We learned a lot of things in law school, but not much of what we were taught was practical. Instead, the focus was mostly on learning how to think like a lawyer, with very little time devoted to how to run a business or bring in business.
These lapses in law school curriculums are unfortunate since without a steady stream of clients, law firms, like all businesses, are doomed to fail. That’s why “rainmaking” made our list of the Top 10 Things You Didn’t Learn in Law School.
Although law schools rarely teach future lawyers how to go about bringing in business and keeping clients happy, the good news is that in this blog post you’ll get some great ideas to help you bring in more clients and make 2014 a year of opportunity for your law firm.
For starters, why not heed the advice of the collective wisdom of legal marketing experts? Attorney at Work blog recently published a wonderful compendium of rainmaking tips from an array of legal marketers.
Here is just a sampling of their ideas:
- Check In with Old Friends. It’s all about networking, so don’t forget about the network you’ve already established
- Say It on Paper and Pick up the Phone. There’s nothing quite as personal as a handwritten note or a phone call, rather than an impersonal email or text
- Create an Annual “Touch” Plan. Set up a plan to reach out to your network on a regular basis in 2014
- Use a Tickler File. Tickler files aren’t just for legal deadlines; they work well for marketing reminders as well
- Don’t Have the Wrong Conversation. Listen–and respond to–your client’s concerns
- Conduct Client Reviews. Reach out to your current and past clients and learn about their needs.
Of course, one of the most difficult aspects of rainmaking is that many lawyers are understandably uncomfortable with the idea of “hustling” for business. After all, the practice of law is an esteemed undertaking. It’s a profession, not just a career, and the idea of “selling” professional services just doesn’t sit well with many attorneys.
That’s why Cordell Parvin recommended in a recent blog post that lawyers should avoid “selling” their services to potential clients. Instead he offers lawyers the following advice:
Focus on being the most valuable resource to help clients. Approaching marketing that way mean(s) that potential clients (will seek you) to help them.
In other words, one of the best ways to bring in business is to provide value to potential clients by sharing your knowledge online and off, whether in the form of speaking engagements, blogging, or print articles. You have to get out there, increase your law firm’s visibility, and make it easy for potential clients to learn more about you and the services that your law firm offers.
The good news is that in the 21st century, there are more ways than ever to increase your law firm’s accessibility and visibility. Not surprisingly, one of the best ways to help clients to connect with you is to ensure that your law firm’s website is easily discoverable and accessible, inviting, and chock full of useful information about your law practice, as I discussed at length in a recent post.
It’s also important to make sure that your firm’s website is optimized for all types of Internet-enabled devices, including mobile devices. Carolyn Elefant recently discussed the importance of mobile optimization at her blog My Shingle:
(M)ore than half of purchases occur within an hour of an initial mobile search…For that reason, an optimized mobile site is important – meaning that images and text should reformat should resize to fit the size of the screen that they’re on…Is your website mobile responsive – and are you planning an upgrade?
Unfortunately, many lawyers still have outdated websites that aren’t optimized for mobile viewing. That’s why we recently rolled out a websites offering for our customers.
In addition to providing our customers with professional, modern, mobile-optimized websites that act as their online front door, the websites are fully integrated with the MyCase law practice management platform, making it easier than ever for legal clients to interact and collaborate with their lawyers using the MyCase client portal.
To learn more about MyCase’s fully integrated websites and how important a modern website is when it comes to bringing in business for your law firm, watch the video below: