I am a big fan of state bar-sponsored solo/small firm conferences aimed at bringing lawyers together to learn, network, and have fun together. I was pleased to be a presenter recently at the Wisconsin Solo & Small Firm Conference organized by the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Bar Association. The two and a half day event was held at the Kalahari Resort with three tracks of programs going on simultaneously for the more than 250 lawyers in attendance.
Jane Pribek of the Wisconsin Law Journal captured the essence of one session–60 Marketing Best Practices in 60 Minutes in her article about the program featuring Nerino Petro, Jim Calloway, Dustin Cole, and me. Here are several other tips from the session that I found helpful too:
Build Relationships, Not Remorse
Give the client a useful gift when they hire you. Cajuns call this lagniappe or “something extra”. It can be a card with an emergency phone number to contact you, or a booklet your firm has written outlining the type of case (family, bankruptcy, patent prosecution, or immigration) that they will be facing, or something of similar usefulness during their legal matter. Make them pleased they hired you!
Rejuvenate Your Website
Do a website makeover, then build traffic to it and referrals from it.
• Make it education-based, client focused, and easy to find
• Provide something of value for free in return for their contact information; then follow-up with more information
• Develop a companion blog and link to other informative sites
• Have multiple domain names that point to your site; you can be YourWisconsinLawyer.com, UnderstandingWisconsinDivorce.com, and SmithJonesLaw.com at that same time.
Know Your Customers
When a customer comes into a hardware store looking for a drill bit, want they really are shopping for is a hole. Make sure you always know what kind of hole your customers need.
Have a Marketing Plan
Keep it simple: What does the customer want to buy? Where are they? What are their needs? What are their values? How do we create and deliver what the consumer wants to buy? How do we develop a relationship with that potential consumer?