goes into detail.

4.

For the remaining three predictions, please visit 6 Predictions for Law Firm Marketing in 2015.

 
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Marketing Mass Tort Cases to Hispanics

Marketing Mass Tort Cases to HispanicsHere's a practical article from Law Practice Advisor:

One of the reasons that it’s so hard to interest Hispanics in joining a class action lawsuit is their cultural sense of destiny — that suffering is a natural parts of life. If a person was harmed by a drug side effect or dangerous equipment, it was their fate.

This point was one of many Hispanic marketing insights offered by Leslie Inzunza, a bilingual and bicultural expert in New York.

“Culture is a shared system of beliefs and behaviors passed from one generation to the next,” she says. “Latinos don’t respond the same way as other consumers, because their culture adds another layer of complexity. What makes ethnic marketing so tough is they swim in different waters.”

For example, Latinos in general are risk-averse, and shy away from being the first to try something they view as uncertain. There is a perception that any lawsuit involves risk and this keeps them from filing a claim or joining a class action.

Best ways to get through to Hispanics

To overcome this culture bias, Inzunza, speaking on an HB Litigation webinar, said the solution is to demonstrate that there are people in their group who have gone before them. For example, a website or ad can feature quotes from Latinos who have filed a claim.

The Hispanic market with 54 million people in the US is too big to ignore. Only half of them are foreign-born and many are citizens — but they view the world from three cultural vantage points:

  • Learners are recent arrivals, and includes elderly people who don’t care to learn English, and remain learners for years. Only ⅕ of Hispanics are new immigrants.
  • Straddlers are bilingual and bicultural, and are often referred to as “New Latinos.” Learners and straddlers have little or no experience with the US legal system.
  • Navigators are more sophisticated, speak English, and are further away from their roots but still have a Hispanic cultural practice. “By appealing to their Hispanicism, you get their attention,” she said. Latinos have a pejorative word for them: Americanizar, or Americanized.

For the rest of this article please visit Law Practice Advisor.

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Death of the Web Conference - New Research from Join.me

wasting time web meetingsAs virtual meetings become more commonplace, legacy web conferencing software is wasting an unacceptable amount of time, according to a new study from Ovum and join.me.

It is based on a survey of more than 3,900 full-time professionals worldwide, regarding their collaborative behaviors and activities. The key findings from this report:

  • Late start times are costing executives 5 days and 19 hours per year in lost time and productivity.
  • Technical difficulties with web conferencing software is the number one cause of delayed meetings.
    • More than 50 percent of employees report that the number of meetings they have is increasing.
    • 32% of all meetings are virtual, a trend that skews higher for younger workers. 

Frustration with traditional web conferencing tools has led 66% of corporate buyers to look for new collaboration solutions to accommodate an increasingly collaborative and connected workforce

You can download Death of the Web Conference (as we know it) for free.

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The Best Subject Line to Get Your Email Opened

Believe it or not, the best subject lines start with "Re:" "RE: Follow Up" "Re: update" "Re: Introduction" and "Re: Checking in"Best email subject line  

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The More You Blog, The More Clients You Get

It's been established that blogging generates real clients for law firms. What's more, research proves that the more often you blog, the more clients you get.

Hubspot proved that the frequency of blog posts directly correlates to customer acquisition in its State of Inbound Marketing report. If your blog is underutilized, you are leaving clients on the table. Hubspot found a direct correlation between blog post frequency and new clients acquired.

the more you blog, the more clients you get

"The use of social media and company blogs as marketing tools not only gets your company better brand exposure, but it also generates leads that result in real customer acquisition," says Hubspot.

This raises the question: How frequently you post new content on your law firm blog? Ideally you would post several times a day -- because 92% of businesses that did so acquired a new client from their blog,

Realistically, lawyers should update their blogs three times a week to harness the marketing power of their blogs. Frequent posting of original, unique content will also improve a lawyer's search engine rankings and generate more traffic.

