This is the second of two posts on associate marketing early in their career. As I mentioned last time, I’ve addressed the topic in 2014; and friend and colleague Ross Fishman of Fishman Marketing has recently completed his treatise entitled The Ultimate Law Firm Associate’s Marketing Checklist.
In this post, I’ll speak to some of Fishman’s marketing ideas for years two through five and beyond. [Again, a caveat: in many BigLaw firms not only are young lawyers not encouraged to learn about marketing; but discouraged from doing so, because it would interfere with meeting billable hour requirements.] So, my posts are for the rest of you attorneys. Many of the activities covered you should continue throughout your career. They are not just year-specific.
- Continue working on becoming a “great lawyer” (never stop this);
- Add names to your mailing lists and increase connections on LinkedIn and Facebook (classmates, new contacts, clients and bar association lawyers you meet);
- Focus on LinkedIn professional groups in your practice area; and
- Read bar and trade publications/blogs to increase technical skills.
- Increase activity in bar and trade associations that could be the source of new work;
- Become more proactive within your network;
- Master one or more “elevator speeches” for different audiences;
- Find a marketing mentor within or outside the firm;
- Attend training opportunities by firm’s marketing and business development staff; and
- Consistently update your bio and LinkedIn profile.
Fourth/Fifth Year and Beyond
- Be more active and seek leadership positions in bar, civic and trade organizations (where permissible);
- Latch on early to a young rainmaker within the firm;
- Learn more about the business and industry of clients you do work for;
- Keep an up-to-date list of your cases/transactions;
- Look to write and speak on topics relating to your growing expertise (and look for other opportunities to re-use an article as a speech, and vice a versa);
- Build up your network with other professionals who can refer clients;
- Reduce bar activities (as a marketing tool), if other lawyers are not a source of referrals;
- Seek assistance regularly for the firm’s marketing professionals; and
- Visit your client contacts often (off-the-clock).
“Remember that providing highest-quality technical skills and extremely responsive client service (emphasis mine) are essential elements of your firm’s marketing to its existing clients,” according to Fishman. I couldn’t agree more, and with many other things he says in his book. You should get a copy, if your marketing department hasn’t purchased copies it yet.
P.S. No I do not receive a penny from the sale of the book, but maybe I ………… never mind.