Another great post at Build A Solo Practice, LLC:

Do you know how your potential client will find you?  Have you done a survey of your existing clients or studied secondary information if you are just starting out to determine the best marketing/advertising vehicles to reach them?  With money tight, the scatter shot approach is foolish and wasteful of scarce resources.  The old approaches may just not be effective at all.

Here are some interesting statistics for you.

The statistics are worth reviewing,  particularly the rapid decline of the yellow book as a source for finding lawyers, which nicely dovetails Susan’s next post on worthless lawyer directories.

In my experience, clients find you one of three ways:

  1. they already know you,
  2. they stumble upon you, or
  3. they are recommended to see you.

That is to say, the client either knows you, knows nothing of you before asking for your help, or they ask someone they do know for help and that person recommends they go to you.

I deliberately used the word "stumble." It’s hard to say that a client ever seeks you out unless they already know you, even if they spend several days googling around for information on attorneys, because clients who don’t have an attorney in mind usually want "the best" yet they rarely have the information to know who is "the best."

Heck, I don’t even know who is "the best" in my own field, much less in any other. Very, very little information is available to clients except for bits and pieces or word-of-mouth.

As such, I have three marketing goals:

  1. improve my favorability among my clients,
  2. increase the likelihood of being stumbled upon (and looking good when that happens), and
  3. improve my favorability and visibility among the likely recommenders (e.g., referral counsel).

Will it work? I don’t know — 4 and 5 of that plan feel a lot like:

        4.  ???
        5.  PROFIT!

At least it’s cheaper than a directory, professionally fulfilling, and a lot more fun. Got any better ideas?