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Bar News - December 18, 2009

Marketing Your Practice: 25 Ways to Follow Up with Contacts


Recently I wrote about the critical importance of consistent follow-up in effective marketing. In fact, I said following up consistently is the one thing you MUST do if your marketing is to be successful.

Any discussion of follow-up invariably leads to the question: How? There are myriad ways to follow up – in fact, once you start to think of new approaches, you’ll probably be surprised at just how many there are!

Here’s a grab-bag of 25 follow-up ideas to get you started:
1. Send a handwritten thank-you note. At this very moment, you could probably thank at least one person for taking the time to talk to you, providing helpful advice, sending a referral or helping with a project.

2. Send or forward an article with a personal note. It can be an article you wrote or an article by someone else. And remember, you can also send an article dealing with a topic of personal, not just professional, interest.

3. Invite them to a meal – breakfast, coffee, lunch, drinks, dinner or dessert.

4. Send the firm’s newsletter or e-alert with a personal note indicating why it might be of interest to them.

5. Visit them at the office. Ask for a tour of the facilities, if appropriate. There is no better way to get business!

6. Send a note congratulating them on a promotion, an award, good press or a good result in a matter.

7. Pick up the phone and call. Discuss a matter of professional interest or call just to check in.

8. Forward a website, blog, podcast or YouTube video of interest. Again, it can relate to professional or personal interests.

9. Offer to introduce them to someone you think they would enjoy meeting.

10. Invite them to a social event. It can be a sports event or something a bit more creative – like the theater, a rock concert or a lecture by a prominent public figure.

11. Invite them to join you at a business-related event – a bar association dinner or a CLE program.

12. Recognize a personal milestone –such as a birthday, a wedding or the birth of a child – with a card or a present.

13. Invite them to collaborate with you on a project. It could be an article, an event or a charity undertaking.

14. Invite them to join your LinkedIn network.

15. Send them a book on a topic that you know they are interested in. Or send them a book that you have particularly liked and expand their horizons.

16. Invite them to participate in your fantasy football league.

17. Send a holiday card. Get creative and celebrate holidays other than those in December: Halloween, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s/Father’s Day.

18. Offer to do an on-site CLE program for their legal department or their business people.

19. Share materials (consistent with copyright laws) or insights from a seminar you attended.

20. Invite them to participate in an activity you enjoy, such as golf or a museum outing.

21. Send a CD by a band you know they like or a new band you think they might like.

22. Send a checklist to be used in a situation fraught with legal implications (e.g., before they fire an employee, before they sign a waste hauling agreement, etc.).

23. Ask for their advice. Then, follow up later and let them know how the situation turned out.

24. Invite them to sit at your table at a charity event.

25. Send a recipe for a family favorite – whether it’s for devilishly rich brownies or killer eggnog.
Sara Holtz is a marketing consultant. Her firm, ClientFocus, concentrates on helping successful lawyers become successful rainmakers. Contact the author at: or to read articles, go to

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