Fortunately, lawyers have options when it comes to blogging. Many law firms find it effective to engage a professional vendor to compose draft blog posts. LawLeadPro, a leading author of original blog posts, can guarantee it will create authoritative blog posts written by real attorneys licensed in the United States.

To find out what LawLeadPro can do for you, please visit Does Law Firm Blogging Really Bring New Clients?

 

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Nancy Fox's Successful Icebreaking Strategies for Networking

Nancy Fox, law firm marketing, legal marketing
Nancy Fox

Nancy Fox, one of the most charming and graceful people I've ever met, outlined her top icebreaking strategies for networking.

"Breaking the ice is difficult because people's attention span is so much smaller nowadays, and you have only a few seconds to make a good first impression," she said one a webinar sponsored by LawMarketing. She has coached hundreds of attorneys in marketing, business development and networking.

"Lawyers want to convert our new connections and book follow-up meetings with new people. We we want to use our networking efforts to launch new referral relationships," she said. "But for many of us it's uncomfortable to enter a room with people we don't know."  For this she offers 10 strategies:

  1. Be prepared. Arrive ready with icebreaker questions, like #11 from her eBook, "What business books have you read recently that you've found valuable?" or #26, "Tell me how you got into your business?"
  2. Be proactive. "Make the first move and thus take the pressure off the other person. They will be grateful and pleased that you've broken the ice."
  3. Make consistent eye contact. "This is essential because people really believe when you make eye contact that you are interested in them and are committed to the conversation. If your eyes are wandering, they'll feel that you don't really care."
  4. Break the ice with grace and politeness. "Avoid joining a conversation where only two people are talking -- they may behaving a private conversation. Instead look for people who are standing alone or in groups of three or more."
  5. Listen. "Lawyers are trained to be good speakers, but to break the ice, a person must truly listen actively. Spend more time closing your mouth and opening the door to breaking the ice, by listening actively. People deeply desire to be heard."
  6. Smile. "Most of us are watching others for non-verbal cues, but we should focus on the nonverbal cues we are giving. The more you smile  at people, the more you will open the door to conversation. A smile shows warmth."
  7. Introduce others. "It's a gift to the other person and it makes you look like a real connector, and the ice thaws quickly."
  8. Say something positive about your new connection. "Doing this at the outset of the conversation will break down a lot of barriers."
  9. Break the ice with someone you haven't spoken with for a very long time. "Simply say, 'it's been such a long time and I've been thinking of reconnecting with you. Tell me what's new with you?' People will resonate with this approach, because they too will have people they haven't spoken to in a long time."
  10. Download her free eBook, "55 Great Icebreaker Questions" and you'll never be anxious again in a room full of people you haven't met.
  11. Nancy Fox networking tips, legal marketing, law firm marketing
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Successful Icebreaking Strategies for Networking

55 Great Icebreaker Questions, law firm marketing, legal marketingJoin a free webinar with Nancy Fox on Tuesday (tomorrow) January 28 by registering at http://lawmarketing.com/networking-for-lawyers-webinar. Attendees will get a copy of her fabulous "55 Great Icebreaker Questions" as well as her expert networking advice.

I've known Nancy for years and recommend that lawyers register and attend this program. When you sign up (no cost), you will receive practical yet powerful tools and strategies for:

Networking Events:

  • Being a masterful icebreaker with preferred new connections at networking events and social venues.
  • Gracefully and politely join a conversation at networking events without feeling like a bull in a china shop.
  • Develop engaging conversation while learning important information for future relationship and opportunity building
  • Break the ice with new contacts and gain lots of follow up meetings with select new colleagues
  • Gracefully wrap up one conversation and move on to breaking the ice with a new person without losing your cool

For Business Meetings:

Covers how to break the ice at follow up meetings, pitch meetings, closing meetings, and leading team meetings:

  • How to re-engage your new connection after the networking
  • How to kick off a follow up meeting that sets a highly positive tone
  • How to lead off a pitch meeting with charisma and effectiveness
  • How to break the ice at the critical “close meeting” for that important deal; how to deal with objections and proposal delays
  • How to break the ice and engage attendees at business meetings you lead
  • How to break the ice when you haven’t connected with someone in a long time

 I'll be on the call myself, taking notes and preparing a report. So join me by registering today.

