starry eyed wrote:For those of you who have experience in small law (the kind that involves advertising), what is a typical return on investment for a successful shop? I've read statistics that say that the average ROI for bankruptcy, wills, etc. is 10$ in revenue per 1$ spent where PI is 20$ per 1$ spent on marketing.
This is shocking to me. I'm assuming that Personal injury clients are not very sophisticated and won't ask questions like 'how long have you been in business/what is your track record?" (in my town, the car wreck atty only advertises in the ghetto).
Therefor, a new grad, with sufficient capital and a smart ad campaign, could theoretically spend 20k on advertising the first year and expect, if these statistics are anywhere near accurate, a revenue target of 400k. Now this can't be right or that easy if you just have the capital?
You might want to chat with utlaw2007
if he is still active on TLS. His posts in the popular "Big Law vs 'Shit' Law..."
thread ( http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=183482
) provide interesting insights into how he built a successful small law practice for himself (where there is some talk of small law marketing).
Additionally, you can check out his posts throughout TLS dealing with the subject matter.
I have not been here in a very long time. I'm very busy these days as my case load has increased by a little over 200%. I fairly recently received tons of exposure, like national exposure, and that has led to an increase in my case load. My point of saying that is not to brag. My point is that I was referred to that client through a colleague of mine. Actually, it was a person who worked on his staff whom I did not know until I began visiting that person when visiting my colleague. I made it a point to get to know her and to gain her trust. I'm a naturally friendly person so I was just being friendly, but there is a practical business utility to being friendly and talkative.
My post is in regards to the question about marketing. Putting ads in some sort of periodical or publication is costly. And forget tv and billboards. By the time you can afford that, you've already made it big. And the problem is, a lot of other attorneys do that. Clearly, it must work, otherwise, no one would do it. But when starting out, it can be very expensive. Once your practice gets going, You can put out ads, but I would not recommend spending a lot of money doing this unless you do car accidents, immigration, or some other practice area that requires tons of volume.
I do contingency fee work. And I'm operating at maximum capacity. Based on what people I know have told me, they think my case load is too much. Everything I do requires litigation. And there is a ton of work involved. But because of the stakes and the fight, I don't need volume to do well. I'm actually nearing the point where I will be hiring an associate fairly soon. And thus, the law firm expansion begins...
The best thing you can do for your marketing, in my opinion, is to be as sociable as you can with people. The key thing is that you gain someone's trust. That works for business clients and individual clients. Invest in a great set of business cards. Make them better than every other small practitioner's cards. My cards are similar in quality to big firms. They are thick. And the print quality is exceptional. Nobody chooses a lawyer because of the quality of the business cards. But when nobody knows who you are, you sure can disqualify yourself with cheap cards with certain people. Make them conservative. They are an extension of you. And hand them out like nobody's business. But when you hand them out, attempt to engage people you meet in conversation. If there is no time or the person seems standoffish, don't waste your time. This person is not going to refer cases to you anyway.
When owning your own firm, this kind of thing becomes your way of life when it comes to marketing to individuals. People know people, even owners of small business. And when you make an impression on someone whom you met in a store, they refer you to whomever they know who needs help.
Also, it goes without saying to build a website with a cheap web builder as quickly as you can. You won't get cases from it, but you cement your credibility. Your website introduces you to people who have been given your name.
It's all about increasing your odds. Don't be stingy with your cards or with your time as to whom you speak with. I'd say trust is the most important commodity with respect to marketing and getting business.
Of course, some lawyers have practices that require lots of volume. Visit the sh&^%$ law thread for my take on volume , fee structures, and demand for your practice areas.viewtopic.php?t=183482