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Five Lawyer Marketing Fundamentals

By Sally J. Schmidt

Returning to  fundamental lawyer marketing strategies can be effective when the world’s upside down.

The year 2020 has thrown a wrench into the practices of many lawyers, both substantive and marketing related. Activities you’ve implemented in the past are no longer at your disposal and it can be difficult to imagine what can take their place. With all the talk of change, pivoting and creative new options, it can be easy to lose sight of lawyer marketing fundamentals.

Here Are Five Fundamental Lawyer Marketing Strategies

These lawyer marketing strategies are always a good idea, but especially now when the world is upside down.

1. Listen to Clients

In the months since the pandemic hit, law firms have been pumping out alerts and scheduling webinars at warp speed. And these are fine ways to bring information to clients, of course. But what is really welcomed by clients is empathy — listening to them, not just one-way communication. So, get back to the basics, like calling clients just to hear how things are going. Set up a roundtable of like people (by industry or job title) so they can share their experiences, frustrations or protocols. And implement a client feedback initiative, to learn what clients are thinking and how the firm can best respond. Educating clients is great; listening to them is even better.

Read: “Building Stronger Client Relationships Despite the Obstacles” and “Increasing Contacts With Clients: Becoming a Trusted Advisor”

2. Use Old-School Lawyer Marketing Touches

Alerts, emails, invitations and the like are pouring into client inboxes at a dizzying pace. Clients may receive dozens if not scores a day. How do you stand out from the crowd? Pick up the telephone. Mail a personal letter. Send a handwritten note. You get back what you put into something so put a little TLC into your communications.

Read: “Say Thank You to Stand Out” and “Handwritten Notes Help Build Relationships”

3. Track Client Information

Pay attention to what is happening to clients, their industries and their competitors. Information technology tools available for lawyer marketing today are amazing and can alert you to things that you or your clients should know. Don’t confuse this effort with the opportunistic business development approach of, “I see you have been served in Texas and I’d like to handle the case.” Rather, use the information to be helpful and caring, such as, “I see your main competitor is involved in a non-compete case with one of its salespeople. I just wanted to be sure you have everyone locked into their agreements.”

Read: “The Basics of Researching Your Target”

4. Be Active on LinkedIn

Visibility is very important in law firm marketing. Generally, people need to hear from you or see you every three months in order for you to be top of mind. In these extraordinary times, staying visible is much harder; you won’t run into people in restaurants and building lobbies or have a chance to catch up at conferences and meetings. LinkedIn is an excellent way to stay front and center. Post articles you’ve written or write something just for LinkedIn. Share or like relevant articles prepared by other people. Connect to people with personal messages. People are very active on LinkedIn these days and it will benefit you to be active, too.

Read: “Advanced LinkedIn Tips for Lawyers” (Infographic) and “A Simple Three-Month Strategy for Lawyers Who Are New to LinkedIn”

5. Stay Involved in Associations

Since most organizations are canceling in-person meetings and conferences, they are working hard to provide benefits to their members through other methods. How can you help? Volunteer to take on the role of a moderator for a virtual panel. Offer to write something for the group’s electronic newsletter or website. Set up virtual meetings of committees or members. The association will be grateful and you will position yourself as a leader.

Read: “Stepping Up to Marketing Success” 

Stick With the Legal Marketing Fundamentals

While people always want to talk about unique approaches to marketing in times like these, it can be most effective to return to the fundamentals. Listen, be helpful, and show you care.

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Categories: Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing Play to Win
Originally published July 22, 2020
Last updated August 24, 2020
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Sally J. Schmidt Sally J. Schmidt

Sally Schmidt, President of Schmidt Marketing, Inc., helps lawyers and law firms grow their practices. She was a founder and the first President of the Legal Marketing Association, is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and was one of the first inductees to LMA’s Hall of Fame. Known for her practical advice, she is the author of two books, “Marketing the Law Firm: Business Development Techniques” and “Business Development for Lawyers: Strategies for Getting and Keeping Clients.” Follow her @SallySchmidt.

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