That said, even without a budget, individual lawyers can develop an effective marketing strategy that is based on the same recommendation but substitutes time for money in the marketing equation. For instance, if your firm has a billing requirement of 2,000 hours per year, an individual attorney could put the 8 percent recommendation to work by committing 13 hours per month to marketing-related activities. This approach should offer attorneys the confidence of knowing they are dedicating adequate resources to growing their businesses while encouraging marketing activities that often yield best results, i.e., your personal time cultivating relationships, demonstrating thought leadership, and networking with colleagues, clients and friends.
Once you determine how much time you should be spending on marketing, the next step is to identify low to no cost ways to increase your visibility, demonstrate your thought leadership and position yourself to be a candidate for new business.
The ABA Journal recently published an article, “50 Simple Ways You Can Market Your Practice,” with great examples of how to integrate marketing into your daily life. Here are a few of the ABA Journal’s suggestions that jump off the page as being a great use of time:
- Develop a marketing plan around activities you enjoy. If you like to write, think about an electronic newsletter. If you connect better with people one on one, consider volunteer work with an activity that complements your practice.
- Attend bar association events. Lawyers only refer cases to people they know; and if they don’t see you, they won’t think of you.
- Contact three to five potential referral sources a week — every week, regardless of how busy you are — and arrange to meet for coffee, drinks or a meal.
- Before meeting someone you would like to have as a client, research their business on the federal case site Pacer to get a better sense of potential legal needs. Also, read quarterly reports, check out websites and do a Google News search to see what stories have been published about the business.
- Take time once a week to write LinkedIn endorsements for people you have worked with and respect. Do not wait for them to ask for one; do it on your own.