long term short term signsThis is the next post in my series on common marketing mistakes in law firms. My last article looked at why attorneys must think long-term with their marketing and stressed the fact that you should only put money into marketing assets which you will own at the end of the day. Taking an approach where you invest in your own future will help you reap long-term rewards while your competitors spend the next ten years chasing their own tails. I do recognize, however, the need to get clients in the short-term. Owned marketing assets cannot provide as much of a short-term return as do options such as pay-per-click. I’m going to use this quick post to discuss a few options for small firms to bring in clients in the short-term.

If you’re starting a law firm, or you run a relatively small 1-2 attorney operation in 2017, then you are trying to figure out how to grow revenue. Since you read my last post, you recognize that your money should only go into things which you own. Let’s look at two things you can do while you are starting out on the path of investing in your practice.

I’ve written before on how attorneys can leverage Craigslist to get new clients. I won’t rehash those points. The one thing I’ll say is that I continue to be amazed at how many lawyers ignore this free of charge and lucrative resource. When I started my law firm in my living room, in August of 2006, I immediately started advertising on Craigslist and quickly started getting anywhere from 1-3 paying clients a week from it. In 2010, when my firm did over $1,000,000 in revenue, I was still using Craigslist and still getting 1-3 clients a week from it. If you like getting clients without spending any money then utilize this resource. If you don’t….then don’t. The second thing one can do get some clients relatively quickly is not to go to networking events (which most lawyers seem to think is a “must do” for new firms). The thing to do is to leverage LinkedIn – the right way. Rather than repeating my prior articles on this subject, here’s some suggested reading on this issue:

Leveraging Craigslist and LinkedIn, if done the right way, can bridge the gap until your investments in content, video, and other assets you own start to pay off.

One last point I’ll make is that the most important part of investing in your own long-term marketing assets is that you actually start doing so. About two years ago I spoke with a young attorney who was beginning his own practice. I suggested that he immediately start a blog. Roughly a year later this attorney called again for advice as his practice was struggling. He had not started a blog. I again suggested that he do so and I will never forget his response. He said that he “didn’t have six months for a blog to start yielding a large return.” Keep in mind that he made that statement twelve months after I had initially suggested a blog to him. If he had started right away then he wouldn’t have found himself in such a predicament. You can’t walk 100 miles without taking that first step. If you haven’t started investing in your own assets yet then you should do so immediately after reading this article.

In my next article I discuss a very important point – the need for repeat business in law firms and how to get it. Stay tuned.