Arguably one of the toughest challenges faced by most small to medium-sized legal firms is the lack of a strategic business development plan. While simply relying on referrals is not enough to grow your business, learning how to apply simple laws of marketing can help you reach your target audience and acquire new clients. And whether you're an in-house California corporate attorney or a Maryland criminal lawyer, the general rules of marketing your legal practice are the same.

Craft Your Message
The key to crafting a message that will resonate with your market is to clearly delineate your firm's niche. More than simply outlining your areas of practice and expertise, relay what exactly sets your firm apart from the many others that offer the same services and what makes you so valuable as a litigator. By carefully communicating this, your audience will be quick to give your firm authority over others contending for their business.

Reach Out to your Audience
Now that you've carefully crafted a message that will convey your worth, you simply need to make contact with your target audience. There are a myriad of ways to do just that:

  • Networking
  • Implementing a PR strategy
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with current clients
  • Writing for and speaking to various outlets
  • Internet marketing (search engine optimization and pay-per-click campaigns)
  • Social media

Many firms struggle with making the time to actually market their firm since it deducts from lucrative billable hours. Yet creating a comprehensive development strategy can provide a high return-on-investment once you begin to reap the benefits of doing so.