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.