3 Community Marketing Ideas for Attorneys
There are many effective ways to market your firm in the digital economy, but attorneys often neglect the offline world in their strategies. Community marketing is one of the strongest ways to make referral connections in your county, generate content for your website and newsletter, grow your mailing list, and tell your story to people who can refer you cases. Here are 3 ways to get going with your firm’s community marketing:
1. Booths at Local Events
It’s OK to show up and man a booth at an event that law firms would not be expected to attend – in fact it’s encouraged! We’ve sponsored Crossfit events, pet walks, fun runs, youth sports teams, you-name-it. As long as you have free materials to give away (books, stuffed animals, phone wallets, etc.), any excuse is a good excuse to get in front of people and tell your story. People in your community deserve to know where they go when they have a legal problem. By approaching them in a comfortable way, you put your firm in a new category and separate yourself from the typically crowded shopping process.
2. “Small Ball” Sponsorship
Instead of spending $10,000 on one event, you can often get a lot more mileage out of $1,000 spends with 10 different groups. When your sponsorship fills a specific need, not just “big dumb money”, it has a much larger impact. Buy chairs for the local car mechanic (we did this and they let us put a bookstand full of our free books in their waiting room). Buy uniforms for a youth team. Sponsor classroom materials for teachers.
Spending $1,000 in a specific way is much more effective than spending much more but in a “general sponsor” way. Show that you are involved and that you care about the outcome as much as the community does.
3. Mailed, Monthly Newsletter
This is as much a community marketing effort as any event or sponsorship. You want to get your story in front of people on a regular basis. In many practice areas, it can take years before a potential client has a legal problem or has a friend with a legal problem. They need to see you as a person, not just as an attorney, and a mailed, monthly newsletter is the best way to do that.
Choose one tip and tackle it this quarter. Once you get going, and you start experiencing positive reactions from people, you won’t want to stop.
Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.
Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.
by Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.