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The Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) and Legal Marketing, Selling and Advertising

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The Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) and Legal Marketing, Selling and Advertising

Lawyers are not allowed to advertise. Almost every lawyer tells you that. They all know that. What many do not agree on is if it is a rule that should be done away with in this 21st century.
Can lawyers market? Can they advertise? Can they sell? What is the difference between the 3? Aren’t they all the same?
Do you know the difference between all of them? Is there a way to legitimately market your firm without breaking any rules?
The difference between these three may be the difference between a very profitable practice attracting a lot of clients or not.
Let’s start with some simple definitions, shall we?

Legal Marketing

Marketing is systematic. It cannot be happenstance. It should be deliberate and intentional. It is the summation of the activities you engage in that attract clients to you and your firm. It is about creating awareness about your existence and skills to satisfy the needs of prospects all the way to getting them to take a closer look at you and your services and finally do business with you. It takes prospects on a journey – from prospect to client.


Legal Advertising

Lawyers are not allowed to advertise. Advertising is all about telling the world directly about your services. Legal advertising is all about getting the word out there about your legal services. It is calling direct attention to your services and offering them out there for a fee. There are many forms of advertising. This could be through the print media, through online platforms, billboards, flyers etc. Advertising involves the exchange of money for your ads to be featured.

Legal Sales

When you meet a potential client and tell him why he should do business with you, when you tell him/her you understand their situation, you are selling yourself. Meeting with potential clients etc are all really sales. The more people you have that are aware of you and your services and are willing to strike up a conversation with you, the more sales you can actually make.

Putting Legal Marketing, Advertising and Sales Together

Yes, advertising will get more people talking to you directly if done right but not advertising (lawyers can’t advertise) doesn’t mean you still can’t create awareness and then engage potential clients in talks (the sale).

The key is to integrate your legal marketing/awareness and sales together. It is difficult without advertising but not impossible. Skipping or overlooking any step in the process can hamper your efforts. ‘From your “marketing” efforts to the sales, you will need multiple contacts with your prospects. It is important that you clearly spell out your system of getting you and your services out there; getting people to become aware of your services and skills and structure what you will say when you get to have a talk any potential client.

You need to link your marketing and your sales process well. Think. Without advertising, how can you get the word out there about your expertise? How can you showcase your skills to create awareness? A huge tip for you is through content education. Do you have a website? Are you positioned as an authority through the educational content you deliver on your website? Do you talk to potential clients about issues of interest on social media? Do you employ email communication with people who come to get value from your website? Do you have a solid clearly defined referral system in place? Do you make it so easy for your satisfied clients to refer you to others? What’s the plan?

REMEMBER! The key is for you to focus on marketing through education that makes prospects willing to talk with you – the sale.

You need to be constantly marketing. You need to have a pipeline of prospects talking with you on a daily basis. If you want to receive more clarity on how this can be done without infringing on the Rules of Professional Conduct, you need to talk with us.

We can help – [email protected]


To  your success

Kenneth Bulus

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