Making It Rain: Practical Tips From Those Who Do

T his month’s column provides insights from each chapter of the book Marketing Success: How Did She Do That? Women Lawyers Show You How to Move Beyond Tips to Implementation, which includes interviews with 46 successful Women Rainmakers.

Marketing Inside Your Practice (Chapter 1) – Author, Afi S. Johnson-Parris

Therese Pritchard, Chair, Bryan Cave LLP, Securities Enforcement and White Collar Criminal Defense

Therese Pritchard’s target for outreach began with a natural sector of the firm for her area of practice focused on protecting businesses and business professionals – the corporate group. “As a securities regulatory lawyer, I attended corporate retreats because the corporate group was often the first to learn that there was a problem within a company.” While she formed relationships with the corporate attorneys throughout the firm, she provided advice and education on how their clients could be impacted by securities regulation.

Networking (Chapter 2) –Author, Anne Collier

Marianna Dyson, Partner, Miller & Chevalier CHTD, Tax Law

Marianna Dyson’s networking strategy for her tax practice was to try to get her name on as many tax executives’ Rolodexes as possible. She attends panels, gives speeches, and goes to meetings where she thinks the “buyers” of her services will be. In this way, she can keep her network development hyper-focused.

Marianna hosted the “First Annual Miller & Chevalier Dallas Tax Gals Dinner” in Texas, where she does a lot of work. The dinner is a light, informal and personal social event of professional women with whom she had worked for years. At the end she closes with, “I’m here to get work; so send work” (she’s known for her straight talk with humor).

Social Media (Chapter 3) – Author, Dee A. Schiavelli

Ruth Carter, Managing Attorney, Carter Law Firm, Intellectual Property, Social Media, Business and Internet Law, Flash Mob Law

Social media for Ruth Carter is all about attitude. She blogs regularly, but her posts are typically written outside of 9-5 work hours. She posts a YouTube video from her office every week , on topics that she thinks would be relevant to prospects. Occasionally she goes on Facebook and LinkedIn and asks “Does anyone have a topic they would like me to tackle on my weekly video?” At least once a week, she gets emails from people who have read her postings.

Ruth says with confidence that she gets new business because she is using social media.

Communication (Chapter 4) – Author, Jeanne R. Lee

Judy Man-Ling Lam, Partner, Kumagai Law Group PC, Complex Business Disputes in Real Estate, Banking, Business Torts, Fraud Schemes, and Franchise Litigation

“My practice is very dependent on referrals from bankers and CPAs,” says Judy Lam. “I have a trusted adviser role in these relationships. I stay in contact with these groups and let them know the type of cases I’m working on, and I let my contacts know the type of cases I would like them to send to me and in what situations they should call me.” Judy recommends starting out in intimate settings like one-on-ones, particularly for introverts.

Writing (Chapter 5) – Author, Beverly A. Loder

Staci Jennifer Riordan, Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP, Fashion Law

Staci Riordan began using writing as a marketing tool with client alerts, quarterly articles, program materials, and social media, all written in a client-friendly style tailored to the fashion industry. When she launched her Fashion Law Blog in 2009, within six months the blog was attracting new clients, including fashion industry general counsel, designers, manufacturers, and retailers.

Other opportunities followed. “It seems every speaking engagement I’ve been offered has come about as a result of my blog,” Staci observed. The blog also led to an invitation by Loyola Law School to teach its first-ever course in Fashion Law. Loyola subsequently asked Staci to help create and direct the Fashion Law Project, a comprehensive academic center focused on legal issues affecting the fashion industry worldwide.

Staci’s advice to any attorney considering a blog is first and foremost to stay true to oneself: “You can’t try to be someone you’re not; you have to be authentic. Your readers get to know you, and they see you as a friend. That connection is key to keeping them coming back. And you have to know your target audience. If you don’t understand who they are, you might not be addressing them in the correct way.”

Speaking (Chapter 6) – Author, Carol Schiro Greenwald

Nancy Schess, Partner, Klein Zelman Rothermel Jacobs & Schess LLP, Labor and Employment Law Representing Management

Nancy Schess feels that “public speaking is one of the most valuable tools to learn because it is essentially a communication tool, and the power of communication is indisputable.” It is her favorite activity, even though before every speech there is a moment of fear. She says, “That initial prickle of fear charges me up.”

Nancy focused mainly on client training during the 1990s. Speaking before outside audiences began just after she made partner. She remembers “the charge I felt as I saw 40 people in the audience listening to me and engaged in what I was talking about.”  Public speaking leads to new referral sources and new work.

Personal Branding (Chapter 7) – Author, Katy Goshtasbi

Karimah Lamar, Senior Associate, Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP, Employment Law

Your personal brand is based on your substantive work and other’s perception of you.

Karimah Lamar says, “Prior to having a defined brand, I was not building quality relationships. I would attend different events, meet people, and rarely connect again. After I began to consciously think about my brand and develop it, my marketing efforts became more focused and purposeful. I had a defined plan that allowed me to meet people, engage them, and actually create meaningful relationships.”

Making the Pitch (Chapter 8)- Author, Jeana Goosmann

Amy Conners, Partner, Best & Flanagan LLP, Complex Commercial Litigation

Amy Connors was introduced to pitching proposals early on in her career through taking part in researching and presenting to potential clients as an assignment. Being included in delivering a proposal, she learned from her mentors the significance of knowing as much about the client as possible and trying to see the problem from their perspective.

Technology (Chapter 9) – Author, Traci Ray, with Interviews by Mavis Gragg

Rachel Rodgers, Founding Partner, Rachel Rodgers Law Office, Intellectual Property

Rachel is using technology to differentiate her firm and impact her bottom line through the use of marketing videos on her website. These are usually short videos that act as teasers by briefly explaining the firm’s expertise or answering “the top things you should know or consider about X.”  The idea of giving consumers just enough information to realize that they don’t know enough is an important component of marketing videos.  Rachel explains that the content she offers for free usually “shows people that they need a lawyer.”

A Different Approach (Chapter 10) – Author, Eleanor Southers

Pamela Simmons, Partner, Simmons and Purdy, Real Estate Law, Mortgage Lending

Pam hit on a niche in her consumer fraud practice, which she enjoyed, whenmortgage fraud was raising its ugly head in the 2000s.  Pam began doing Truth in Lending Act (TILA) cases  in federal and state courts.  “Scammers were coming across all lines into the legal field.  I was trying to help consumers with understanding that they did not need to pay big funds to attorneys for loan modifications.”  Pam came up with the solution of hiring a contract attorney to conduct a telephone interview off-site and decide the cases where Pam could give advice as the first step.  This decreased expenses and resulted in excellent service to her clients.  She went on to develop a consultation format where she could explain all the options available to the homeowner, including the complex tax issues.

Final Thoughts: Get Retained (Chapter 11) – Author, Beth Marie Cuzzone

Beth Marie Cuzzone, Director of Client Service and Business Development, Goulston & Storrs PC

Marketing is the range of activities, including blogging, attending events, speaking, writing, and creating Web content as well as actively networking, that make you well known among potential clients. It’s important to note that marketing lays the groundwork for building a practice, but your sales techniques will close business and bring clients in the door. The progression of converting a prospect to your client is a process moving from awareness, to credibility, to relationship, legal need, and finally being hired.

About the Authors

Dee A. Schiavelli is the founder of Results Marketing for Lawyers, a business consulting firm. Afi S. Johnson-Parris is a family law attorney in Greensboro, NC.

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