TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jan 30, 2015
With more Tennessee attorneys – especially new lawyers – deciding to “hang out” their own shingle and begin a solo or small firm practice, the TBA has developed the Solo in a Box Toolkit. Each issue of E-DICT this year will spotlight one of the toolkit’s 12 sections. This month we look at marketing efforts.

In the Marketing section, the Solo in a Box Toolkit addresses the most fundamental challenge of running one’s own firm: getting paying clients in the door. There is no magic bullet or “one-size-fits-all” approach for small firm marketing. Lawyers will need to market in a way that makes sense for them, their practice areas, the community and prospective clients. The toolkit looks at four major components of any successful marketing strategy:

Referrals – One of the best way to generate business in through referrals, which can come from existing or previous clients, friends and family, other attorneys and everyone else. The toolkit looks at each of these potential sources and provides guidance for maximizing each of them.

Branding – Lawyers opening their own firms also will want to “brand” their practice. The easy part is getting a logo made and having it printed on everything from letterhead to business cards to give-aways. The hard part is defining your niche within the realm of legal services and determining what sets you apart from other lawyers. Give some serious thought to this and then be sure that your marketing expresses those values.

Web Presence – In today’s marketplace, a website is a must. There are various avenues for establishing an Internet presence and a number of factors will influence whether it is cost effective to spend thousands of dollars on a custom website. The toolkit explores a variety of options and provides tips for making sure your online presence is client-oriented rather than firm-oriented. It also includes guidance for avoiding ethical issues when interacting with clients and potential clients online.

Advertising – The toolkit also takes on the issues associated with advertising. Whether you advertise and how you advertise is a decision you should make after considering several factors including cost, target audience and estimated return on investment. The toolkit explores the various modes of advertising (yellow pages, newspapers, print ads, etc.). It also addresses ethical issues, including the sections of the Rules of Professional Conduct that govern attorney advertising.

Finally, the toolkit provides a number of recommendations for establishing an impressive office atmosphere, increasing awareness of the firm, creating satisfied clients (who can be your best ambassadors), developing a marketing plan, conducting client surveys, developing printed marketing material and providing value-added services such as newsletters or blogs for clients. Read more

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