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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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5The Business of Law: Helping Lawyers Find Their Way


Many lawyers are initially surprised to find that attracting new customers to their practice is more time-consuming and, frankly, painful than actually practicing law. After all, lawyers have spent three years getting their J.D., rather than their marketing degree. How do lawyers even begin to market themselves to the public? Are the rules slightly different in this digital age?


Invest in Business Cards

Business cards are an extremely worthwhile investment for aspiring lawyers. You can get hundreds of business cards for the price of a few cups of coffee at an upscale coffee shop, and this is an investment that will pay dividends over the long haul. Consider that the hardest part about expanding a law firm's clientele is merely connecting with people in the community who need your services. Ensuring that you have at least a dozen business cards with you as you walk out the door every day will grow your clientele over a year. Consider keeping a bunch of business cards at your desk so that current clients can hand them out on your behalf!


Choose Search Engine Optimization

Lawyers looking to expand their clientele need search engine optimization. It’s a crucial factor for criminal, traffic, injury, and employment law marketing techniques. The beauty of search engine optimization as a lawyer is that it can enable you to find clients who enter specific keywords into popular search engines, such as Google and Bing. In practice, this means that folks searching for "personal injury attorney Atlanta" or "workers compensation in California" are more likely to see your online presence among the first dozen or so results. 


Encourage Online Reviews

Once lawyers gain a few satisfied clients, then they should consider getting a presence on Facebook or Yelp so that clients can leave favorable reviews. Over 90 percent of prospective clients will read online reviews in the process of finding a lawyer. One satisfied client leaving a positive review; in other words, can create a virtuous circle of many more clients doing so and increased business.


Seek Referrals Weekly

The fact that lawyers sometimes go through three years of law school without learning is that most of their future business will come from referrals. After learning this fact, however, there's still the business of actually getting referrals. There's no secret to it in the sense that the lawyers who get the most referrals are the ones that cultivate referrals. There's an erroneous perception among lawyers that doing good work is enough to garner new clients. The truth is that prospective and current clients often need frequent reminders. The best practice is to contact a half dozen potential referral sources a week. Cultivate these sources, whether a business is booming at the moment or not, because that will have the biggest payoff long term.


Spend Time on a Blog

Becoming a thought leader in your area will be instrumental in gaining more clients. Because there are 1.3 million lawyers in the United States, the market is incredibly competitive. One way to stand out is to become a thought leader by producing and disseminating timely content relevant to the needs of prospective clients in the areas that your law firm hopes to serve. Consider personalizing the message, including engaging infographics, and incorporating a compelling call to action.


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