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Bar News - September 17, 2010

Law Firm Marketing: When Good Things Happen to Good People


Imagine you have just been rated by Chambers, been named a Super Lawyer, been highlighted as one of 40 under 40, been named to the board of a national organization or gotten a fantastic result for a client.

Youíve shared the exciting news with your mother (good for you!)....But now what?

Too often, my clients donít get as much mileage from their accomplishments as they could. Usually, thatís because theyíre not quite sure how to talk about the news without seeming to be boasting. Fortunately, you donít have to be a braggart to let people know what youíve achieved.

Next time a good thing happens to you (whether itís an award or a good result), consider doing the following:
  • Highlight your accomplishment in your marketing materials. Update your bio (both your website version and your more targeted modular bio) with the information. Include articles about it in your marketing packages.
  • Notify your marketing department. They can often be helpful in getting the word out Ė by issuing a press release or coming up with other ideas about how to get broader exposure for your achievement.
  • Share it internally. A widely-held misconception is that your colleagues know what you do and how well you do it. Trust me on this: they donít. If you hope to have your colleagues cross-sell you, you need to be top-of-mind, and they need to know how good you are at what you do. Use the vehicles your firm has to get the word out Ė whether thatís publishing your accomplishment on the firmís internal website or having the head of your practice group send out an e-mail to all the lawyers in the firm lauding your success.
  • Send a copy of the announcement highlighting your achievement to clients, prospects and referral sources. You have to assume that it wonít come to their attention otherwise. Just because it appears as a blurb in your local legal publication doesnít mean that they will see it. Some of my clients feel squeamish about doing this. My advice is to make it about your recipients as much as possible. Two examples:

    1. You were quoted in an article in an important publication? Send it out with a personal note explaining why the article may be of interest.
    2. You were named as a Super Lawyer or ranked by Chambers? Send out an e-mail along these lines:

      "I have some nice news to share with you. I was recently named as an Illinois Super Lawyer for General Litigation. I could not have done this without clients like you who have trusted me to handle your important matters and given me the opportunity to work on interesting, high-profile cases. Thanks so much for your years of loyalty."

  • Encourage someone else to brag about you. Perhaps the senior partner in your practice group would be willing to share the good news with the practice groupís mailing list. Many people find this more comfortable than bragging about themselves, and youíll find most people are happy to help you in this way. After all, it makes the practice group and the firm look good, too!
So, next time a good thing happens to you, donít keep it under wraps. Take the initiative to make sure your potential sources of new business, whether clients, prospects or referral sources, hear about your accomplishment. After all, youíve invested a lot of time to be worthy of the recognition; take a few minutes to make sure someone actually knows about it!

Sara Holtz is the principal of ClientFocus, which helps successful lawyers become successful rainmakers. For more information, visit or

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