Do you know the rules of the new marketing game? Relatively few lawyers enjoy and excel at marketing and business development. Most struggle with these tasks and consider them almost as much fun as dealing with firm HR issues. This is unfortunate, because marketing and business development are critical to building a successful practice.
Law firm marketing has moved way beyond the business card, Rotary Club lunch and round of golf. In this issue we address the challenge of getting you up-to-speed in the ever-evolving marketing game. How to market and bring in clients in a down economy has stymied many firms. Many have chosen to tighten their belts by slashing marketing budgets—a shortsighted move that could mean no work when things turn around. In our cover story, we feature firms that have instead seen the economic downturn as an opportunity, using proactive, forward-thinking business development strategies to add to both their client and lawyer rosters.
Taking any client that walks through the door is another common mistake that firms make in tough times. Susan Shallcross will help you see the value in using your limited business development resources to target more desirable clients. In an excerpt from the just-released ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier, Carolyn Elefant and Nicole Black outline how you can use social media to create an online presence that will allow you to network and build relationships with clients and referral sources. If you want to be on the cusp of the next big marketing technique, turn to Gerry Oginski’s and Terry Isner’s pieces on using video on your firm’s site—and read how Ritchenya Dodd helped her firm use avatars to present to potential clients at a virtual conference. In addition, Mary Young will help you decide if your firm needs a marketing director and what you should look for in hiring someone for this role.
I hope this issue helps you and your firm win at the marketing game.
On a sad note, I note the passing of longtime Law Practice Magazine Board member Ed Flitton. Ed was a true gentleman, with contagious amounts of enthusiasm and energy. With his amazing knowledge of law firm finance and management issues, he made significant contributions to Law Practice and the profession, some of which are noted in this issue. Ed, the LPM family will miss you.
Dan Pinnington, Editor-in-Chief