An AssociAte’s MArketing checklist 2.0
                                                         by ross FishMAn

Below is...
An AssociAte’s MArketing checklist 2.0 [continued]

          •	 Check it twice-monthly, from home.                       ...
An AssociAte’s MArketing checklist 2.0 [continued]

Fourth- and FIFth-Year assocIates                                     ...
An AssociAte’s MArketing checklist 2.0 [continued]

         for media purposes.                                          ...
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Ross Fishman Associate Marketing Checklist by Year of Practice 2.0


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Checklist identifying what marketing activities an associate lawyer should undertake at each year of their legal practice, from building their network through developing a focused niche practice and using social media to build their reputations

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Ross Fishman Associate Marketing Checklist by Year of Practice 2.0

  1. 1. An AssociAte’s MArketing checklist 2.0 by ross FishMAn Below is a step-by-step checklist of the marketing ac- tee within your practice area (continue through tivities that can turn anyone into a business generator. partnership). • Read the firm’s website and brochures to learn As an associate, your goal should not be to bring in about its range of services and clients. work, but to position yourself to get high-quality legal • Develop relationships with attorneys within work when you need it, later. Gradually, over time, and outside your practice area. build a tight, ~250-person network of people who hire • Do not spend your career eating lunch at your lawyers, influence the hiring decisions, or refer busi- desk. Go out at least: ness to them. Few clients will hire an associate for qual- • Once each week with a lawyer within your ity work, so spend these years building your resume, practice area. reputation, and name recognition among a significant, • Twice each month with a lawyer outside of specific audience. your practice area. • Regularly with friends and contacts. In the longer term, the shortest path to building a • Draft a biography, following the firm’s format. sustainable practice is to become an expert in a small Update it regularly. industry or sub-subset of a larger industry — clients • Build your network. Create mailing list of declare “industry expertise” to be among the traits they friends and contacts: value most in their lawyers. Broad industries like real • Law school classmates estate, financial services, health care, insurance and • Fraternity and sorority friends construction are too obvious; select a smaller, more ob- • High school and college friends scure area where you have existing experience, interest, • Community-association and professional- or contacts. The answer might not be obvious now; just club contacts recognize it when it comes along, and be proactive be- • Keep in touch with your existing network ginning in your fourth year. through traditional tools and technology: • Events, newsletters, holiday cards, break- Focus on helping people, not looking for work, so you fasts, lunch, phone calls are viewed as a knowledgeable industry insider, not a • LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. (see below) needy salesperson. Build close relationships and work • If you don’t have a Facebook page already, will come. create one. • Keep it casual but professional. • Check it weekly, from home. FIrst-Year assocIates • Join your law school alumni Facebook Your first priority is to learn to be a great lawyer; mar- group. keting should be a distant second. Your primary mar- • Connect with your friends, especially those keting activity is simple: make sure you don’t lose the from law school. people you already know. • If you don’t have a LinkedIn page already, cre- • Join one local bar association or the ABA and ate one. get actively involved on one targeted commit- • Keep it professional. Copyright © 2000-2009 Fishman Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Fishman Marketing, Inc. • 1356 St. Johns Ave • Highland Park, IL 60035 USA • Tel: 847/HEADLINE (847/432-3546) •
  2. 2. An AssociAte’s MArketing checklist 2.0 [continued] • Check it twice-monthly, from home. • Your peers within client companies • Join your law school LinkedIn alumni • People you meet at networking functions group. • Alumni-association contacts • Consider starting a group for your specific • Read bar association and legal profession graduation year. trade magazines and law-specific blogs to • Connect with friends and acquaintances, improve your technical skills (continue through especially those from law school. partnership). • Request professional Recommendations as appropriate. • If you don’t have a Twitter account, create one. thIrd-Year assocIates • Check it daily, from home. By now you’re getting a better handle upon your legal • Post weekly on something relating to your practice. Continue focusing on technical skills, but you job, or interest. can begin proactively growing your network. • Follow people within your legal and busi- • Continue the First- and Second-Year Associ- ness areas of interest. ates’ activities, above. • Sign up for at least two Google Alerts at • Build your resume by participating actively in your bar association within your area of interest. • For the Search Terms, use “your name” and • Volunteer for a committee and work toward “your firm’s name” (in quotes). a leadership position. • Create a comprehensive Google Profile at • Write a brief article on an area of interest for a committee newsletter. • Link it to your Facebook, LinkedIn, and • Give a speech on an area of interest for a Twitter accounts. committee newsletter. • Before you engage in any social media (Twit- • Increase marketing efforts – devote some time ter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) read your firm’s each week to a proactive networking activity, social media policy. including e.g. lunch, breakfast, dinner, sports, • If the firm doesn’t have one, help write one. networking events, etc. • Read legal and targeted industry publications (continue annually through partnership). second-Year assocIates • Subscribe to blogs and follow people on Your first priority as a second-year associate remains Twitter from leaders in these industries learning to be a great lawyer; marketing is still a distant • Add select client and prospect names to second. Stay in touch with your friends and contacts. your Google Alert in quotes, e.g. “Fishman • Continue the “First-Year Associates” activities, Marketing.” above. • Use selective information as a reason to • Continue adding new names to your mailing call, congratulate, or reconnect. list, and LinkedIn and Facebook networks as • Send clipped articles with brief handwrit- you encounter them: ten note indicating “Congratulations” or “I • Bar association committee members thought you might find this of interest.” Copyright © 2000-2009 Fishman Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Fishman Marketing, Inc. • 1356 St. Johns Ave • Highland Park, IL 60035 USA • Tel: 847/HEADLINE (847/432-3546) •