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Branding: How You are Different in a way that is Important to Clients

Janet Raasch, law firm marketing, legal marketing
Janet Ellen Raasch

Following is a guest blog post by Janet Ellen Raasch, a writer, ghostwriter, copyeditor and blogger at Constant Content Blog who helps lawyers, law firms, legal consultants and legal organizations gain name recognition and new business. She can be reached at (303) 399-5041 or jeraasch@msn.com


Your brand is what makes a client choose (or not choose) you as legal counsel rather than a competitor. Each law firm has a brand in the marketplace – whether by intention or by accident.

Your law firm can accept the brand you have and live with it -- but this can be risky in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Alternatively, you can put some thought into creating and managing a brand that works hard for you in the marketplace -- and thrive as a result. The choice is yours.

Gerry O'Brion, law firm marketing, legal marketing
Gerry O'Brion

Having a limited budget  doesn’t mean that a smaller law firm cannot develop a good brand and take it to market – without breaking the bank. “There are many lessons that a law firm can learn from big businesses,” said Gerry O’Brion. “Once learned, these lessons can be applied at little or no cost.”

O’Brion is a professional speaker and founder of What Big Brands Know, a Denver-based consulting firm. He is creator of a program called The Business Blueprint: Simple steps to grow any business like a billion-dollar brand. His practical advice is based on what he learned in the big-company marketing departments of Proctor & Gamble, Coors Brewing, Quiznos and Red Robin.

Know your law firm

The first lesson law firms of any size can learn from big business is to get clear about what makes them different from their competition. The best brands differentiate themselves in a way that is important  to their customers or clients.

“Recently, I went to the grocery store to pick up some barbecue sauce,” said O’Brion. “When I got there, I was faced with 42 different kinds on the shelf. This quandary is what your clients face when picking a law firm. When making their choices, what do they consider? What sets you apart from the other firms ‘on the shelf’?

“Everything has a brand, either by intention or by accident,” said O’Brion. “What is the brand of Monday? Boo -- back to work. Of Friday? Yay -- TGIF. Your law firm has a brand in the marketplace. Make it purposeful. Is your brand the all-too-common ‘all things to all people’? Or is it something that persuades clients that ‘this is the firm for me’?”

Get your partners together to decide what it is that sets you apart. Where do your talents lie? What work do you most enjoy? Which clients do you serve the best? What work is most profitable? Where does most of your work come from? Where would you like it to come from? Focus. Build your brand and marketing message around this differentiation.

O’Brion used the example of an auto repair shop that branded itself as servicing all makes and models of cars, with little success. When the shop realized that much of its work came from servicing Audis and VWs, it changed its message to specialize in these makes of car and business tripled. Customers wanted to go to a shop that specialized in solving their particular problem.

“Successful branding boils down to just one thing,” said Gerry O’Brion. “You must be different from your competition in a way that clients value. Big brands thrive by continually refining their understanding of what their customers value and by consistently delivering their messages in a way that stands out from the competition. Law firms can do the same.”

You can be an attorney. You can be an attorney representing all businesses, everywhere. You can be an attorney representing hospitality businesses in Colorado. Or you can be an attorney representing restaurant clients in Denver. If you are a Denver restaurant owner, which lawyer will you choose? The sharper you focus, the better your brand and the more-profitable your business.

Know your target market

The next lesson law firms can learn from big business is to know who your clients are and what they want. “The time you spend understanding your clients sets you up for long-term success,” said O’Brion.

The businesses that come to your house to remove vermin like bats or raccoons in the attic belong to an organization called the National Wildlife Control Operators Association. “The NWCOA wanted to provide useful marketing advice to its members,” said O’Brion. “A study of customers yielded some surprising results,” said O’Brion.

