Law Firm Marketing on a Tight Budget

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After speaking about law firm marketing in Miami a couple of days ago, I was approached by a young lawyer with a common question.  He asked:

“How can a solo attorney attract clients with zero dollars to put toward marketing?”

This is always a tough question for me to answer because the truth hurts.

It is difficult to attract clients without any money.  That’s the truth.

But it can be done.

Below is a four step guide to law firm marketing on a tight budget.

Step One:  Call Everyone

Call everyone you know and tell them about the value you provide to you clients.  Ask them if they know of anyone who may need your services.

Step Two:  Volunteer to Help a Busy Lawyer

Approach the busiest attorney in your practice area in town and volunteer to help him with his caseload.  This works because you will be able to take on the cases the busy lawyer does not want to handle or cannot handle because of conflict.  Additionally, you may be able to earn a per-case fee for your efforts if you do good work.

Step Three:  Attend Meetings of Attorneys in Other Practice Areas

Many times local bar associations host networking meetings for specific practice groups and attendance is covered by your annual dues.  If the cost is not covered you can often go to these meetings as the guest of a member – so ask a friend if you can tag along with him.

The key is to go to a meeting in a practice area that is different than yours.  So if you are a criminal defense attorney, go to a meeting with family law attorneys.  If you are a family law attorney, go to a meeting with probate attorneys, etc.

You will be different than everyone else at the meeting and you will make friends with people who could possibly refer business to you.

Step Four: Speak with Vendors Who Deliver Things to Your Office

The vendors who service your office or your building will often know what’s going on with other people in the community.  These vendors can often be a good source of referrals for you.  Become friends with vendors and tell them what you do.  Explain the value you provide.  Ask them if they know anyone who can benefit from your services.

Obviously, these four steps require work and persistence.  If you have little money to spend on marketing you must spend your time and effort on personally developing relationships with people who can refer business to you.

This is not easy but you can do it if you have a strong enough desire to be successful.