If one didn’t know better, one would think that the only way to market a law practice would be through online means. We are all bombarded with daily messages warning us that if we do not work on optimizing our site, we will fall off Google’s radar. We will not enjoy a stellar reputation as a thought leader if we are not tweeting, Facebooking, Snapchatting or Linkedining. We’re “nobody” if we do not have a blog. And we may be missing valuable clicks if we haven’t implemented a major pay-per-click advertising campaign.
But, for all you folks out there who would like to try something different, here are five non-traditional, non-on-line ways to increase awareness of you and your firm:
Start a Foundation
That’s right! Start a foundation and market it by associating it with the firm name (e.g., Jones & Smith Law, creates The Jones & Smith Foundation). Find a worthy cause (preferably one related to your practice area), invite the movers and shakers in your world to sit on your board of directors and begin networking with the people that matter all the while generating awareness of your practice (not to mention, doing good for your community.) This can be especially effective for firms with a business-to-business focus.
Create Special Events & Cause Marketing Initiatives
Like the above idea, but don’t see yourself putting in the requisite time and effort to make it worthwhile? That’s okay. Identify a cause related to your practice and/or to your marketing needs and develop a themed event or series of events around that cause. For example, we have implemented several art show/contests on behalf of PI firms that asked high school students to submit art work that persuaded their peers to not text while driving. The event generated great deals of exposure (and quite a number of clients!) for a number of personal injury practices.
Run Sponsorship Ads
Don’t have the financial resources to launch a large advertising campaign? No problem. Think strategically and support organizations with ads in or on their yearbooks, program guides, event signage, etc. You may not hit a large amount of people, but chances are, you will be hitting the right people. We’ve seen law firms do just this with great success.
Develop “Expert” Brochures
Okay, I get it. The world has changed. Everything you want, you can get on the internet now – including information on legal matters. Yet, the printed word still has some prestige. Create an “expert brochure” on a topic of vital importance (no “selling” now) and promote its availability by disseminating press releases and sending to relevant organizations (e.g., an education law practice forwards a handful of brochures entitled “How to Know if Your Child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is Really Working” sent to special needs organizations). By the way, you can also offer it online as well – but that’s a song for a different day.
Write a Book or eBook
Did you like writing those “expert” brochures we noted above? Then make yourself really happy by drafting an ebook on a topic you know well. (Hopefully, it has something to do with the law.) Publish it yourself. It can be relatively inexpensive. Then get it in the hands of everyone that you know. You can even give it away for free if that makes sense. What better way for people to get to know you, your work and how brilliant you really are? It’s got the “Wow” factor because people tend to think of writing a book as being a big deal. Just remember, the idea here is to build your practice, not necessarily sell books (though that can be nice as well).
Does implementing any or all of these initiatives suggest you shouldn’t link your site to other relevant sites, post online, or interact electronically with others? Of course not. But in a world where everyone seems to be doing pretty much what everyone else is, a little creativity can go a long ways in making you and your law firm stand out from the crowd. In fact, take that creativity a little further and don’t do anything suggested in this post. That’s right. Instead, take the time to think a little about your practice and generate new ideas for marketing in a manner that perhaps no one else in your industry has.