“Most pest-control companies are owned and operated by men,” said O’Brion. “Interestingly, 80 percent of the time it is a woman who calls about vermin in the house. These women are concerned about much more than just getting rid of the animal. Among other things, they are concerned about ethical treatment, the cleanliness of their houses and preventing future problems. These customer insights helped wildlife control companies better serve their customers and close more sales.”

All too often, law firms believe that their brand is what they think it is. Rather, they must understand that their brand is what clients think it is. “Your brand is the culmination of all the experiences a client has with your firm,” said O’Brion. “Do some research. Ask your clients, potential clients and referral sources what they truly value in and expect of a legal services provider.”

Often, these are qualities in addition to the basic expectation of legal expertise – things like quick return of phone calls, a pleasant receptionist or reasonable rates. Work these qualities into your message.

“Every interaction between your firm and a client must reinforce your message,” said O’Brion. “Everyone at the firm must be aligned. When answering the phone, for example, the receptionist can say, ‘We see problems like this all the time’ and ‘I am going to pass you along to the very best lawyer who deals with your specific problem.’”

If you are the Denver restaurant attorney, for example, you can join and speak to restaurant groups, decorate your office with restaurant-related art, put restaurant-related materials in your waiting room, and hold events at the venues of clients and potential clients. You can mention this specialty prominently in your electronic and print materials, along with restaurant success stories. Such efforts will help put you top-of-the-list among your target market.

A Coors Light case study

At Coors Brewing, O’Brion was brand manager for Coors Light, a $2 billion brand. He illustrated many of his points on successful branding with a Coors Light case study. Research showed that the taste of all beers in the light-beer category was more or less the same. Coors Light was ranked fourth and needed to find a way to differentiate in order to promote its brand.

Additional research showed that consumers makes their light-beer buying decisions based on eight factors – good taste, value, relaxation, low carbs/calories, socialization, refreshment, coldness and funny ads. Miller Lite had branded itself on good taste and low carbs/calories; Bud Light on socialization and funny ads; and Corona on relaxation.

Coors Light therefore focused on refreshment and—especially -- coldness. They introduced the Frost Brew Liner Can. “This is no different or more effective than any other can liner,” said O’Brion. “We simply made it blue and associated it with coldness.”

Other new and heavily-advertised Coors Light products included the cold-activated bottle, the cold-activated can, the cooler box (simply a case with a plastic liner that turned it into a cooler) and a Super Cold Draft version of Coors Light. Sales improved significantly and Coors Light passed Miller Lite and Budweiser to become No. 2 in the category, second only to Bud Light.

By following tips that work for the big guys, a law firm with a strong brand will keep and grow current clients, as well as attract desirable new clients. It will be less vulnerable to competitors. Plus, the firm can charge higher rates. Customers (and clients) are always willing to pay a bit more for a product or service that addresses their specific challenges.

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10 Marketing Tips from Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones, law firm marketingHere is a delightful and practical guest post from Eloise Hamilton


We’ve all watched the Indiana Jones movies and wished that we could have adventures like him. Instead, we’re stuck working in business, and trying to figure out great marketing strategies that will actually help those businesses. Instead of wishing our lives were more adventurous, though, how about we take some good marketing lessons from Indy?

Correct Spelling and Grammar

Indy discovered just how important spelling was in The Last Crusade, while trying to get to the Holy Grail. Walking in the name of the lord, he tried to spell “Jehovah” with a “J” rather than the Latin “I,” and the path under him collapsed.

Your life might not hinge on having good grammar and perfect spelling, but the reputation of your company does. Before you release any ad copy for your marketing campaign, check the spelling and the grammar, or have someone you trust check it for you.

Concise Messages

Indy’s not one to beat around the bush. He gets right to the point and doesn’t let outside forces distract him (often). Whether he’s searching for his father or fighting for his life, he handles it as fast as he knows how to.

