I have mentioned before (here and here) on the fact that too many lawyers do not like the work they do and the clients they do the work for. Not to beat the proverbial dead horse, lawyers and firms need to get serious about marketing the work they prefer doing for the clients they would like to represent.
Ed Poll at LawBiz Blog suggests developing client profiles of those ideal clients and then undertake marketing toward those prospective clients. I really like his idea, because of course, it is the first step in identifying your target market. He suggests a series of questions one could ask to help identify one’s ideal client base. Take a look and see if they can help you with your marketing planning.

  • Tom,
    Great post.
    In so many professioanl service firms, clients are retained, or obtained, simply to pay the bills. I’m not suggesting that’s a bad idea, but often the work these clients need is not what the practitioner wants to do.
    I think an annual (at least) process of pruning clients is a good practice to ensure that your work remains meaningful for the practitioner and profitable for the business.
    It’s tough to dump clients, but often it leads to a better client mix, happier practitioners, and a more profitable business.

  • A few interesting clients and cases may make you feel good, but money does make life a lot easier. To make me feel good, I have done some Pro Bono work for clients who could not afford a lawyer. I have also volunteered for 36 years as an Auxiliary Police Officer, doing a minimum of two patrols a month. I even volunteer my legal services as General Counsel to the NYS Association of Auxiliary Police. I highly recommend joining the Auxiliary Police (known in some states as a Police Reserve Officer or a Sheriff’s Reserve Officer) or Volunteer Fire Department.
    A lawyer still has to pay the bills. A few extra dollars to spend on a nice house and a few vacations will go a long way to having fun. The fun only stops when you spend more than you make.
    Finding clients with whom you can make enough money to find the time to have fun and do volunteer work is not difficult. It just needs a few minutes of thought. Lawyers will put a lot of thought into a theory of liability, a criminal defense, etc, but never even try to think about how to conduct marketing or advertising efforts. Then they wonder why it doesn’t work. It’s like going to trial without knowing what the facts are.
    As Ed Poll said, it must be determined what the potential client’s characteristics, occupation and demographics are. This can be accomplished by looking at your best clients.
    For instance in criminal law, since court appointed fees are so low, the best clients are those that earn enough money to have to pay for a lawyer. First, a criminal lawyer needs to determine who has money, what kinds of crimes they commit, where to find these people and how to reach them. That’s actually pretty easy.
    I wrote an article for criminal lawyers detailing how to do all that at http://www.CriminalLawyerMarketing.com without spending any money or really any time. I even show how some groups like stockbrokers make good clients for a criminal lawyer. The same information can also apply to any are of practice, from personal injury to patent law. You can read more articles at the Lawyer Advertising Blog.com.