Until ten years ago, I would never have given myself the title of “marketer” other than being a lawyer. I always did what it took to keep those phones ringing and email inquiries, but I didn’t label it marketing, and I certainly didn’t have a marketing plan.
Like my lawyer father before me, I always had natural sources of business. Dad and I send out our annual Christmas cards, meet our lawyer friends for lunch, and attend bar meetings and events.
Over the last decade, little by little I have gotten more and more into the world of legal marketing.
It is a very interesting world. It is a profession unto itself.
Most large law firms have marketing departments with different positions, including business development specialists, marketing directors, communications directors, and event planners.
Small and medium-sized businesses may have one or two marketers who do all of the marketing for the business and are considered generalists. Many companies hire interns to help with marketing tasks or marketing consultants to keep them focused.
Individual attorneys hire their own marketing consultants or even sales consultants to teach them how to turn a New Lead (PNC) into a real client. Some attorneys I know hire trainers to teach them how to pack themselves, including how to dress, how to develop “elevator speeches,” and how to network.
Over the years, I have learned several tips:
Stay within your comfort zone. There are many methods and opportunities to promote yourself. Unless your only job is to make rain, there is definitely limited time for legal marketing.
Be sure to use your time wisely and choose one or two methods that are most comfortable for you. For example, if you’re on the quieter side and aren’t good at networking in large groups, use your marketing time in other ways. Invite a potential referral source for lunch, join a committee at a volunteer organization, or find a smaller networking group that feels more intimate.
Brand your own brand within your company. If you work at a firm of 40 lawyers that do the same type of work as you, you must find a way to differentiate yourself.
Find your passion and try to incorporate it into the work you do.
In the world of divorce, there are lawyers who concentrate on working exclusively with men, the LGBT community, athletes, etc.
Just because he has his own brand doesn’t mean he’s not a staunch team player. In fact, by representing your company in a niche area, you are bringing additional visibility to the company.
Get online. More than ever, the Internet is an additional marketing tool. If you or your business don’t have a website, now is the time to create one.
If your business has its own website, make sure your credentials stand out by continually updating your bio and ratings. Also, make sure your website or blog is easily readable on mobile devices.
Find the time to market. Like any busy service business, customers come first. I’ll be the first to admit that a few weeks or months, my marketing takes a backseat to all the emergencies that arise with clients. Schedule your marketing time just like you would any other important appointment.
Especially on the Internet, you have to be aware of everything. It takes time to rank high in search results and little time to display them.
I have many titles and roles. I am a lawyer, husband, father, friend, uncle and marketer.
Each takes time and effort, and it’s not always easy to balance, but I do my best. My final advice is to do the best you can, don’t give up, and the results will follow.