Before we get into the nuances of legal marketing on the internet, we should cover the tried-and-true basics for developing your legal practice. You can do some or all of the following, but you can be sure that the most profitable small firm lawyers are doing the same.
(1) Budgeting time for marketing
A good marketing plan is based on consistency. Set aside a certain number of hours every week for marketing, and keep up with it consistently. Clients are looking for attorneys year-round, so don’t expect a big 3-month marketing campaign to set you up for the rest of the year. It’s much better to spread out your marketing budget consistently throughout the year, working a little bit every week. Similarly, keep up your work in marketing even if you feel you have plenty of clients. As you recall from your college Microeconomics class, if the demand for your time goes up when the supply (i.e. the number of hours you want to work) stays the same, you can increase the price (i.e. your hourly wage) to meet that demand.
(2) Take Care of Your Current Clients
Believe it or not, a Christmas or Birthday card can go a long way. Even when you’re not actively working on their cases, you want to maintain the relationship so the client feels that you are there for him when he needs a lawyer next. If the client doesn’t feel that connection, he might look elsewhere the next time he needs an attorney. There will certainly be other attorneys out there trying to get his business.
(3) Attend a Trade Association Meeting
Do you do work related to a particular industry? In my case, Personal Injury attorneys do a lot of work with doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists. Even if you aren’t a member of the trade association, they usually welcome attorneys to give a small speech on how they can help the members of the association. Your speech alone exposes you to tens (maybe hundreds) of potential clients. Some of them might not have an attorney, and some of them might have attorneys who don’t check up with them enough to maintain their business.
(4) Get a Good Website
Don’t hire a friend or family member who is “good with computers.” Pay for someone whose websites you’ve seen and approve of. We’ll get into this more specifically in future posts, but there are additional non-aesthetic things to look for in a website designer if you also want them to improve your Google search rankings. Some designers only create the aesthetic appeal of the website, and that works fine, as you can hire someone to do the back-end marketing component later.
(5) Track Your Results
All is lost if you can’t measure how your marketing techniques are working. Keep track of where your new clients are coming from, how many website clicks you’re getting, and how much work you are putting into it. As an attorney, you’re probably already very good at logging hours, and this should be no different.
Take these five tips as a starter pack for your firm. If you’re already doing these, you have the proper foundation to expand your firm’s marketing strategies further.