  3. 3. An AssociAte’s MArketing checklist 2.0 [continued] Fourth- and FIFth-Year assocIates Once you have selected the group or trade association, As you continue refining your legal skills, it is now your ultimate goal is to become one of the “usual sus- appropriate to spend more time expanding your net- pects” in that group, a highly visible, friendly, helpful, work and building your external reputation and re- active contributor: sume. Remember that providing the highest-quality • Attend the monthly meetings. technical skills and extremely responsive client service • Network regularly, get to know everyone. are essential elements of the firm’s marketing to its • Be helpful, offer advice and assistance. existing clients. • Spend a couple years learning more about the industry and the association members. Unless your practice area is driven through lawyer • Keep the conversations focused on them: referrals (e.g. personal injury, divorce, or admiralty) • Do 20% of the talking, mostly asking about you should now reduce your bar association activities them and their businesses. and surround yourself with prospects, not competi- • The more they talk, the smarter they think you tors. It is now time to focus your efforts more narrow- are, and the more they like you. ly. Considerations in identifying the niche or industry • Be actively interested in them. to target include: • Do not look for work or sell your firm — or • Did you grow up in a family business? you will be shunned as a “vendor.” • What hobby, passion, or special skill of yours would clients value? In addition: • What job did you have before law school? • Learn about your clients’ and prospects’ com- • What’s hanging on your walls or sitting on panies and industries. your credenza? • Read industry publications and blogs • Where do you or your spouse have an estab- regularly. lished network? • Conduct online research periodically to • What do you know that other lawyers don’t stay current on their issues and needs. know that would benefit some group of clients? • Read company websites regularly, es- pecially the “What’s New” and “Press To help you identify your narrow niche, visit a public Release” sections. library to review Gale Publishing’s multi-volume Ency- • Follow them on Twitter clopedia of Associations. • Create a Google Alert for each com- • Browse through the easy-to-use 40,000-asso- pany and important individual ciation directory to identify the best groups or • Start keeping an ongoing list of cases and/or trade associations serving your target industry. transactions, with one-paragraph summaries of Look for a national association with an active the details (whom you represented, what issues local chapter. and dollars were involved, how it was resolved, • Call them to learn more about their members how the client benefited, what was significant and request a membership kit. about the matter). • If the membership includes legal-hiring deci- • Notify Marketing of significant cases and/or sion-makers, consider joining the group. transactions you are involved in, or aware of, Copyright © 2000-2009 Fishman Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Fishman Marketing, Inc. • 1356 St. Johns Ave • Highland Park, IL 60035 USA • Tel: 847/HEADLINE (847/432-3546) •
  4. 4. An AssociAte’s MArketing checklist 2.0 [continued] for media purposes. • Work to a leadership position in your selected • Write an article for a legal or industry publica- industry association. tion on new issues, trends or precedents. • Use technology to help grow and stay in • Tweet weekly on these issues. touch with your network, e.g. blogs, Twit- • Post on blogs relevant to your area(s) of ter, LinkedIn, etc. interest. • Consider half-page advertising in the in- • Continue annually through partnership. dustry publication. • Present a speech to a legal, industry, or com- • Engage in at least two face-to-face marketing munity association. efforts per week. • Continue annually through partnership. • Visit clients’ facility, offices, factory, or stores, • Help present a firm seminar to clients and pros- at no charge. pects. • Dress appropriately for the location • Continue updating your mailing list, and • Tour the plant, meet employees, ask ques- LinkedIn network, supplementing them with: tions, • Opposing counsel • Become more familiar with their industry’s • Your peers inside client companies legal and business issues. • Continue adding to your Facebook network • This is critical: do not sell. with friends and less-formal contacts • Engage in at least one face-to-face market- ing effort per week – breakfast, lunch, dinner, Good luck! drinks, sports, social event, seminar, confer- ence, association meeting, etc. • Provide Marketing with client-contact infor- mation for client-service activities. • Offer to host a meeting at the firm for a group in which you’re active. sIxth-, seventh-, and eIghth-Year assocIates Work with a practice-group leader to set annual busi- ness-development goals. Continue the activities listed above, supplemented with additional activities: • Actively seek out a strong business-developing partner to serve as a mentor. • Meet with contacts at other professional-servic- es firms (accounting, financial services, public relations, practice-area boutiques) to identify strategic-partnership opportunities such as mu- tual events, client teams, and referrals. Copyright © 2000-2009 Fishman Marketing, Inc. All rights reserved. Fishman Marketing, Inc. • 1356 St. Johns Ave • Highland Park, IL 60035 USA • Tel: 847/HEADLINE (847/432-3546) •