After years spent studying, the reality of putting the law into practice is exciting! You may be ready to start taking on cases and building an impressive name for yourself. But if you notice that prospects are skeptical about your ability to help them due to your inexperience, do not be discouraged! Utilize some of the following marketing tips for new lawyers and you’ll be well on your way to elevating your reputation as a skilled and successful attorney.
Talk About Your Work
As a new lawyer, one of the most important things you can do is talk about your work at every opportunity. This should not be done for the sole purpose of bragging, but rather to keep people informed about the type of law you focus on and how you are helping others. Creating this element of top-of-mind awareness ultimately helps with referrals and new business because people are likely to remember how passionate you were about your work. From random conversations at the gym to alumni events, if it makes sense to discuss your work – seize the opportunity.
The perception of being inexperienced is one of the most challenging obstacles for new lawyers to manage. Utilize the power of speaking engagements to combat some of the negative associations of being fresh out of law school. Speaking engagements allow others to witness your poise and listen to your take on important legal matters. Seek out speaking opportunities that relate to the type of cases you want to handle in the future. The great thing about public speaking is that you can market events (thus yourself) to a broader audience in various ways. For example, use your Facebook and LinkedIn pages to share the links that list you as a speaker. Draft a personalized letter to your top referral sources inviting them to attend the event. Even if they cannot attend, they will have you at the top of their mind for future opportunities.
Be Intentional with your Referrals.
If a prospect comes to you with a case you cannot handle, sift through your network of contacts to determine who would best be able to help the client. When you refer an opportunity to someone else, there is a good chance that you will also receive a referral or two down the road. Prepare for these instances by creating a master list of practice areas and corresponding attorneys in your network. Keep the list handy so you are able to make the referral promptly at any time you receive such calls. Follow up with your contact by sending a quick email or note to give them a heads up about a case you have sent their way. You may even want to run through some basic facts so they are better prepared when they receive the call from the prospect.
Get Involved in the Community
Think about the areas you are passionate about and get involved. Whether that means helping small business owners with their legal questions, or building houses on the weekend for homeless families, find an organization that relates to your practice area and dedicate some hours to lending a helping hand. Not only will others benefit from your work, but it also allows you to meet different people and market yourself directly to your client base.
Do Great Legal Work
One of the easiest ways to market yourself is simple – do great legal work! You will find yourself with referrals and compliments from fellow attorneys as a result of your hard work and dedication. Additionally, when clients express their gratitude at the end of a case or settlement, make it a practice to ask for future work or referrals. Let them know that most of your work comes through referrals and word of mouth, and you would appreciate them thinking of you in the future. Although you may feel uncomfortable in the beginning, clients are likely to forget all about your practice within a few months if you do not take this extra step.
Set Up In-Person Meetings
Set up a specific number of in-person meetings per week. As a new attorney, networking is one of the best ways to engage with people on a personal level. Three to five targets per week may be a good average, but you may want to be more aggressive in the beginning. And when your business starts picking up, you should still reach out to at least three people per week.
Ask to be a Greeter at Events
When attending business receptions or networking events, ask the organizers if you can be a greeter. This allows you to meet a majority of the attendees and provides a natural means of introducing yourself and sharing what you do. During the actual networking portion of the event, you can seek out the people who are of most relevance to your practice.
Send out Greeting Cards
Legal firms tend to send out cards for major holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s. Choose a different holiday, or make up a reason to send out cards during a time when no other firm would think to do so. If the timing complements an element relating to you or your law firm, that’s even better. Separating yourself from other firms will be of value to your practice.
Organize a Monthly Dinner
Organize a monthly dinner with your law school classmates across different practice areas. You’ll benefit from hearing how others have overcome challenges, you can provide insight into your own learning’s, and over time this group will become a source of referral opportunities.
Leverage Social Media
Monitor social media platforms to find prospective clients. You can engage directly by answering their basic questions, and possibly even scheduling an in-person meeting to discuss how you can help them with their troubles. This marketing strategy is free and can be easy if you set up notifications relating to specific keywords.
Work with Your Local Newspaper
Become a source for your local newspaper. Cultivate a strong relationship with journalists because they are always looking for sources and experts to weigh into legal issues. The mention of your name and a quote in a newspaper is invaluable. You can attract new business, and it also elevates your public profile as a knowledgeable attorney.