When you attempt any marketing strategy, get to the point. You only have about 5-7 seconds to capture your audience’s attention, and if you don’t get them in that time-span, you’ve lost. Get in quick, and get out quick. Be as concise as you can, and grab your audience’s attention.

Content Marketing

Indy’s passion for archaeology doesn’t hinge on his own personal gain. When he tries to steal the Cross of Coronado a second time, his goal is to get it into a museum so the general public can benefit from it. That’s who he is—he wants everyone to benefit from his archaeological finds.

Provide quality content for free. You could put it on your site or get it out through a different marketing campaign; it’s less important how you do it, and more important that you do it. By providing useful information for free, you’ll appeal to more people and they’ll wonder what else you can offer to benefit their lives.

Regular Ad Updates

Indy changes how he handles different problems he encounters. He doesn’t do the exact same thing over and over. He adjusts his strategy slightly based on the situation and doesn’t shy away from improvising. Because of this, he’s less predictable.

Make sure you regularly update your ads. The market is always changing, and your marketing strategy should change along with it. Adjust your strategy as needed, and have your ads reflect the changes you make.

Strong Charisma

Indy is a strong charismatic figure, but his charisma isn’t forced. It comes naturally to him and has a certain, rugged charm attached to it. Although it doesn’t seem to work on his enemies, viewers and others he meets on his adventures are susceptible to it.

If you have a role as a figurehead or spokesperson for your company, you need to be charismatic. If you’re not naturally charismatic, that’s okay. Charisma is something you can learn, if you try hard enough. It might not come as naturally to you as it does to Indy, but you can learn to be charismatic, and you’ll be a better leader for it. All of your marketing aspects that involve you being in the public eye will improve dramatically, too.

Creativity

When confronted with a sword-wielding assassin pulling fancy moves in front of him, Indy simply pulls out a gun and shoots the man. He doesn’t worry about an elaborate sword fight or anything of the like. He takes the simple (and much faster) approach.

Creativity, while good, can be damaging if you try too hard or take too long to create a great idea. Your marketing needs to be constant so don’t let it get bogged down with trying to be consistently brilliant. Stay simple, and let the brilliant ideas flow naturally to you.

Forward-Thinking

Indy’s archaeological methods are different than the methods of the older archaeologists. Some people even say that what he does isn’t archaeology, but he doesn’t let that stop him. He does his own thing, and it works well for him.

Don’t be guided by older ideas. Marketing is something that changes constantly, because of technology, and it’s easy for ideas to become outdated. Because of this, it’s important for you to try new things to see what works for you, rather than letting the past dictate your marketing strategies now.

Attraction Marketing

Indy has an appeal about him that attracts others. He gets people’s attention through his skills and methods. At times, his appearance plays a big part in it too (particularly in the classroom scene near the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark). Because of this ability to attract, he’s tipped off about different artifacts around the world, and when he wants an adventure, he, he can get one.

By making your company, your site, and different aspects of your marketing campaign appealing, you’ll have a better chance of drawing people in than you would otherwise. People will be attracted to what you’re doing, and they’ll spread the word. That means less work for you, since you won’t have to hunt your customers down. Therefore, you’ll have a much better success rate by appealing (in appearance) to what your target audience wants than almost any other type of marketing.

Indiana Jones: There's a big snake in the plane, Jock!
Jock: Oh, that's just my pet snake, Reggie!
Indiana Jones: I hate snakes, Jock! I hate 'em!

Consistent Branding Strategy

Indy has a consistent and distinctive style, particularly in his physical appearance. The fedora and whip are just as much a part of him as the scar on his chin and his fear of snakes. All of these things together (and many other qualities) make him who he is.

Your branding strategy needs to be just as distinctive and consistent, setting a theme for all of your marketing efforts. It’s like with Geico’s caveman commercials or Allstate’s mayhem commercials. Both are distinctive and consistent, and because of that, they are memorable. Your marketing can be just as memorable if you do it right.

