Introducing Guest Blogger Ryan Alesso – “Don’t Stop Marketing Your Law Firm the Old-Fashioned Ways”


20140227 Ryan AlessoRyan comes from an ad and marketing background, and is now focused on the healthcare niche.  He travels around the U.S. and speaks at conferences on healthcare marketing and management.

 

 

“Don’t Stop Marketing Your Law Firm the Old-Fashioned Ways”

Business Law

Discounted services and buy-one, get-one-free coupons used to be the domain of shoe salesmen and oil change shops, but now the American Bar Association has sanctioned these tactics for use by lawyers as well. Attorneys who want to advertise over platforms like Groupon and LivingSocial are welcome to do so, reports the Association of Corporate Counsel. These new-found tactics may be a good way to reign in new clients, but they haven’t replaced some of the older and still-relevant forms of marketing.

Brochures

You can physically hand a brochure to prospective clients. It requires less effort for the recipient to look it over than searching your website. It also shares more information than a billboard or radio ad. Hard copy promotional items like these usually get placed somewhere conspicuous, such as on a desk or counter, and can therefore serve as a reminder to the recipient.

Rather than creating this piece of promotional literature yourself, outsource the design and printing to a professional. If you’re going to write the copy yourself, make sure a professional editor/proofreader reviews it before it gets printed. Giving out a brochure that contains even small grammar and punctuation errors makes you look amateurish.

Networking -‘IRL’

In addition to networking online, it’s critical to network IRL – in real life. The  ABA Journal  recommends joining a group like your local chamber of commerce. This will boost your credibility in the community, and you’ll have opportunities to attend local networking events for young professionals as well as ones just for lawyers. Make sure you reach out to your new contacts after the event. Follow up with an email, a phone call or a note.

Become a Community Expert

Garner some attention for your name by submitting letters to a reputable blog or other news source, and if possible, volunteer to write a topical article for them as well. Depending on the nature of your firm, volunteer to educate the community on issues like will writing or avoiding fraud.

Depending on your goals, teaching at a community college or even a senior center or a community center might be time well-invested. It can take up significant time, but may establish and enhance your credentials and authority. Weigh your options and your goals to decide if this is a good step for you.

In addition to getting you attention, speaking gigs and published articles posit you as an expert in the community. If you have trouble setting up your own speaking gigs, contact your local bar association speaker’s bureau – they may have resources for you.

Foster Client Relationships

The best client-attorney relationships are the ones that last years. Nurture these relationships. Remind old clients of pressing obligations like lease renewals and business registration dates, and help them come up with new ideas for their businesses as well. Maybe they won’t decide to act on them, but they will know that you’ve been thinking of them. Simple acts like sending cards on anniversaries or major holidays are also a great way to keep your name fresh in their mind.

Comments

3 Responses to “Introducing Guest Blogger Ryan Alesso – “Don’t Stop Marketing Your Law Firm the Old-Fashioned Ways””

  1. Brenda Bodden on March 18th, 2014 12:13 am

    Hi Ryan,

    I agree with you, there’s nothing wrong in marketing the “old-fashioned” way.

    Let’s consider though just one of the new methods, for example, Groupon. It almost seems as if you don’t approve of Lawyers advertising on this type of platform.

    Sooner or later the profession will come to understand the true power of sites like Groupon and LivingSocial.

    In a nutshell here is what these sites can potentially do for the business owner:
    Create exposure, provide leads, sales, customers or clients and traffic.

    The deal you create to put on these sites, are not to put money in your pocket so much as it is to generate the above mentioned results. It does so in a very short period of time and allows you to track and measure your ROI.

    Yes offers are heavily discounted but look at it this way. When you advertise in any other medium, you pay upfront with no guarantee of getting a single client.

    With sites like Groupon, however, you’re advertising with no upfront costs to a massive database that you would otherwise have no access to. You then walk away with clients and cash in your pocket. From a marketing standpoint, this is sheer genius. The huge discounts given up on the offer can be viewed and written off as a marketing cost.

    Business owners have been frightened and scared by stories of people who have lost big time doing these deals. Frankly, there is that potential, however the savvy business owner will only run an offer as a part of a greater marketing plan. The back end of which would entail up-sells, lead capture, database building and consistent follow-up.

    I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV. So here’s what I would tell anyone, if what you’re doing to get clients and customers is working for you, keep doing it. If it is not, then don’t be afraid to employ platforms like Groupon.

    The Lawyer who “skates to where the puck is”, can position themselves to become the hunted as opposed to hunting for clients. Just my two cents. Hope someone got some value out of this.

  2. Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC. on March 18th, 2014 4:43 pm

    Brenda, I agree that “deal of the day” marketing can work for some law practices. You make some good points, especially the point about treating the discounts like advertising dollars getting your name out to your target market. Here is a link to my advice on points lawyers should consider in designing a “deal of the day” campaign: http://www.lawyer-coach.com/index.php/2012/03/06/groupon-for-legal-services-what-could-work-and-what-to-watch-out-for

    Thanks for your comment.
    -Debra

  3. Michael C. Craven on July 13th, 2014 4:43 pm

    Great blog post! I agree that it is essential that attorneys continue to build relationships through networking and old-fashioned methods.
    However, the Internet and social media are additional important tools for us to use. The days of placing yellow pages are almost over.

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