Now that I have your attention, let me explain. It always amazed me when lawyers first get turned on to marketing, they want to focus on landing prospects they don’t know and who don’t know them. “I want to get IBM as a client” or “Company X has a big presence in our community I want some of their work.”

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against prospecting. It’s a question of priorities for both short-term success and time spent on legal marketing if you are relatively new at it. Start with the easy stuff. Clients know you and are more likely to give you work than some prospect that doesn’t.

On several occasions, I have emphasized that the quickest and most effective focus for your lawyer marketing efforts is on existing clients (for more work and referrals) and your referral sources. (See earlier posts here, here, here, and here).

It isn’t that prospecting for new clients doesn’t work, it just takes longer and costs more in terms of time and resources. So, if your finally getting on the legal marketing bandwagon, I suggest you start with your current client base and your contacts generally.

For those concentrating on criminal defense, Plaintiff’s PI work or solos new to the practice of law …

For these lawyers who have to rely on new clients for their business, the rules are different to a point. If appropriate, stay in touch with past clients – send information occasionally to keep your name in front of them, so they can refer others to you. Also, unless you have the resources to bombard the airways, billboards, etc. for work, I would emphasize working on referral sources (real and potential).  For example, court officials, other lawyers, and local civic, cultural and business organizations.