I'm at the end of month five as a sole practitioner and concerned about bringing in new clients. I suppose at some level I just need to have a bit of patience. Some of my marketing strategies (see August 20, 2005 post) clearly need some time to really sink in. I have been accepted into the Chicago Bar Association's Senior Citizens Will Program
which allows me to serve at various Chicago area senior centers and get some income and name recognition. I am also thinking very strongly about joining the LegalMatch.com
attorney/client matching system. They seem to have a pretty powerful matching system and are a very heavily trafficed Website...they're not cheap though!
There's a telling post on the Law Practice Management blog
regarding the need of associate attorneys to build their "book of business" yet the lack of marketing training given to young attorneys.Most firms still have a “sink or swim” attitude about developing marketing skills. And that’s just plain wrong on so many levels. It’s wrong because the marketplace has changed dramatically in terms of competition and the sophistication of clients. It’s wrong because business development has become much more sophisticated. And it’s wrong because attorneys must learn by example, and by repetitively performing behaviors in order to master them. And it’s wrong especially because a leading cause of associate dissatisfaction and turnover is lack of training and mentoring!
There are resources available, but at many firms, attorneys must find them on their own. My articles Becoming A Successful Rainmaker and Getting More Business from Existing Clients: Five Easy Strategies That Really Work, may be of assistance as a starting point. Beyond that, there are excellent books, articles, CDs, teleseminars, and other resources to help the enterprising attorney get assistance in mastering the business development skills necessary to career success. Visit the marketing consultant web sites of Larry Bodine, Sally Schmidt, Robert Denney, or some of the law firm consulting company sites like Altman Weil, or Joel Rose, or Hildebrandt Consulting, or Freedman Consulting for more articles, and possible assistance for your firm in creating a training and mentoring program in business development.
Take heed, law firm managers and marketing directors. If you won’t teach your young attorneys what they need to know, they’re going to go somewhere that will, or go out on their own and apply what they’re learning to their own benefit.