Marketing legal services in 15 minutes a day


Marketing your law practice is like exercising–it works best when you do a little bit every day.

I started walking recently, about thirty minutes, five days a week. In the couple of months since I started, I’ve lost weight, cut my appetite, and gained energy. I feel better, too. I’m exercising a few minutes every day and I’m getting results. And because it’s only a few minutes a day (and because I’m getting results) I can and will continue.

The results didn’t happen overnight, however. I didn’t see any changes the first day or the second or third. It took weeks of continued effort before I saw appreciable improvements. Marketing is like that, too. You do a little bit every day, and over time, the compounding effect of your efforts kicks in.

Lawyers often feel about marketing like they do about getting in shape: there’s too much to do, no time to do it, and it will take too long before you see results. And so, like an exercise program, they never start. Or they start, but because they are trying to do too much, too quickly, they don’t stick with it. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can be successful in marketing your practice in as little as 15 minutes a day. Here are a few "rules":

  • Do something every day. 15 minutes a day is better than an hour, once a week. Consistency, over time (persistency) is key.
  • Do it yourself. You can delegate some aspects of your marketing, but it’s important that you are involved in the process, learning, making mistakes, taking responsibility, and developing your marketing muscles. And don’t even think of delegating relationship building.
  • Don’t trust your memory–calendar it. Block out 15 minutes a day or 30 minutes a day, five days a week on your calendar, like an appointment, and KEEP THAT APPOINTMENT! Don’t schedule clients during that time, don’t take calls during that time, and don’t re-schedule that time. Trust me, if you don’t do this, in a week, you’ll be completely off schedule. (C’mon, you know I’m right!)
  • Focus on the activity, not the results. Marketing professional services takes time, especially since so much of it is relationship building. If you look at the results you’re getting, you can get frustrated and miss the big picuture. If you focus on doing the activities consistently, every day is a success. In time, the results will come, but only if you do enough activity over a long enough period of time.

So, what do you do in that 15 minutes? Plenty. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Read this blog and others, like this, this, or this, and write down marketing ideas
  2. Call a client and say hello (Yes, that’s marketing and you will be amazed at how well it works)
  3. Invite a referral source or client to lunch
  4. Send a client an article you clipped from a trade journal
  5. Send a note: thank you, congratulations, happy birthday, thinking of you (also amazingly powerful)
  6. Brainstorm ideas/chapters for a speech, article, report, book, ebook, etc.
  7. Research local organizations that might need speakers
  8. Call a client and ask him to introduce you to his CPA or insurance agent
  9. Write a brief "needs" survey to send to old clients
  10. Call or surf for information about joining your local chamber of commerce, Rotary, or BNI
  11. Register to take a public speaking class at community college or Toastmasters
  12. Write an article: "The top ten things everyone needs to know about [your practice area]"
  13. Browse through to find (a) books for you to read, (b) gifts for clients, (c) ideas for books/articles you can write, (d) books you have read and can comment on (and link to your web site)
  14. Look at a competitor’s web site for ideas for yours
  15. Send an email to "friends of the firm" updating them on new hires, successful cases, additions to your web site
  16. Research services for hosting your online newsletter or website
  17. Research blog platforms to see which one is best for your new blog
  18. Read an article from a magazine read by decision makers in your target market
  19. Send an article to someone in your target market
  20. Research venues, costs, dates for a seminar
  21. Email and recommend online resources to some of your clients
  22. Research professionals with whom you might co-market or network
  23. Write or revise your "elevator speech"
  24. Read books, web pages, ebooks, blogs, on marketing, advertising, publicity, search engines
  25. Buy a domain name for your future web site and branded email
  26. Brainstorm questions to ask fellow professionals you can interview for your newsletter
  27. Post comments on a blog, link to your web site/blog
  28. Post on your blog, or brainstorm ideas for subjects for future articles
  29. Browse for ideas for target markets, possible referral sources
  30. Update your lists: contacts, clients, prospects, newsletter, etc.
  31. Create a postcard you can mail to inexpensively "clean" your mailing list
  32. Research online/offline publications where you can submit articles
  33. Read other lawyers’ blawgs for ideas, information, networking opportunities
  34. Read about and implement legal technology to "find" more time for marketing
  35. Find a "work out" partner, to share marketing ideas, accountability
  36. Research networking groups in your area and forums where you can network online
  37. Create a marketing calendar and list projects to undertake throughout the year
  38. Start a marketing "journal" where you record ideas, resources, questions, progress
  39. Go to or to find old friends you can contact
  40. Brainstorm possible niche markets, their problems/needs, publications, groups, advisors
  41. Write a press release to announce your new report, web site, offer, award, verdict, etc.
  42. Research online press release distribution services
  43. Set up an account with Google Adwords and experiment with  pay per click advertising
  44. Find online marketing gurus and subscribe to their mailing lists
  45. Set up Google Analytics to track traffic to your web site
  46. Go through your local yellow pages to find professionals you can contact
  47. Draft a "phone survey" for contacting professionals (publish the results in your newsletter)
  48. Draft questions someone should ask when they interview you
  49. Write or re-write your bio
  50. Examine your brochure or other marketing piece for revision
  51. Investigate "music on hold" advertising messages for your phone system

Where do you start? It doesn’t matter. Just start.