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If the word “marketing” makes you cringe, you’re probably doing it wrong.

Consider broadening your definition of this dreaded word.

Successful attorneys often tell us they never market their practice because they don’t have to: work is coming in and they are doing just fine. Why should they have to be out networking, sponsoring golf outings, and handing out business cards?

We agree that unless you derive great joy from these activities (does anyone?), you should not feel the pressure to do them. Schmoozing is just one kind of marketing, and it gives the subtler and more meaningful pathways to promoting your work a bad name.

If the word “marketing” makes you uncomfortable, shift to this question: What is the public face of the work I’m engaged in every day? I’m serving clients, continually developing my expertise, and making an impact in my firm and community, but how can I make sure people know about it? The truth is that being good at what you do and then simply making sure people know that you’re good at what you do is the most effective form of marketing. That second half of the equation is where skilled PR professionals come in.

Getting the word out doesn’t have to take the form of a billboard or a mailer. Smart PR is highly targeted: it makes no sense to send out a generic pitch to 500 reporters who don’t cover your corner of the legal field. But it can be incredibly fruitful to create a relationship with one reporter who is perfectly positioned to appreciate your singular expertise—and rely on you as an expert source. Or to publish an incisive and well-written piece in an industry publication that will be seen by the potential clients you’d most like to snag.

There are smart, sophisticated ways to promote your work, build your reputation, and bring in the right kind of new business. You don’t have to call it marketing, but you should call us to help you with it!