You can spend a lot of money on legal marketing, but you don’t need to. Nor do you have to be naturally outgoing or charming. What is necessary for good business development, say successful lawyers and consultants who shared their strategies with the ABA Journal, is a marketing plan focused on activities you do well, targeted at the right audience and carried out consistently. Give it some time, they say, and business will come.
Being genuine—and helpful, even if your actions may not offer immediate business—doesn’t hurt either.
1.) Some lawyers believe that if you do good work, people will automatically come to you. They are wrong. People need reminders.
2.) Contact three to five potential referral sources a week—every week, regardless of how busy you are—and arrange to meet for coffee, drinks or a meal. That works much better than reaching out only when business is slow.
3.) At business receptions, ask organizers whether you can be a greeter. This gives you a great reason to introduce yourself to people.
4.) If you have a practice-related blog, write posts with information that’s truly useful to business targets. More often than not, that doesn’t include descriptions of how competent you or your firm are.
5.) Your firm’s holiday card is probably one of many that clients or potential clients receive. Find another holiday (or make one up) that you enjoy and that complements your practice. Separating yourself from other, similar messages is of real value.
Lucian Pera, at Graceland, sends clients and potential clients cards for Elvis’ birthday. “For a number of people I do business with, my connection to Memphis is important. I want them to think about Memphis and think about me, and I don’t want there to be more than a half second between those two thoughts.” Pera, who is also ABA treasurer, offers tip No. 5. Photo by Dero Sanford.