Over and over again I hear so many of my young lawyer clients say, “I know I should be doing something to get my name ‘out there’, but I’m just not sure what.”
Does this sound like something you have said? Or, how about this? “I really don’t like to network because I’m shy (or uncomfortable or kinda quiet, etc.)”
What many lawyers do not seem to realize is that every marketing tactic is not a ‘one size fits all’ proposition. That is to say, not all lawyers have the same strengths (and weaknesses) to perform the same marketing activities. What “works” for one person, may not work for another.
I mention this because I find frequently that lawyers often don’t clearly understand that it is imperative to the success of your legal practice to develop an integrated marketing plan which is totally customized to you and your specific target audience (do you even know who this is?); which plays to your unique strengths (do you know what exactly these are?); and is completely realistic for you to execute.
You may say, how in the world do I do that? Well, funny you should ask.
There have never been so many resources available for lawyers to learn how to effectively and professionally develop a practice of their own. Here are a few:
• Become a read-aholic: There are so many great books published by reputable resources on how to develop a healthy practice, become more client centric, take specific steps to earn the title “trusted advisor”, etc. Check out the Legal Marketing Reader for some top, fabulous picks.
• Industry Groups – There is no shortage of legal marketing expertise featured at monthly programs by local industry groups such as The Philadelphia Bar Association; The Legal Marketing Association – Metro Philadelphia Chapter; the Delaware Valley Law Firm Marketing Group, and so on.
• Legal Marketing Advisors – There are a few highly reputable local legal marketing experts who have earned their stripes in the field and who can guide you one-on-one on specific steps to take to develop a stellar reputation; create more visibility and personal brand recognition; turn networking events into paying clients, etc. A number of these resources participate in the Bar Association’s referral program.
Whatever route you choose to explore first, one of the most important truisms to remember is this: you are in the “relationship business” and, as such, you must consistently focus on cultivating, building, and feeding solid relationships. No relationships, no clients, no practice.