3 Tips for Bringing in New Business to Your Firm

Online writer Amanda Green provides three tips on bringing in more business. Read the following post for more details.


It's typical for those who are fresh out of college and new to the world of professional law to think that clients will come to them simply out of necessity. If you're able to carve a niche in a small town, there's a slight chance that this could be true. For the most part, however, law firms need to market their services just like companies in any other industry. There's simply no other way to grow a firm and bring in new business, especially if you have a lot of competition in your area. 

As Vito Torchia Jr., CEO of LA's Brookstone Law Firm says, "...the justice system is always changing and we have to adapt." 

This notion applies not only to how firms should approach law in their states, but also how they should market their practices. Bringing in new business doesn't have to be as difficult as it might seem, but you've got to put in the legwork in order to see results. 

Below are a few ways in which you can improve your chances of growing your firm.

Join the Chamber of Commerce

Potential clients want to know that the firm they end up choosing has a strong reputation in the community, which is exactly why there's no better place to start than by joining your local chamber of commerce. Businesses that are part of their local chamber are typically looked upon more favorably than those which are not, and this is especially true for law firms. 

Joining your local chamber of commerce is typically a simple process, requiring you to do little more than fill out a bit of paperwork. For more information, contact them directly, and don't hesitate to boast about the fact that you're a member once everything is said and done. 

Work with Local Reporters

One way to increase your reputation as being an expert in your field is to contact local reporters and offer up your opinions on cases they might be covering. Reporters always like to cite lawyers and get their thoughts on high-profile cases, yet they often have to seek these individuals out, and not all firms are willing to cooperate. 

If you make it clear that you're interested in helping out by approaching them instead of waiting for them to come to you, you're bound to find your firm winding up in articles that will be read by thousands of people. Chances are some of these readers will be in need of a good lawyer and may even contact you based upon what you have to say in an article--a great way to bring in new clients without spending a dime. 

Keep in Touch With Clients & Ask for Referrals 

There's no harm in asking clients for referrals. A lot of people feel uncomfortable with this notion, but there's really no reason to. In many industries, referrals are the most effective ways of bringing in new business, and it's no different in the world of law. 

One of the best ways to gain a referral is to keep in touch with your clients after a case has been handled. Holiday cards, friendly check-ins etc. can all be very effective, especially if you take just a moment to ask for a referral. Email lists are perfect for this, although there's truly no substitute for physical mail when it comes to reaching out to clients past and present. 

Bringing in new clients is the only way to grow as a firm, and if you're diligent about doing so, you can expect to see a great deal of results.

Amanda is an online writer who is always looking for new topics and places to write. She normally writes about business, personal finance, and marketing for sites across the web including paidtwice.com. When Amanda is not working on a business post she is usually writing about pets or being eco-friendly, two of her favorite subjects!"  

Get Your law Firm Ready Generations Y and Z

At LexisNexis' LegalTech New York 2013 panel, "Taming the Wild West of Social Media: The Secrets of Social Media Success in the Legal Profession," moderator Steve Mann (chief marketing officer of the Research & Litigation Solutions business at LexisNexis®) set the tone for the session by walking attendees through some important demographic changes underway in the legal profession.

Here is a video clip from the panel discussion:

Tomorrow(!) LexisNexis Marketing Experts to Host LegalTech Social Media Panel

Leading experts in law firm marketing from LexisNexis® will be among the participants in a featured panel at LegalTech New York 2013, the number-one annual legal technology event in the world.

The session, "Taming the Wild West of Social Media: The Secrets of Social Media Success in the Legal Profession," will be held on Tuesday, January 29, from 2:00 to 3:15 PM at the Hilton New York in midtown Manhattan.

The panelists for the session are:

  • Larry Bodine, Esq., editor in chief of Lawyers.comSM andmartindale.com®;
  • Steve Mann, chief marketing officer of LexisNexis; and
  • Stephen Fairley, chief executive officer of The Rainmaker Institute.

While it may seem like the Wild West at times, social media does in fact have a very real role to play in both the business and practice of law. According to the 2012 Attorney Selection Research Study by The Research Intelligence Group (TRiG), 26 percent of American consumers used one of the major social media sites when gathering information about a legal issue and more than one in five (22 percent) said they turned to a social media site to actually find a lawyer they felt might be able to help them with their legal need.

The LegalTech panel discussion will explore:

  1. The state of social media in the legal industry today and an update to guide attendees through the year ahead;
  2. New and improved social media best practices in specific online channels (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging, etc.); and
  3. The various ethical and legal considerations about which law firms must be aware, including an update of key decisions and guidance issued by various state bar associations.

