law firm marketing: nice work if you can get it

Law Practice Today

Law Practice Today

In the July edition of the ABA’s Law Practice Today magazine author Janet Ellen Raasch gives us her take on lawyer marketing in the piece, Setting the Stage for Lawyers: Trends in Strategic Marketing for Law Firms.

According to the author, successful law firm marketing must include “strong, differentiated identity,” “competitive intelligence,” “client service,” “face-to-face business development” and a laundry list of other fanciful, aspirational, well-intentioned, altogether improbable goals … I quote:

Strong, differentiated identity: Top-of-mind name recognition in its targeted service niches. “A strong, differentiated identify correlates with short-listing, which correlates to increased business opportunity and, potentially, increased revenue,” said Rubenstein. “The successful law firm markets with a purpose – it has a carefully crafted brand.”

Competitive intelligence. The successful law firm uses the Internet to gather and analyze competitive intelligence – on an ongoing as well as a situational (in preparation for an interview, for example) basis. “CMOs tell us that the next position they are planning to add is a market researcher or an analyst,” said Hoff.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Down here in the real world of course, things are seldom so orderly and neat. Face facts; unless you are a partner at a big law firm the only actual “marketing” you do probably amounts to

  • referrals here and there from colleagues
  • sucking the knee-caps of current clients
  • being present in court day after day
  • a Yellow Pages Ad
  • the bar association (hah!)

Whatever route you take to arrive at small firm and sole-practitioner marketing Nirvana, it still won’t involve any of these overblown, lofty, but ultimately empty points – but take a look anyway. They’re certainly pointed in the right direction, even if they don’t amount to a workable plan for 90% of the profession.

P.S. At this year’s ABA TechShow members of the Practice Management Section fervently declared that the ABA is not just for big law firms. And there … goes … your … proof.

One response to “law firm marketing: nice work if you can get it

  1. Is this where you break into ….

    He’s a friend, she a peer, their all competitors.

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