It’s the end of the year and as an attorney you are most likely sitting behind a closed office door trying to 1) bill, bill, bill to hit your numbers; or 2) collect, collect, collect to hit your numbers.
In between all of this closed-door time, I have a few simple “marketing” suggestions you can slip in when no one is looking:
- Review your firm bio. Do you need to update your cases? Speaking engagements? Articles? Does the narrative portion of your bio reflect what you do, who you do it for, and why you do it well? Does the narrative reflect the work that you want to do for the right types of clients??
- Call a client ever day and wish them a happy holiday. Yes, I know your secretary sent them a firm holiday card that you might or might not have signed, but a telephone call or voicemail, with no expectations of personal gain, is a nice touch.
- If your firm has a blog write a short post on a key business or legal issue your clients would find interesting. Something that has affected the way they conduct business (as opposed to how you make money). You can then send out a short e-mail to your clients, with a direct link to the post.
- Send a gift to your top 10 clients and referral sources. If you bill out at $500 per hour, why not spend $250 to show your appreciation. If your firm won’t pay for the gifts, then make the investment yourself.
- Write a LinkedIn or AVVO recommendation for a colleague, client or a referral source. Take time to note what differentiates this person from others in their peer network.
- Speaking of LinkedIn, if you don’t have a profile, or your profile is limited, invest an hour in updating the information posted. Sync your Outlook Contacts and start connecting with current clients, referral sources. Search out “lost” or “forgotten” clients and reconnect. Do a search of your law school classmates. Reach out to those you remember, even ever so slightly. What about that group you Summered with back when law firms still had summer programs?
- Join some LinkedIn Groups that reflect your clients’ industries, your specific legal specialty or practice, and your personal interests as well. You will also be able to find and join groups for your college, fraternity, sorority, etc.
- Reevaluate what you did in 2009 when it comes to marketing and business development. What worked well? What can you do better? What can you drop? What can you pass along to a junior partner or an associate?
- Stay on top of the news in 2010. Search out blogs on topics that are of interest to you and your clients and subscribe to the RSS Feeds via a Reader (I use Google Reader). These can include legal, business development/sales, legal marketing, industry specific blogs, etc.
- Pick up the phone and schedule some in-person meetings for after the New Year. Nothing, nothing, nothing will help you develop relationships like face-time. Visit your clients (if they are in another city); take a client to lunch (if they are down the block). If you have identified a new/potential client/referral source via social networking or social media, move the relationship ON-line.
Whatever you choose to do when your office door is closed is up to you. Just don’t wait until the door is closed on a relationship to do something.