A solicitor’s life is full of pressure. Especially in a small firm.

Pressure to keep up with changes in the law, pressure to be completely accurate, pressure to bring in more business. One letter out of place on a contract or deal could spell disaster and damage your reputation.

Deadlines to meet, more competition, further deregulation and AI and blockchain now looming, it has never been more important to spend time marketing yourself and getting new clients.

But how to find the time and make it enjoyable?

Solicitors possess a lot of skills ideal for modern marketing approaches, although many do not realise it. These skills include:

  • research
  • influencing
  • stakeholder management
  • writing

Understandably, modern marketing with all the different types of social media platform can feel overwhelming on top of your day job, but they are great for creating visibility and building your personal brand.

But finding the time to do this, delivering your fee earning targets or keeping your boss happy at work, can be a real challenge.

On the positive side, two vital types of modern marketing are well suited to solicitors’ skills and personalities: content marketing and influencing stakeholders of various types.

When you are lacking in time or don’t enjoy marketing yourself or being in the limelight, what’s the best approach to do marketing expediently?

The answer is to market yourself indirectly.

Marketing yourself indirectly feels more comfortable when it isn’t focusing on you, but on others: for example, how you help your client, whether internal if you work in-house, or external if you work in private practice.

Marketing is often confused with pushy selling when actually it is very very different. This misperception is one of the reasons why solicitors can avoid doing it. They don’t want their reputation to be tarnished being associated with it.

The definition of marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing is “the management practice concerned with anticipating and satisfying client needs profitably”.

Clients buy with their emotions even if they come to you with practical problems to be solved at key points in their personal or business lives.

Demonstrating how you satisfy clients is important when marketing yourself and giving examples.

Solicitors are excellent at helping and advising their clients – providing excellent client service is a ‘win-win’, with both parties benefiting profitably.

The client has their problem resolved and you gain fee earning/enhance your professional reputation.

So how do you market yourself indirectly? Part two, the final article in this series, will set out some practical ideas.

Rachel Brushfield, the talent liberator, is author of the Law Society’s Smarter Legal Marketing. Practical Strategies for The Busy Lawyer.

About Smarter Legal Marketing. Practical Strategies for the Busy Lawyer

This practical book shares insights, smart strategies and tips to help you to market yourself and maximise your chances of career success.

Providing step-by-step guidance, it helps you to understand and overcome any misconceptions about marketing.

It will show you how to fit marketing into your busy schedule and enable you to build your personal brand to achieve excellent personal, career and business results.

The book has eight chapters: marketing, clients, brand, blocks about marketing, networking, time management, social media – LinkedIn, content marketing. All chapters have action planning to embed learning and for your continuing competence.

Listen to the Smarter Legal Marketing podcast