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Aztec calendar to illustrate the importance of planning ahead for legal marketing success

Use Your Calendar for Legal Marketing Success in 2018

With the end of the year upon us, now is the perfect time for insightful lawyers to begin thinking about the best ways to boost their practices in 2018. Regardless of your expertise, there are countless opportunities for legal marketing success based on next year’s calendar.

These upcoming events represent excellent fodder for blog posts, news releases, client alerts, media pitches and other methods to highlight your insights, ability and successful work for clients.

This is a topic we’ve touched on before regarding holiday news trends, State Bar Top 10 blog postalthough there are many similar items of interest among your clients, prospective clients, and the media that take place throughout the year.

By associating yourself with the news of the day, you are much better positioned to draw attention to your practice because people are more likely to engage when the topic is something they’re already seeing in the headlines.

Legal Marketing Success Begins in January

January is filled with legal and non-legal events that represent prime vehicles for attorneys to flex their muscles. From tax lawyers who can spotlight new regulations in their clients’ industries, to sports lawyers who know the compensation issues for college and professional athletes, to family law attorneys whose clients may face new child support rules. The possibilities are endless.

For example, employment lawyers with visa skills should be on their toes leading up to April 1, when United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B visa applications. With new visa rules in place for 2018, this date and other deadlines for different types of visas should be on the radar for those who practice employment law.

Other key dates can be found in the lead up to April 15, or Tax Day. Given the ongoing uncertainties surrounding the proposed federal tax bill, there will be an enormous appetite for information about how the new rules will affect individual taxpayers and businesses in 2018. For tax lawyers, the days and weeks surrounding April 15 present myriad promotional opportunities.

“Spring” to Marketing Success

Even though Hurricane Harvey made landfall during last summer, most Texas flooding events take place during the spring, and there will always be reporters assigned to cover them because people want to know how they will be impacted once the storms have passed.

These annual stories represent an excellent way for insurance coverage attorneys to showcase their talents, whether it’s talking about coverage issues on a local radio or TV program, publishing a related blog post, or issuing a client alert.

The same can be said for attorneys who are proficient in construction law and can provide perspectives on the many predatory construction companies that descend upon area residents and businesses following a natural or manmade disaster.

Another springtime topic of interest is the completion of the Texas Supreme Court’s term, which typically arrives in May or June, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court’s term, which normally wraps up in late June or early July. The conclusion of an appellate court’s term provides a target window for constitutional law specialists and others to dissect the latest rulings and explain what they mean in real-world terms.

Staying on top of recent developments in the law is proof for those who already work with you (as well as those who don’t) that you’re ahead of the game and dedicated to protecting your clients’ interests.

Summer Marketing Magic

Texas summers never fail to provide several weeks, sometimes months, of oppressive heat. The summer heatwave also produces several predictable storylines that are ripe for input from an informed lawyer.

These are just two examples of the heat-related stories in Texas that you can expect to see on the evening news or the front page of your morning newspaper during the summer of 2018:

  • Apartment tenants left without air conditioning – Attorneys who are experienced with housing regulations often find themselves quoted in news stories about the potential liability for landlords who fail to provide livable accommodations for their tenants.
  • Drownings at water parks or private pools – Sadly, several people will die this summer while trying to enjoy a swim. These unfortunate cases often rise to the level of media coverage and public notoriety. They also create a chance for personal injury lawyers and others to discuss liability and safety issues.

Summer also is the most popular time for industry conferences, some of which may be taking place in your backyard. For example, say you work in healthcare law and a major medical conference is scheduled at the local convention center. In addition to previewing the conference in a blog post or client alert, consider attending and mingling with those who might someday hire you.

Most Texas public schools begin classes in late August, which produces fresh legal questions from everyone involved, including students, parents, teachers, school administrators, bus drivers and many others. In addition to attorneys who have a background in education law, those who focus on employment law, public safety issues and other areas that intersect with education are perfectly positioned to provide answers and demonstrate their competence.

Fall into Winter with Smart Marketing

Fall marks the most treasured time of the year for many Texans. Of course, that’s football season. With the start of football – whether it’s high school, college or pro – the people of Texas are paying attention. For those who can apply their legal talents to the football news of the day, the rewards can be immense.

In the past year alone, think about how many times you’ve seen news stories, blog posts, TV and radio reports, etc., dealing with:

  • employment issues tied to pro football player suspensions;
  • pro and college players involved in criminal cases;
  • former pro athletes going broke because they failed to properly manage their finances;
  • coaches negotiating and receiving multimillion-dollar contracts; and
  • too many others to count.

If your practice dovetails with any of these recurring stories, then jump on the Texas football bandwagon this year by mastering the issues that seem to repeat themselves every season.

Early December marks the deadline for Medicare beneficiaries to review their coverage and update changes for the coming year. For attorneys who are proficient in Medicare law, regardless if it’s representing individuals or medical providers, this is when your clients and future clients need your counsel the most. Show them why they made the right decision to hire you (or why they should) by highlighting what you know and how you can help.

The 86th Texas Legislative session is scheduled to begin in early January, and the resulting debate and future passage of new laws create a clear avenue for informed lawyers to tie themselves to the news of the day.

Do any new proposed laws fall within your practice area? If passed, will those regulations impact your clients? If the answer is yes to either of those questions, then it’s in your best interest to show the world that you know what’s going on and that you’re prepared to deal with the fallout.

Consider authoring an opinion/op-ed column about the new rules for a legal, business or local publication in addition to using the other tactics mentioned above. When your byline appears in an independent publication, it conveys a level of authority that you can’t find elsewhere.

These are just a few examples that any lawyer can find on their calendar to help create ideas for getting in front of your important audiences or what to include in your next blog post, newsletter or advertisement. Before the New Year, we recommend spending some time considering the things you know will happen during the next 12 months and how you can use that information to spotlight your stellar work and find legal marketing success.

Bruce Vincent is a chronic planner who keeps a clogged calendar. A writer, editor, marketer and optimist, Bruce has helped lawyers and law firms promote their successes and capabilities year-round for more than two decades. Contact bruce.vincent@musecommunicationsllc.com for more information on how Muse Communications can help you stay top of mind in 2018.

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