This is not your father’s law practice

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Every few weeks, a real estate agent in my area sends me oversized postcards describing her listings. The other day, she mailed me a calendar for the fridge. I’d had enough. I wrote to her and told her, “Take me off your list! UNSUBSCRIBE!”

The nerve of some people.

Okay, that never happened. I told my wife I was going to do it, thinking I would at least get a charity laugh, but she’s endured my warped sense of humor for 34 years and this was probably too much to ask.

But it did make me think about how the world has changed since I first opened my law practice, or my father did before me.

Before email, if you wanted to communicate with prospective clients (real estate or law), you could put something in the mail. It worked before and it still works today. In fact, it works better today because so few do it anymore (and because nobody accuses you of spam when you do.)

You may have never done any direct mail, but if you want to bring in new business, this is a viable choice for many attorneys.

Advertising works.

If you don’t want to do direct mail, there are alternatives. Display ads, ezine ads, pay-per-click ads, classified ads, and more, can drive traffic to your website and clients to your office.

If you don’t want to advertise your services, you could advertise a book or report or audio. You could advertise a charity or cause you believe in and include your firm’s name (and web link) as sponsor.

Writing articles, blogging, social media, speaking, networking–they’re all forms of advertising. You may not write a check when you do them, but you’re doing something to get your name in front of people who can hire you or refer others. When you write to former clients, you’re reminding them that you’re still available to help them and the people they know. Yep, advertising.

A PI attorney in Georgia, Jamie Casino, ran a local two-minute TV spot during the Super Bowl. Perhaps you saw it. It’s received over five million views on Youtube. We can debate whether the ad is ethical or in bad taste, or whether he did it as a stunt or truly believes in his message, but one thing is certain: the ad and the buzz it has created will put more than a few shekels in Mr. Casino’s pockets.

I’m not saying that if you advertise, you should look to this as a model. I’m saying, it’s a tough market for attorneys today and if you’ve never thought about advertising before, perhaps you should. Even if all you do is mail out some calendars.

Don’t want to do paid advertising? Here are the best alternatives.

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