Jun 4, 2019
Generating legal business requires a healthy mix of sales and marketing. For many attorneys, marketing is the easy part. If you publish articles, give presentations, send out client alerts, post on social media, and participate in bar association committees, your reputation will grow.
Building your reputation and developing your niche are important. But as any marketing professional will tell you, marketing is not a substitute for sales. If you want to build your law practice, you need to build relationships with clients, potential clients and referral sources. Marketing can support relationship building. However,it is not a substitute.
For many lawyers, relationship building is less natural than getting involved in reputation building activities. Marketing activities can feel a lot like practicing law. Speaking and writing about your practice area is a comfortable complement to providing legal services. The brief you write today might become the basis of an article you write or a client seminar you deliver tomorrow.
Building business relationships is entirely different.
There are many ways to build business relationships. One of the simplest things to do is to meet someone for coffee or invite them to a social function at your firm. Introducing them to professionals they want to meet is particularly effective, especially if those individuals become their clients.
Other common relationship building activities include taking someone to a basketball or baseball game, helping one of their children find a job, or sending them articles you think may be of interest.
Growing Your Network
If you want to increase the size of your referral network, getting involved in trade associations and non-profit causes is often effective.
But what happens when you are just starting to get involved and don’t know many people? What if you attend networking functions where you don’t recognize anyone in the room? How do you get the conversation started? How do you approach strangers in a way that feels comfortable and which may lead to referrals down the line?
In this episode, I speak with Deborah Scaringi, who has some answers. Deb is a talented marketing and business development thought leader with over 25 years of experience in the legal industry. As an outside consultant and in-house professional, she has advised a broad mix lawyers and law firms on all aspects of selling legal services.
Through her consulting business, Scaringi Marketing, Deb helps her clients to undertake strategic business development, build marketing plans and coaches attorneys to execute upon their plans. She also works with lawyers and law firm to develop effective websites, blogs, and social media programs. She manages events and helps firms to transition established marketing programs during mergers.
Deb functions as both a fractional CMO and as an on-call project manager. She has worked with many of the major law firms in Massachusetts and has served as President of the New England Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association and the Immediate-Past President of the inaugural Board of Directors at the launch of the LMA’s Northeast Regional Chapter.
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