There are lots of things one can do from a marketing and business development standpoint to have a successful practice, whether you are a solo or, quite frankly, a lawyer in any size firm. Considering the fact that you will have less resources to bring into play the smaller your firm, here are a few solid ideas that will help.
Thanks to Kathryn Ransburg for her article on LinkedIn which identifies four things that solos (and others I would add) can afford to do on a limited budget:
- Work at good (no make that great) client relations. Turn your clients into raving fans by not charging for incidentals and short phone calls or a quick email. (Also, meeting or, better yet, beating deadlines doesn’t cost anything, but will help with the “raving” fan thing);
- Do quality work all the times so you gain a great reputation and referrals from clients and other attorneys (this doesn’t involve out-of- pocket costs either, but believe me, clients and other lawyers will know whether you are good and thorough or not);
- Don’t take on work you aren’t proficient at. (The alternative may destroy any benefits you might have earned from the two bullets above). Know what you’re good at and what you’re not, and turn down the latter (better yet, referral out to potential referral sources); and
- Spend your marketing budget wisely. Directories are less important (by a lot) today in light of the Internet search engines. Ransburg is right to advise that you should “prioritize(d) spending” to get the most out of your limited budget. (However, I might disagree slightly here when it comes to networking. It may be worth spending a little extra to attend and/or join the right organizations where your ideal clients hang out).
Success at business development does not have to be expensive, if you are a good lawyer and good at what you do. Because the best marketing is still – but not exclusively – being a good lawyer.