Influential Connections

Indy doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of connections. He’s limited to a select few individuals, like Salah and Marcus, but those few individuals he knows are well-connected and influential.

It’s not about how many connections you have that matters most in your marketing endeavors. It’s about how influential those connections are. You might only have 5 connections in your network, but if those 5 have the power to influence the market and your target audience, those are all the connections you really need.

Marketing can be a tough subject to master, but by following these tips taken straight from Indiana Jones’ adventures, you can keep your business’ marketing stratagem on the right path.

Eloise Hamilton, law firm marketingAbout the author

Eloise Hamilton of Seattle, WA, has always been fascinated with law. In college, she studied the subject briefly before switching to business, but she still loves to maintain her knowledge of all things law. She seeks to inform the general public about the finer details of law in a way they can understand.

 

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The Ten Most Effective Law Firm Marketing Techniques

I originally wrote this five years ago after advising hundreds of law firms in business development. I thought I'd publish it again because what was true then is still true today. Check the list over to see how many techniques you could be using.


The Ten Most Effective Law Firm Marketing TechniquesLarry bodine, web and marketing consultantBy Larry Bodine, Esq.

Many lawyers don't get new clients and files because they don't do enough business development activities, or they waste time on the wrong activities, or they don't get face-to-face with potential clients.

I've helped attorneys generate more clients and get more business by training attorneys what to say, what to do and how to be in the right place at the right time.  I also work with lawyers one-on-one and help them develop personal business plans, and then I work with firms in doing follow-up to assist lawyers who are doing business development overcome any hurdles that they might encounter.

What you'll read next are the most effective marketing techniques. These tips are based on scientific research that I have conducted where we asked 377 marketing partners and marketing professionals in the professional services fields what they did that worked. I'm going to cover 10 particular points.

Number one: You have to spend at least 2.5 percent of your gross revenues on marketing. Otherwise, you're just pretending to market. That 2.5 percent does not include the salaries of any of the people that you may have hired to perform the work. This is money that is spent on generating new business, on taking clients out to lunch, on visiting clients -- it's all direct marketing activities. You have to put your money where your mouth is. If you're not spending 2.5 percent, you're not being serious about marketing, and you're not going to get any results.

The second technique is to put video on your website. The reason that I bring this up is you may have noticed that YouTube is sponsoring presidential debates. It's the number four most popular website online on the internet. That's because roughly 30 percent of the population has grown up with the internet always present in their lives. Just as I grew up with fax machines, touch-tone phones, and microwave ovens - they were something I always accepted as being there. All of these people - the 30 percent of the population that has always had the internet - are looking for video. That's what they expect. It's very easy to record a video and put it online. If you don't have any video on your site, you're really missing a good trick. It's a great opportunity to present how you look, how you talk, what you're like, and make yourself more attractive to clients. It's a great business-getting technique.

The third point: Don't waste any money on marketing that is not measurable. If you can't measure it, don't do it. For instance, advertising and public relations are widely used, but after you've spent $20,000 on it, do you have any way that you can check to see if it actually generated any results? I don't think so. What I would suggest you do is pursue the techniques that you can measure. That would include blogs. You can publish up a blog and see how many people visited. On a blog, you can also see how many people commented. If you really have to advertise, take out a banner ad. A banner will tell you how many people took a look at your banner and how many people clicked on it. The same thing is true with email newsletters. It's possible to send out an email newsletter and get a report on how many people actually opened it, and if there are links inside it, how many of the links were clicked on and who clicked on them. That's all measurable stuff.

Number four: When it comes to business development, start with the low-hanging fruit, and that is your own clients. These are people who love you, they trust you, they send you work, they are sending you checks. It's incumbent upon you to get to know them better to see if you can generate additional files from them. It's much easier to open a new file from a current client than it is to originate a brand new client. Again, this is something that you can measure. You can measure the number of times the attorneys in your firm have actually visited the client, how many times they had lunch with a client or a referral source. Or, if you have an event at your firm, you can count the number of attendees, keep track of all their contact information, and then trace in the new matter reports how many of them turned into new files. The bottom line is you should start at the beginning of any sort of marketing initiative by figuring out how are you going to measure it. If you don't do that, you have no way of knowing whether it succeeded or not.

