Getting the legal work completed. Getting those billable hours in. Important, of course. However, because you are busy is no excuse for not getting out there face-to-face with clients and referrals sources to ensure that work continues to flow into the law firm.

Not enough time is often cited as the reason lawyers don’t do more marketing and business development. But that may not be the whole story. There is a pretty good article that stresses the need for lawyers to have more face time to develop business on Dolan Media Company’s web site.

The article points out several reasons that may be at the root of the problem. Many lawyers are introverted, not comfortable networking and although very disciplined when it comes to a client’s matter, not so much when it comes to marketing in order to maintain their business.

Here’s eight keys to business development success gleaned from the article, and which I have also preached about many times:

  1. Get out from behind your desk, and raise your profile by being more visible;
  2. Cultivate desirable relationships;
  3. Attend events where your clients and potential clients are likely to be;
  4. Schedule lunch or breakfast dates;
  5. Ask clients what keeps them up at night, then listen to them;
  6. Visit your key clients (off the clock) to learn more about their business;
  7. Ask for feedback, specifically ask what the firm could do better; and
  8. Look for opportunities to write and speak to your intended audience.

Excuses won’t bring in more business.

  • Develop and commit to a 15 minute daily marketing calendar to set up the activities mentioned above.
    Set it up as a recurring activity in Outlook and make sure you do it.
    Over one year, that is 60 hours dedicated to sales and marketing activities.
    You can make a lot happen with that.

  • Hi Tom and Chris,
    As an online legal marketing consultant, I would like to add something. Chris suggested to set aside 15 minutes of your day to marketing activities. I think that’s reasonable and will pay off in the long term. I like the suggestions you made, Tom, and I would like to add one: Social Media Marketing. A while ago I wrote a short blog article about Social Media Marketing and how it can fit into any attorney’s marketing strategy.
    Social Media Marketing includes viral and interactive marketing using technology platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to generate buzz about your business, cause, brand, or product. One of the major advantages of utilizing Social Media Marketing is to stay connected to how current or prospective clients/customers feel about your business. Social Media Marketing allows you to manage the reputation of your brand by engaging, listening, and responding to your audience in real time.
    I don’t want to go into specifics about Social Media Marketing, but I think that especially attorneys will benefit tremendously from it if they only embrace it.