This is a guest blog post by Amanda Green.
Sooner or later (hopefully sooner) someone is going need someone like you. But here is the point you may not be getting. There is a huge difference in needing someone like you, and finding you in particular. Your marketing strategy is the means by which that gap is bridged.
Like preachers, lawyers often act as if they believe their services are too lofty for the crass realities of marketing. They like to think that they shouldn't have to play the same game as brands of salsa. But the simple fact is that people choose salsa based on marketing efforts. The successful attorney will recognize this, and learn to follow some marketing best practices:
Understand what you're selling. Perhaps the #1 takeaway from this piece is that you are not selling legal services. People do not come to you for legal services. There is nothing that distinguishes your legal services from any one else's. What you are really selling is justice. This idea is brilliantly expressed by the following website: http://baronandbudd.com. At the top of the page, it declares, "Sometimes justice for all starts with justice for one." People are not just looking for justice in a generic sense. They are looking for a personal advocate. Generic legal services are just a bonus.
Pay for the best directory placement. I understand that advertising is expensive, and effective advertising is even more so. But this is no time to pinch pennies. Some of the most effective advertising you can do is online directory advertising. In this case, it is all about being where people are most likely to look at the moment they need an attorney. In a moment of emotional crisis, they are not going to call a friend for advice, nor are they going to research the best attorney in the area. They are going to search Google and call the lawyer with the most informative listing. Naturally, you should not neglect other methods. But neglecting directory placement cedes the most fertile source of new clients to your competitors.
Find your niche and appeal to it. Many attorneys make the mistake of trying to be too broad. Your clients do not choose you because they think you know everything about everything. They choose you because you know how to super-serve their particular interest. No one cares about your knowledge of zoning law if what they need from you is personal injury advice. Narrow your marketing message to appeal to a niche. Don't just be a personal injury attorney. Be a personal injury attorney who really knows how to handle injuries related to public transportation. You will be remembered as a personal injury attorney, but you will own the public transit space.
Form partnerships with professionals in other fields. As an attorney, you are not the only one in the process chain of dealing with an emergency and putting a life back together. There are EMTs, doctors, auto mechanics, etc. In an auto accident case, an attorney will not be the first person called. It may likely be a chiropractor or rehabilitation specialist. You need to have professional relationships with these professionals, as they have personal relationships with your potential clients.
These are just a few ideas to help get you started. You can find dozens more at: http://www.abajournal.com/mobile/mag_article/50_simple_ways_you_can_market_your_practice/
Amanda Green writes about business, personal finance, and marketing for sites across the web including paidtwice.com. When Amanda is not working on a business post she is usually writing about pets or being eco-friendly, two of her favorite subjects.