Here are five actions you can take to raise your profile as a lawyer and gain clients.
Join a Club or Organization
Find a club or organization that hosts an activity you enjoy or promotes a cause you believe in. It is easier to make connections with other people who share similar interests. Become an active member and consider taking a leadership role. Your fellow members will take notice of your work ethic and your approach to resolving problems. Those who might refer business to you will feel more comfortable allowing you into their sphere of influence, and those who might be potential clients themselves will see how you operate. Although not a requirement, a club or organization with a shortage of lawyers is ideal. You want to be “top of mind” as the go-to lawyer if members need advice on a legal matter.
Study Legal Marketing
For those with a background in business or sales, this approach may be obvious. For those without such experience, this may not be so obvious. Clients are the lifeblood of every attorney’s practice. That makes it essential to learn how to attract clients. While learning how to practice law is vital in your early years, do not neglect how to build your book of business. In this age of information, there is a wealth of resources, including texts and podcasts. The ABA GPSolo Section (Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division) publishes an excellent book on learning rainmaking, How to Capture and Keep Clients: Marketing Strategies for Lawyers (2d ed. 2015). If you have a long commute to work, try searching “legal marketing” in your smartphone’s podcast app (Stitcher, Spotify, etc.). The Lawyerist and the Un-Billable Hour are two fantastic podcasts that come to mind when it comes to information regarding how to build your base of clients.
Make Contacts in the Media
Television. If you ever have the opportunity to appear on television to discuss a legal trend or opine on a legal matter, seize it. Nothing gives you as much credibility to the public as having a local or cable news network put you on the air. I once met an attorney who doubled his business volume by appearing on a cable news program to discuss the law. He received that opportunity by assisting a client who had the ability to place him on the show as a legal expert.
Newspapers and Magazines. Writing a column for the business section of your local newspaper or business magazine is a great way to connect with potential clients who have an appetite for the type of content you are providing. It is also an excellent way to demonstrate expertise.
Podcasts. Participating as a guest on a podcast probably has the lowest entry barrier with the broadest reach for an audience. If there is a podcast that you know your clients listen to, reach out to the host of the podcast to pitch a topic you could speak on, or—better yet—offer to write content for the website affiliated with the podcast. Such organizations are always seeking content, and providing content for your target audience is a great way to become known to them.
Write, Write, Write
Most lawyers underestimate their ability to think clearly and write well. In the competitive space of legal services, you need to stand out from other lawyers. One great way to do that is to create content. Write short articles for blogs, your firm’s website, trade magazines, and any other medium to get you in front of potential clients. The more you write, the more you will get noticed and perceived as an expert. In time, the clients will come.
Organize an Event and Make Yourself a Speaker
Offer to host an event in a local community forum such as a church or public library. If you are an estate planner, offer to host a no-cost seminar regarding why someone needs a will. If you are a real estate attorney, perhaps plan a workshop catered to commercial real estate brokers offering specific drafting advice about certain lease provisions. In some cases, you may be able to host an event that will earn educational credit for the attendees. The benefit of hosting such a program is that it gets you in front of potential clients or professionals that can refer business to you. In the time of COVID-19, when being in the same physical spaces as others tends to be discouraged, participate in a webinar that potential referral sources or clients will access. Another avenue is to create video content that you can “push out” via social media channels or anywhere you think potential clients may hunt for your content.
The Young Lawyers Network wishes you the best in your business development endeavors!