As you have probably discovered, marketing yourself and your law firm can be challenging, costly and time consuming. To have a successful law practice you do not need to spend a fortune on overpriced and ineffective advertisements that oftentimes bring in the wrong type of clients.
Traditional phone book advertising is about as useful as an eight track player and can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars each year. Long-term clients who will give you future business and profitable referrals are not going to open the phone book and call the attorney with the prettiest ad- those people will have little loyalty and are just shopping around for the cheapest price. If you become the cheapest attorney in town, you’ll be working twice as hard and there will be little time to build close relationships with your clients. Building close relationships can be as simple as promptly returning phone calls, meeting with your clients in person and taking the time to answer questions and address concerns. Creating personal bonds adds value to your legal services and sets your firm ahead of the competition- this is the key to having loyal, life-long clients who will refer other people just like them.
Always remember that exceptional service begins with a client-centric attitude, integrity and an honest work ethic. If you are unable to meet a prospective client’s needs you should refer them to an attorney who is better suited to represent their legal interests. When you are honest about not being someone’s best solution yet you still help their problem by pointing them in the right direction, you become a respected legal expert and that is the attorney people want to do business with. Only once you have adopted these principles in your firm are you ready to attract the right type of clients, and with a good reputation it will be much easier to do.
Since no two law firms are the same and every attorney has a unique personality and a special niche, it is likely that your ideal client is different from the next attorney’s ideal client. Until we discuss your business goals I cannot tell you what type of client will be most profitable for your firm; however there are several tips that I can give you which will help you get started on your own.
First, remember that compliments do not pay your bills, so when a client thanks you for your hard work or for the favorable outcome of their case you should ask them to give a brief testimonial about their experience. You can do something as simple as a mailing out comment cards or even something more technologically savvy like filming a short video of your satisfied client’s review. You will use these testimonials to tell everyone about the exceptional legal services you provide so that they can hear about the benefits of working with your firm over another.
To spread the word you will need a professional website and business cards. There are a few necessary components that should be featured on your website’s home page including your office phone number in big, bold print; your professional head shot photo and a few of your testimonials. Many attorneys are focused on making the name of their law firm front and center of their website, but their phone number can only be found by clicking on a small and easily overlooked “contact us” link at the bottom of the webpage. Your picture should also be visible on your home page so that you can be easily contacted by people who might have seen you in the courtroom and don’t know your name but were impressed enough to search for you on the internet. You will be surprised by how many profitable clients you will actually get this way.
Lastly, remember to give your business card out wherever you are because anyone you come in contact with could be a potential client. Of course, your business card needs to have your contact information and your website address so that people can see your testimonials, but it should also have a brief benefit statement to explain how you can help them and in what situation they should give you a call. Utilize these easy marketing tips and I promise you’ll be working smarter and seeing results.