Here are some more Bright Ideas to improve your marketing:
Bright Idea! Run Your Practice Like A Business
Lawyers do not learn how to run a business in law school. Running your law practice like a business involves developing specific processes for everything you do and a commitment to the profitability of your firm. Read this great book by entrepreneurial guru, Michael Gerber, “The E-Myth Attorney: Why Most Legal Practices Don’t Work and What to Do About It.” This is one of the best books available on how to run your law practice.
Bright Idea! Work On Your Sales Pipeline
Once you accept that in addition to being a lawyer who sells sophisticated legal services, you are also a salesperson, the job of sales becomes less daunting. As such, we encourage you to create a sales pipeline of your best current clients, prospective clients and referral sources and make a point of reaching out to these contacts throughout the year. Add reminders to your calendar to follow up with each person. Track when you last saw the person, opportunities you see, next steps and the date you plan to follow up. You also want to use your sales pipeline to track current and projected revenue.
For every task and function at the firm, (developing leads, answering the phone, greeting clients, filing documents, hiring new staff, conflict checking, opening new files, greeting visitors, client intake, case strategy) record your process and create a process manual.
Put on your salesman’s hat and do your research. Before you meet with a contact, spend 10 minutes reviewing their website, biography and LinkedIn profile. Do a Google search on the person and see what interesting facts you can find.
Bright Idea: Developing Your Base Referral Sources
As a lawyer, you rely on referrals from current and past clients, as well as from other lawyers. Building your base of referral sources is a one-to-many strategy. A strong relationship with one person could lead to many new clients in the future. So how do you attract more A-level referral sources? Start with an analysis of your current clients over the past two years. For each client, identify who referred them to the firm. What do the referral sources have in common? Maybe they are bankers, CPAs, social workers, therapists. Whatever the mix, commit yourself to meeting more people like your best referral sources. Offer something of value to prospective referral sources.
Remember the key to building great referral relationships is to ensure they are mutually beneficial. Lawyers have a reputation of asking for referrals but not giving very many. Commit to developing a few really great referral sources, then do everything you can to also refer business back to them.
Develop a system to track referrals you make, and those you receive. Develop a rating system based on the professional’s substantive knowledge and past successes before you make a referral.