The next thing is to cultivate referral sources. A lot of lawyers get most of their business from referrals, and that's a wonderful thing, but the point is that it doesn't just happen all by itself. The people who get these referrals are lawyers who cultivated them.

  • Where I would start is with clients. Again, these are people that you're doing work for, but unless you tell them that they're supposed to send you new work and that you would welcome this new work, they won't know that they're supposed to do so. You actually have to tell them.
  • Step two is you tell them what kind of work you're seeking. If you're doing a lot of commercial real estate transactions and they're sending you matrimonial cases, you haven't explained the kind of work that you're looking for.
  • There are lots of other referral sources besides clients. There are people that you will know in other professions such as investment brokers, accountants, and bankers. These are all people that can send you business so long as you tell them that you would like them to and what kind of work to send.
  • The same thing is true with law school classmates. These are people who know you. If you're a litigator, obviously you don't want to approach the litigators because they're in competition with you. Approach all the people who have a transaction practice. Chances are they're going to have some sort of a transaction that went south, and they're going to need your help.

Number six: Get active in a trade association, and get on the board of directors. You'll notice that I said, trade association, and not bar association. You should join an association of clients. You want to get in front of a room full of clients, people who can potentially hire you. You find out about these trade associations by asking your current clients what meetings they go to. Then it's a simple matter of saying, "I'd like to join you at the meeting. Would you introduce me to your friends?" These friends, of course, are all potential clients for you. It's no good just going to the meeting; you have to be visible. Your goal when you join a trade association is not to be just a face in the crowd. Your goal is to get on the board of directors. The way you do that is you seek out the president and you volunteer. You volunteer to help put together programs; you volunteer to help with the newsletter; you volunteer to help in any sort of activity that is going to lead to a board position.

Number seven: Only after you've done all of these things, then pursue target clients. What I mean by "target" is a business executive whom you already know. You don't have to make any cold calls. Whom you're contacting could be a neighbor. It could be another dad or mom at a little league game. I originated a Fortune 500 company by just talking to another dad at a little league game and asking him what line of work he was in and what kind of business problems he faced. You can meet targets in the religious organizations that you go to and the clubs that you belong to and the charities that you're active in - these are all people who have businesses - that's what you looking for - and they all have careers. Ask them questions about it.

Number eight: If you do have a business plan, write it down. It's not real until you write it down. What you want to be writing down is whom you're going to call, when you're going to meet them, and some sort of an outcome that you're expecting to have. The idea of writing it down is now you've moved it on to your calendar. Once it's on your to-do list, you're going to do it.

Number nine: A question I get a lot is "How much time should I devote to business development?" Point number nine is I would recommend 200 hours a year. That may sound like a lot, but when you break it down by week, it's really only four hours a week. You can meet somebody for coffee at Starbucks in the morning. You can meet a client. You can meet a referral source for lunch. You can go to a trade association meeting in the evening. All of this you can weave into your ordinary to-do list, and before you know it, you've devoted 400 hours. I guarantee you are going to get way more back in new business and new clients than the value of the effort that you devoted.

My closing point, number ten, is to track your results. If you are undertaking a marketing initiative such as, "joining the local business owners club, make a point of writing down the people that you want to meet before you go. After you've meet your targets, asked them about their business challenges, later you can to go back and ask yourself, "Did this work? Did I get a new file?" I recall working with a lawyer who was spending money on radio ads, and he was reaching a huge number of people, but he examined his new clients and none of them came from the radio. He wasn't getting any new business out of it at all, so he discontinued it. That's the approach you have to make, but you only will be able to do that if you track your results.

So count to ten, pick the ideas you will pursue, and just do it. The more activities you choose, the more clients and revenue you'll bring in.

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