Marketing Your Small Law Firm, Part 1
August 3, 2011
by Ann Sheeley
After 22 years of practicing law for others, I decided to open my own firm in 2010. Sheeley Law, LLC, based in Newport, Rhode Island, has done well, though starting one’s own firm is never easy, as other law firm owners surely know firsthand. Major firms have vast resources at their disposals, but as the owner and attorney of my own firm, I had to call on ingenuity and experience to market myself to clients. I hope that my experiences may aid other law firm owners in smoothing the road to success they travel.
Firstly, you must know your products. Just as small business owners must choose a product and put all their business and marketing savvy behind it to distinguish themselves, so too must law firm owners do the same for their particular area of practice. At Sheeley Law, I specialize in personal injury. I possess some knowledge of other areas, but if I were to market them as well as my personal injury experience, I might find myself out of my league should a complicated case outside my area present itself.
Next, consider the types of clients you wish to serve. Do you work in a high-end town filled with affluent businesses and families, or in a middle- to low-end region? Your clientele affects your marketing strategy. Different types of clients respond differently to the same type of marketing. Seek to attract clients using methods and means that may speak to your potential clientele in a positive manner.
Once you know your product, your area of expertise, take time to learn how prospective clients view that product. Why should a client invest in your legal services versus someone else’s? What value does your firm offer them, and how does that value compare to the cost of your service? By analyzing yourself, your business, and your expertise from the client’s perspective, you will gain insight into their minds. Apply that insight to make yourself more marketable to them.