The Madness of Marketing for Consultant Lawyers

As we try to keep going in the midst of a 3rd lockdown in what has been a very ‘interesting’ year (to say the least) I do get asked one burning question from some of my candidates. And that is, ‘How do I reach out to potential clients and develop my consultancy practice?’ Away from the more traditional approaches of face-to-face meetings, client lunches, and sleek offices, lawyers of today need to be innovative and creative when formulating their client approach. And all while staying safe. So, to try and address some of the most common questions and concerns, here is what I have picked up from my time at Interlink…

I don’t know where to begin…!

This is probably the most common concern; but don’t worry, your new firm and colleagues are there to help! Connect with the other Partners on LinkedIn and look at their posts and connections. Tap into their expertise and ask questions about how they go about winning clients, and don’t be afraid to use similar business strategies. Don’t forget that organisation is key. If you start off by preparing a business plan and mapping the market – you’ll be surprised what you actually know. And remember to revise and update your plan often.

I don’t have a lot of connections on Linkedin…

LinkedIn is a great platform for connecting with people within your profession, but you do need to put some time aside to get it right. Connect with a ‘note’ and introduce yourself, and why you want to connect (even if it’s just because you were at the same university, law school, firm, or work in the same practice area). Sometimes it is not always feasible to add that note (I’m looking at you mobile LinkedIn app!) but the more connections you have, the more likely someone will accept your request (and increase your reach to other potential clients – remember ‘friend of a friend’?). And as your feed fills up with their posts, give them a like!

LinkedIn is not relevant to me…

This is a highly contested issue, but don’t forget that companies make updates on LinkedIn too. Whether it is an announcement that a new CEO/Partner/Company has joined, or market updates within the scope of their client service, or a webinar that may pertain to your practice area; if you follow the company pages, you will see those first-hand. Now, if they are relevant to you (or a colleague), it could be a way to introduce your expertise to them.

All I get are Recruiters on LinkedIn…

Ok, guilty, but we at Interlink don’t connect with someone (or send an InMail) without a particular opportunity (or opportunities) in mind. We base our approach on your profile, and while we do occasionally get it wrong, by connecting with us you see our ‘feed’ and what opportunities we have available – before even getting a direct message. Remember too, that once connected, it gives you the chance to see what our connections are doing and potentially make a new client.
And don’t forget to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date! It’s not just recruiters who are looking at your expertise – potential clients may be doing so too…

An extra note on recruiters…

Different recruiters from the same company (like us) will have different opportunities (otherwise there would be mayhem) so there is no harm in finding out who their client is, whether it would be of interest to you, and also adding them as a connection.
Don’t forget, if you are looking for a new job and toggle ‘open to work’ in your LinkedIn, your current employer (or colleagues) can’t see that. It’s always confidential, and we at Interlink strive to make it so as well.

But I don’t want to give up/merge my company...

This is more common than one might think. Some consultant lawyers do struggle with the idea of ‘giving up’ their hard-earned self-sufficiency: their own firm where they are the ultimate boss. However, this past year has proven to be a challenge even to the biggest firms in the world. And one of the best parts about the legal consultancy route, is that you don’t have to worry about so many overheads. There is no need for your own office, or for your own insurance, or spending time doing all that dreaded admin when you could be billing! And as for your existing clients, you can bring them across to your new firm, and refer them to colleagues if you can’t cover what they need (which means you get a lovely referral fee too) – and they will do the same for you!

How would I market my consultancy…?

The simplest way to start is to make calls. With most people working from home, they are much easier to reach, and you will probably find that they are much more receptive to having a chat. You can also ask your existing clients if they can refer you to a client of theirs, or a colleague, or even a different department of their business. It goes without saying that you should use the marketing provided by your new firm! You could also offer a free 15-minute quick consultation either on the phone or using Zoom to any prospect.

I don’t feel comfortable with video calls…

You’re not the only one! However, it is our reality at the moment, and you need to maximise using it. Create market-relevant updates where you can talk about a particular (for example) piece of legislation that is relevant to your sector and post it to your LinkedIn. You could set up an interactive webinar where people can join and ask questions. If you’d rather work as a team, then collaborate with your colleagues and do one together to share industry insights; or set up a ‘virtual coffee’ morning with some of your clients.

What do I write about…?

Focus on sharable content – whether on LinkedIn, blogs, firm websites, or articles. There is no hard and fast rule on what the best topic is to write about (as long as it’s not offensive!). But a good starting point is to keep an eye on relevant news articles and LinkedIn posts and writing up a commentary about it from a professional perspective. Or you can do a write-up on your new firm and introduce yourself and your Partners to your connections.

A final note…

Legal consultancy is a fast-growing option amongst Senior Associates and Partners across the UK. With our modern commercial landscape having changed so rapidly, firms have needed to adapt to a new way of working – and the consultancy route has been a great success! And who doesn’t want to take home up to 90% of their billings? If becoming a Consultant Lawyer interests you, my clients would be more than pleased to put you in touch with an existing Partner so that you may find out first-hand how it has changed their lives for the better.

Contact Us

For more advice about life as a Consultant Lawyer, or if you want to find out more about our legal consultancy options (as well as any of our other legal vacancies), please contact Tamara.

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