The scenario is one that we’ve all faced: a young lawyer is just opening a new practice and doesn’t have a penny to spare for marketing. The question is simple, what can the young lawyer do to get clients that won’t cost a penny?
Turns out, the most effective marketing doesn’t cost anything. You won’t need a fancy website or digital advertising to expand your client base. The best, and most effective, marketing will always be with your prospective referral partners.
If you consistently do these 7 guerilla marketing tips for at least 1 year, your law firm won’t need to do any other marketing.
TIP #1: UPDATES FOR REFERRAL PARTNERS: Write a thorough update about the status of a referred case to a referral partner. Do this at least 1x/workday.
When a lawyer refers a case to you, they are honoring you. The minimum that you can do is return the favor with frequent updates about the status of the referred case. This is the highest and best use of your time and this alone will virtually guarantee repeat referrals.
When it comes to referral partners, there is no such thing as over-communicating. Become obsessed with communicating with your referral partners. There is no need to send an expensive gift—just communicate like a madman. This will pay off in spades (and no other lawyers are doing this).
TIP #2: HANDWRITTEN NOTES: Every workday write a handwritten note on stationary to a referral partner. This will cost the price of a stamp. Your referral partners will keep the handwritten notes for a long time (maybe a year or longer). Why? Because it was written by you.
Don’t know what to write? WRITE ANYTHING, e.g., “Just want to let you know that I admire and respect your work.”
TIP #3: EMAIL NEWSLETTER: Send a weekly email newsletter to your referral partners and/or former and current clients. We send a weekly email newsletter to 2k email subscribers/lawyers. The open rate for our email newsletter is 28%, so with each email, we are communicating with over 500 prospective referral partners.
TIP #4: NETWORKING WITH REFERRAL PARTNERS: When it comes to networking, join a local trial lawyer organization, e.g., Trial Lawyers College. The members of the regional workshop will refer their cases to you once you establish a relationship. This won’t cost a penny.
“The least expensive and most effective referral based marketing I have ever
done involved me getting neck deep in our state [Trial Lawyer Organization].
As membership chair, I literally went all over the state talking with lawyers,
to recruit them as members.
I was shocked at the collateral benefit of doing the work to keep our
practice alive. I have gotten hundreds of calls for potential referrals and/or
local counsel work for just getting involved. The more you give, the more
you get in return.”
John “Lin” McCraw, McKinney, Texas
Albany, N.Y. injury lawyer, John K. Powers, Esq., built a nationwide network of referring lawyers by becoming a member of the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice. Altruistic? Yes, but also a great way to expand his influence with potential referral partners across our nation. John K. Powers, Esq. has been a wonderful advocate for the cause of civil justice.
TIP #5: PUBLIC SPEAKING: Your county bar association would love for you to speak to its members. The county bar association will sponsor your speech and you will have their stamp of approval for all attendees. And in the process, you will become a mini-celebrity.
TIP #6: ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS FOR THE COUNTY BAR’S NEWSLETTER: Submit articles for the monthly print newsletter of your county bar association in your practice area. Every month your articles will be featured in the county bar association’s newsletter and you attract a fans who will become potential referral partners.
TIP #7: FACEBOOK/YOUTUBE VIDEO: St. Louis immigration lawyer (and co-founder of Maximum Lawyer), Jim Hacking, Esq., gets 40% of his clients from YouTube video.
Virtually every day, Jim creates a new video about immigration law or shares a heartwarming client success story. Jim has become a mini-celebrity across the country with prospective clients who have never met him. This is the power of video.
Hudson Valley, NY injury lawyer, John DeGasperis, Esq., live streams video about his cases and renovations to his new office. This humanizes John and expands his reach with potential clients.
Consistency is What Matters Most
Will these 7 guerilla marketing tips for you? The secret is CONSISTENCY. If you do any of these marketing tips consistently (ideally, every day) for at least 1 year, you’ll have all of the work you can handle and your law firm won’t need to do any other marketing.
Don’t believe me? Perhaps you should ask Jim Hacking, Esq. about the impact of daily videos for his law firm. Jim will be the first to tell you that his YouTube videos would have virtually no impact if he was not doing them consistently every workday. Consistency is the secret to successfully marketing a law firm.