Leveraging Your Reputation: Remember the marketplace

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and midsize law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs. Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

There is a lot of competition to get attention for your firm, and even though you’re busy, it’s important to remember that you still have to think of ways to market your practice. You don’t have to take a lot of time out of your day to think about the direction your marketing is going; these few ways will get you started:

1)      Pay attention and act quickly. When there’s an accident, people notice, and attorneys have a potential case to handle. So an accident can affect and influence many people, and give the attorney the opportunity to let others know what area they specialize in. In terms of marketing, you don’t need just an accident for something to require your attention and effort. Even attorneys who work in areas like real estate and intellectual property can take the time to find out how new laws and regulations can be a disaster for their clients, and then proactively publicize their expertise to those markets. It’s important to do something as soon as possible, before someone else is positioned as an expert.

2)      Promote thought leadership, not sales. When marketing your firm, it’s easier to attract new clients if you post thought leadership white papers on your website instead of posting sales and marketing copy about a particular business-to-business legal issue. In addition to your website, what would enhance your long-term marketing plan is writing articles for business publications that clients and prospects read. It also helps you stand out from your competition.

3)      Create more communication channels. It’s not enough to have just a website and a printed brochure, and then assume that “interactivity” means sharing drinks with clients and colleagues at a conference. Attorneys should discover which channels of communication work best for the firm, and then master the most effective ones to show clients and prospects that they are progressive when it comes to law and communication.

Overall, the way to succeed and thrive in the competitive marketplace is to put forth a concentrated effort and a solid investment to move ahead and stay top-of-mind.

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