Marketing Tips from Successful Lawyers: Part Two
A few months ago, we ran a piece in which lawyers shared the marketing tips that worked best for their firms. However, we were so inundated with responses that we decided to run a second article on the subject.
Here, even more lawyers share the tips that worked best for them:
“For years I have relied on referrals only and did very little to market myself or my firm. Recently, we have put a lot of energy into marketing ourselves and our firm. The best advice I have (albeit novice advice) is to define your niche and market to that niche. As Seth Godin, tells his audience time and again, ‘Find people who believe what you believe’ and share your story with them.” —Matt Slocum, an auto accident attorney in Scranton, Pennsylvania
“Treat every person you encounter with dignity and respect. Everyone you meet is a potential client or a potential source of business. Then, once you have made those people your clients, exceed their expectations.” —Gary Shapiro, a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey
“I have found that the best referrals come from other attorney colleagues with whom I have a long-standing personal relationship. People seem to trust referrals for attorneys when them come from other attorneys. My attorney colleagues know when they refer a potential client to me that I will handle their case with competence and compassion.” —Darlene S. Wanger, a family law attorney and mediator in Los Angeles.
“Educate yourself about search engine optimization. Even if your internet marketing budget is 100% devoted to Adwords (or similar products), you need to know about developments so you can monitor your spending and its effectiveness.” —Donald E. Petersen, a consumer rights lawyer in Orlando.
“Earning positive reviews is the best tip I have for marketing a law firm. Nothing is more credible than the approval of actual clients.” —Matt Eason, a partner in a Sacramento, California law firm specializing in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and employment law
“Develop relationships within your community and don’t over-extend yourself. We’re located in a smaller geographic region, but some of our best cases, and the vast majority of our referrals, come from past clients and other attorneys within the community. When people recognize that your passion extends to them beyond the financial relationship and you are truly looking out for their well-being, they will reciprocate. We pay the highest referral fees to other attorneys allowable by the state bar and have paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to other attorneys for these referrals.” —Brian O’Neill, a personal injury lawyer in San Luis Obispo, California
“Figure out what works for you and explore that avenue more. When I started my own firm, I tried a lot of different marketing techniques from various legal websites to print ads to Google ads. I kept track of where each of my cases were coming from and then got rid of the things that were not successful and expanded on the areas that were bringing in new business.” —Amanda Waechter PC, a Criminal Defense attorney in Plainfield, IL
“Know that the internet is a great equalizer. A new, inexperienced firm can make itself look comparable to an experienced, highly successful firm. So, make your page just as professional as your competitors—even when you are just starting out—and you may be able to obtain cases that would otherwise go to a bigger, more established firm.” —Thomas J. Simeone, a Personal Injury lawyer in Washington D.C.
“Make sure that your web presence truly conveys to potential clients who you are and what you can do for them. It has to distinguish you from the competition. This means having a modern, up-to-date website with helpful advice, legal updates and blog posts, example case results describing how you have helped previous clients, and dozens of reviews, photos, and videos of yourself. Many people are very worried about picking up the phone and speaking with an attorney. It is a stressful experience, and people are even more worried about hiring the wrong lawyer. If you show people who you are and how you may be able to help them on your website, it makes it easier for them to pick up the phone and call you. Additionally, generating all of that content will dramatically increase your site’s ranking in search engine results. There are a lot of lawyers, and the market is very competitive. It is not enough to say that you are experienced or aggressive or any other adjective. You have to show people what that means through pictures, videos, blog posts, client reviews, endorsements from other attorneys, and case studies.” —Zak Goldstein, a criminal defense lawyer practicing in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
“Get familiar with your state bar’s ethics rules on attorney advertising and be sure to follow them carefully. For example, states such as New York and Pennsylvania restrict the circumstances in which you can claim to be a specialist in a certain area of law. In California, attorneys are barred from creating direct mail and email advertisements that mimic legal pleadings or other legal documents, unless the recipients are existing and former clients, family members, or other lawyers.” —Ron Leshnower, a lawyer in New York who offers fair housing compliance services for real estate professionals
“Rising tides lift all boats. We market everyone—not just the senior attorneys with the name on the door. Everyone plays an important role and needs to be recognized and promoted for the firm to do well. Each lawyer has unique and different talents and gifts that contribute to the team. You are a lawyer 24/7/365. There is never a moment when you aren’t a representative of the firm and the profession when you do what we do. We carry ourselves professionally at all times because anyone and everyone is a potential client or referral source. Doing a good job for clients is probably the best of all marketing tools.” —Aubrey Connatser, who practices family law in Texas