If you're a plaintiff side labor and employment attorney, you may be looking for new ways to pursue your marketing plan. In today's economy, it's more important than ever to have innovative ways to find new clients. Fortunately for attorneys, the economy today has also led to employers slacking when it comes to following employment regulations—which means that business could be booming, if you know how to drum it up. In this guide, we'll explore some strategies for employment attorneys who want to build a client base and grow their labor law practice. Make sure before using any of these strategies that your state bar association allows these methods, and verify that any language you use in marketing materials is legal according to your state bar.
#1: Employment Law Information Sessions
One of the best ways to get new business for employment attorneys is to actually talk about the current rights that workers have under state and federal employment laws. For example, illegal unpaid internships are a major problem for some young workers—but many have no idea that their job is illegal, or that they could be entitled to back wages and liquidated damages plus attorney fees.
This means that one of the best things you can do is talk at community centers, colleges, and so forth about the current state of employment law in the United States and in your specific area. Helping people to understand minimum wage laws, laws surrounding overtime, employment classification, and prohibited discrimination can be incredibly useful—you'll be doing your community a service while you're building business for yourself. These informational sessions can sometimes net you several clients all at once.
#2: Specializations—Consider Unique Issues
One of the ways that attorneys in employment and labor law can differentiate themselves from the competition is by starting to specialize in particular types of cases. While if you're a brand new attorney, you'll probably need to take most cases that come through your door, consider specifically seeking out the type of work that you think you can do the best job at. If discrimination cases are the types of cases you enjoy most and are most talented with, focus on those. If enforcing wage and hours disputes is more your style, orient your marketing materials toward that focus.
#3: Connect Offline and Online Marketing
One of the things many attorneys today forget to do when making marketing plans is to ensure that their online and offline marketing are well connected. Ideally, your online and offline marketing should be in a symbiotic relationship, each one working to help the other. Too often, attorneys pursue drastically different marketing strategies on and offline, or only carry over their offline advertising through some quick taglines on their websites.
Keep in mind that much of your offline marketing can involve more than straight up advertising. In many cases, you'll do better with more subtle types of marketing, like community involvement and sponsoring teams.
#4: Create Infographics To Make Information Understandable
One of the fastest ways to make content spread on the web is to put information into a handy, easy to read infographic. Because labor laws in the United States are so misunderstood by so many people, it's easy to make an infographic that can start to tear down some of the more pervasive myths surrounding what workers' rights are and aren't.
Infographics will usually require a real graphic designer—you can hire a web design firm to create them for your firm if you don't have a designer on staff. Trying to create an amateur infographic will usually result in substandard work, which is unlikely to actually take hold online.
#5: Use Social Media To Spread Information Virally
Once you've got some kind of content to spread—an infographic, an informational brochure about workers' rights, or even a really great blog entry that explains a complicated legal topic in simple language for lay people—it's time to make it spread out. Try posting to social media channels for the best boost to your virality. Huge numbers of people use social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and if your content is really interesting, it can often spread basically on its own after you give it the initial push to your friends and fans.
It's important to make sure, if you're using social networking to spread viral information, that you're using the network for more than just spreading out your content. People who only spread their content online are often regarded as spammers, rather than as real participants in the social media environment. It's much better to interact with your friends and fans in a genuine way, trading content and providing interesting information, than it is to use Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks as purely a conduit for free advertising.
#6: Get Into the Local Search Game
One of the most important factors in your online marketing, no matter where you are in the country, is Google local search. Google is used by a majority of web searchers, and today, four out of every five people who look for an attorney check online for reviews or other information about their lawyer before making a final decision about who to call.
Local searches are important to most people who do Google searches. The vast majority of attorneys get their clients from their local area, and one of the best things about Google local is that it actually allows your links from local websites, like Chamber of Commerce sites, to count for more when keywords for your firm are searched for from locations near you.
#7: Remember the Basics: Customer Service
Customer service is absolutely critical for labor and employment attorneys. Many of your clients may not really understand their rights, and are depending on you to be able to explain it in terms that they can understand. By focusing on customer service and making yourself available to clients, you show yourself to be the kind of attorney who actually cares about client concerns.