CLE credits are available — up to 1.5 general CLE credits depending on the state. 

If you can't make it to LegalTech feel free to ask questions, comment or just follow us on Twitter using #LNsocial.

56% of Law Firm Website Visits Go to Attorney Bios

lawyer bios, law firm marketing, legal marketingAccording to Great Jakes web marketing, most traffic on a law firm website goes right to lawyer bios (see the chart). This is exactly where marketing-savvy lawyers want it to go. So, why are they neglected?

The reason is deep in the attorney psyche, according to marketing consultant Amy Knapp. "Attorneys are slow to accept the real way that clients make hiring decisions. The person whom the client (1) Knows, (2) Likes and (3) Trusts, in that order, gets the job. So why wouldn’t the purpose of a bio be to make one known, likable and trustworthy?" she says.

Before I tell what works, here's what does not get new clients:

  • Old articles (over 3 years) and anything you wrote in law school.
  • Neglect: a bio that is out of date.
  • Text that goes on and on (and the opposite: one content-free paragraph).
  • No picture.
  • Bios that start out with where you were born or went to school.
  • No links to your speeches and articles.

Elements of a bio that do generate new business are:

  • Peer reviews and recommendations from other lawyers.
  • Client reviews and testimonials.
  • Case histories of results obtained for clients.
  • Text describing how you work with clients.
  • A recent color picture. See How to Pick a Good Picture of Yourself.

Here's a great example:lawyers.com online bio, law firm marketing, legal marketing

Read "Turning Your Bio into a Magnet for Business," a short article I wrote about how you can create your own personal brand.

Winning Legal Business from Mid-Cap Companies

Silvia Hodges, law firm marketing, legal marketing, lawmarketingDid you know that advertising, unsolicited newsletters and the legal press are irrelevant in getting legal work from a medium sized business? 

However, there are several sure-fire ways to reach decision-makers at these companies, and we'll discuss them during our Webinar next Thursday June 9, "Winning Legal Business from Mid-Cap Companies."

 

Our featured guest is Silvia Hodges, Ph.D. Professor of Marketing and Management at Fordham Law School. She spent 4 years studying how mid-sized companies find and select law firms and just published a book on the topic: Winning legal Business from Medium-Sized Companies.

In the webinar, I will interview her on how to communicate, market and sell to these excellent, paying clients. 

But medium-sized companies are different -- they don't have an internal legal department and typically lack legal expertise. They don't issue RFPs and will consider one or two law firms before making a choice. Often the CEO or the HR director will search for and choose the company law firm - not the purchasing or procurement department.

Among the topics Dr. Hodges will cover are:

  • The unique two-stage process that mid-size companies use to find a law firm and then select a lawyer.
  • Why many standard types of marketing - like branding and advertising - are a waste of money to reach mid-size companies.
  • The communications, marketing and selling techniques that are proven to work to reach the CEO or company executive who makes the hiring decision. A tip: they don't have to justify their decision so being a brand-name firm doesn't matter.
  • How to position yourself as a lawyer so that mid-cap companies will find you.
  • How modern Internet applications like blogs, Facebook and Twitter have become important. 85% of executives consider law firm websites important sources of information in their search for lawyers.

winning new business, law firm marketing, webinar, legal marketing, Register Now

Please see the description of Winning Legal Business from Mid-Cap Companies to find out more.
MORE INFO: Program Director Laura Kresich; (Tel) (773) 966-9273 or Lkresich@LawMarketing.com
WEBSITE: http://bit.ly/ilfrRh

The Surprising Importance of New Lawyer Announcements

law firm marketing, business development, larry bodineDorsey & Whitney, with more than 600 lawyers in 19 locations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia-Pacific region, just hired ten new partners.

At first I wondered why this was worth the effort of writing a press release.  Sending out new associate and new partner announcements is one of the routine chores of law firm marketing professionals. When I was an in-house marketer, I considered part of the scut work that came this the job.

Now I think differently. I was listening to an in-house corporate lawyer talk about the reasons that his company hires its law firms. He said, "we like to retain law firms that are hiring," he said. "It means that they a solid operation and in sound financial condition."

It turns out that telling the world that you're hiring is very effective law firm marketing.  To see some examples of my favorite announcements, please go to:

The Best Lateral Partner Announcement, Ever

A Law Firm Announcement that Clients Will Actually Read

Tydings & Rosenberg Announcement Hits the Mark