Legal marketing dominated April’s trending topics. From e-newsletters to social media to thank-you notes and beyond, the blawgosphere was alive with ideas and inspiration for anyone wanting to get and keep good clients. Maybe it was the Legal Marketing Association’s 2014 conference and this week’s Lawyernomics conference that stirred up all the chat. Or maybe everyone’s worried about not having enough clients. Regardless, here are five threads we spotted.
1. Be Referral-worthy
Many marketing plans focus only on seeking out new clients but neglect building a referral network. Relationships with attorneys and other professionals can bring in steady business for years to come. Become referral-worthy with these tips:
- Take the first step. Not sure you have what it takes to get referrals? Find out in Lee Rosen’s one-question quiz on Divorce Discourse.
- Be social. Even though a lot of networking has moved from in-person to online, the practice of nurturing those relationships remains the same. Because, as Real Lawyers Have Blogs reminds us, “Word of mouth still rules.”
- Make it a habit. “The bottom line to finding clients is being public and available,” writes Christina Gagnier in her small law firm-focused column on Above the Law.
2. Be Genuine
When considering you for their attorney, the first thing most people will do is check out your website — but no one will hire you if you come off as insincere about yourself or your experience. Several articles this month highlighted the importance of being genuine, with pointers like these:
- Be the real you. You’ve heard the advice to “just be yourself” many times before, but Keith Lee says it’s especially important to offer a “true and honest” version of yourself when it comes to attracting clients.
- Show, don’t tell. Give prospective clients a real idea of what you offer through client testimonials, videos that showcase your skills and case studies, Steven Fairley writes.
3. Be Diligent
Getting lots of traffic and queries on your website doesn’t mean much if you don’t follow the leads. Some recommended steps:
- Keep it up. Following up with a prospective client is a two-stage process, with the second stage going on “forever,” according to David M. Ward at The Attorney Marketing Center.
- Plan it out. A well-planned follow-up sequence is “the best and most efficient way” to connect with prospective clients. It includes an information package, postcard, phone call and a final thank-you note, writes Ben Glass.
- Be gracious. In fact, saying thanks might just be the quickest and simplest way to boost your practice, writes Jay Reeves.
4. Be Present
Sometimes people need time before they decide if they’ll hire you as their attorney — sometimes they need lots and lots of time. So how can you ensure you’re the one they think of when they’re finally ready to hire a lawyer? Stay top of mind with these tips:
- Use e-newsletters. Providing relevant and valuable information to both current and prospective clients is a great way to remind people that you are knowledgeable and available. HubSpot says you need to start with the basics to do it well.
- Work it. Keep the prospective client pipeline filled by regularly posting new content to your website, sharing articles, speaking and giving interviews, writes The Attorney Marketing Center.
5. Be Open to Learning
In early April, the Legal Marketing Association held its annual conference. (Mark Beese reported the buzz for us here.) You can always count on the LMA to provide inspiration from the cutting edge for your marketing activities, as shown in presentations like these:
- Get it while it’s hot. “Cinnamon Buns and Leadership: Lessons for Legal Marketers and Lawyers” was the title of the conference keynote delivered by Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon Inc. If you’re wondering what yummy pastries have to do with lawyer marketing, you won’t after you read the summary of the presentation.
- Age does matter. Heather Morse, Marketing Director at Barger Wolen LLP, and CMO Jonathan Fitzgarrald of Greenbereg Glusker, really opened some eyes with their session, “Generational Marketing: Strategies and Tactics for Engaging Different Generations.” Get your own eyes opened with the revealing demographics they included in their slide deck.
Kandy Hopkins is a Contributing Editor at Attorney at Work. A Chicago-based freelance writer and copy editor, she specializes in legal and healthcare topics, formerly blogging for the Thomson Reuters-affiliated Hildebrandt Blog. Whenever she’s asked, “So, what do you do?” she always replies, “Whatever I think I can get away with.” Most people think she’s joking.