Legal knowledge is the foundation for marketing and business development in law firms.

Attorneys began 2022 with a determination to increase their business development efforts to gain more clients. They also promised to spend less time doing administrative work so that they could spend more time practicing their Law.

Rain BDM founder John Reed says, “The most rewarding thing for a lawyer is a relationship where clients trust you and what you tell them.” It takes time and experience to build that trust in clients. This confidence must be reflected in your marketing, business development, and service.

Marketing for law firms: attracting prospective clients

The Thomson Reuters State of Small Law Firm Report revealed, “In fact, many lawyers reported an increase in their focus on marketing and network, improving client communications, updating websites, increasing the social media presence [and] changing their marketing strategy.”

The report examined firms’ actions to attract new clients, such as attracting potential clients. The report states that “most respondents plan to increase spending on video marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and social media marketing.” However, websites, reputation management, and networking were also popular choices.

This is a lot to produce. How can overworked attorneys satisfy the growing demand for content while simultaneously growing their legal expertise?

Legal research technology can save lawyers time and money. Legal know-how from Practical Law helps attorneys connect with clients and demonstrate their expertise. Many attorneys utilize available resources, including:

AI and human expertise help you find the correct answers fast.

Weekly or monthly updates on specific areas of Law.

Checklists to ensure all phases have been addressed

Practical Law’s experts have drafted templates and provided notes and tips.

Practical Law helps them to elevate their marketing and business development efforts. They can, for example, repurpose Practical Law Legal updates to keep their clients, newsletter readers, blog viewers, and social media connections informed about new developments, trends, and legislative actions.

Reed points out that marketing techniques can also be an excellent way to build stronger client relationships. He suggests that when you write an article on a new tax law, contact a client to get their perspective. It’s an excellent way to develop a relationship without trying to sell anything.

Business development for law firms: Develop relationships with existing and prospective clients to grow the business

It takes work to win new clients and grow existing client relationships. It would be best to convince people that you are a professional and have the skills and expertise to work effectively on their behalf.

You may have the intellectual curiosity and legal expertise to take on any challenge. How quickly can you prove it? Practical Law can help you and your firm respond quickly to client and prospect requests:

Legal pieces of training: Preparing presentations for client-trainings and updating them can take a lot of non-billable hours. Download and customize the regularly updated PowerPoint presentations from Practical Law instead of starting from scratch. These materials will help you to explain legal issues using relevant and recent examples.

The quick answer to tricky questions You can use Practical Law’s maintained documents to respond quickly to new issues and ensure you meet critical deadlines. Your clients will appreciate your speed and be more likely to refer you to new cases.

Competence in your firm at all levels: Associate lawyers make mistakes and often need help knowing where to begin. Even senior lawyers sometimes rely upon out-of-date precedents. Practical Law helps attorneys of all levels have step-by-step guidance reflecting the current Law and practice.

Practice areas expanded: Clients may seek your help for practice areas outside your expertise. Use Practical Law’s Practice Notes & Checklists instead of referring work to another firm to get up-to-speed and confidently handle new matters quickly.

These resources are separate from the knowledge of an attorney who can apply them. Reed says that giving a tax presentation is one thing, but it’s more powerful to turn it into a discussion about the audience’s tax and business needs. He says that by asking intelligent questions to your audience, you can give them the confidence that you know their situation and that you have helpful answers. Then you will be able to identify the real business opportunity that is in front of your eyes.

Existing clients can help you grow your business.

Two great ways to grow a firm are by increasing your visibility via marketing and improving your relationships with prospects. Expanding the portfolio of your current clients is crucial to the firm health.

Reed urges companies to grow their relationships and referrals by existing clients strategically. He says he loves it when firms go back three years to see who their best clients were and who they are today. Then, we can ask: Who dropped off the list?” Who moved up the list? What were the reasons behind those changes? What can you learn?”

You can leverage your strengths the more you know what strengthens or weakens your client relationships. Reed says that if you build a trusted relationship with your clients, they will be your best referral source. You will enjoy your practice if you are so firmly rooted with your client that you do not have to worry about their leaving your firm.

This is a bold and inspirational approach to law practice and new business development. You don’t need to do it all by yourself. Learn how Practical Law will help you demonstrate expertise, build relationships with clients and inspire confidence to win new clients and grow your existing client base.

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