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Small Law Firms Should Use Size to Their Advantage in Marketing Efforts

Big law firms have more resources – including money, staff, and lawyers – than boutiques, small firms and solos. But small firms have the ability to make quick decisions, pursue marketing initiatives that would give big firms intestinal distress, and generally be more agile than big firms.

Small law firms should use those assets to their advantage when creating marketing and business development initiatives, says Deborah Grabein, Director of Business Development at Andrews Kurth Kenyon. Deborah has spent her career building and rebuilding business development programs at some of the best known firms in the country.

In our last post, Deborah shared some BigLaw business development tips that can be used by any firm or lawyer, regardless of firm size. In this post, she shares some ideas to help small firms turn their perceived weakness into a business development strength.

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BigLaw Business Development Secrets for Small Firms

I met Deborah Grabein in 2005, when she joined the firm now known as Andrews Kurth Kenyon to head up their marketing department and I was working with the firm as a consultant. I was instantly charmed by her warmth and approachability. But that quickly morphed into admiration and respect for her razor-sharp intellect and expertise in legal marketing and business development.

Deborah has worked in legal marketing for decades, building and rebuilding marketing and business development departments at some of the best-known law firms in Texas, including in her current position as Director of Business Development at Andrews Kurth Kenyon. I asked Deborah what BigLaw secrets she could share for lawyers at small firms and solo shops. She definitely delivered.

This week and next, I’ll publish her answers. 

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Hand holding worm to symbolize how marketing can be icky

Getting Past the ‘Ick’ Factor in Legal Marketing

One of the biggest impediments to embarking on a full-throttle marketing plan is the reluctance many lawyers have about tooting their own horn.

I see this more frequently among women lawyers, but it is not exclusivelya female problem. Lawyers of both genders have trouble with marketing, especially the part where they have to assert that they’re good at something and ask for business.

Simply put, lots of people find the act of marketing themselves to be icky. But mortgage and tuition payments don’t grow on trees, so if we want to stay solvent, we have to find ways to make marketing less icky.

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man with writer's block

Overcoming Writer’s Block

By necessity or personal choice, many lawyers take matters into their own hands when writing their blog or other marketing text. But splitting time between representing clients and marketing a law firm can be trying, especially if you experience writer’s block.

This post examines some of the reasons for writer’s block and the acknowledged best practices for overcoming it, along with a few tips I’ve cultivated during the past 30 years as a writer and editor.

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typewriter displaying the word blogging

Legal Blogging for Business Development

Legal blogs are a relatively low-cost way for lawyers to promote their expertise and demonstrate their knowledge to clients, prospective clients and referral sources. Blogging is also an excellent way for solos and small firm lawyers with niche practices to spur business development and raise their profile in a competitive marketplace.

Developing new business is largely about 1) building relationships and 2) demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about. Blogging can help lawyers do both.

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