Remembering TCPaul, 2016-2019

Ways to market my solo practice

Just wondering what worked and didn’t work for you. Webs nycop04/01/19
I find that community "networking" with social groups is an catwoman33304/02/19
Get lots of friends on FB and use FB to advertise to them. jeffm04/01/19
It really depends on the practice - and the budget. I hav dingbat04/01/19
Who still uses the yellow pages in any format? fuckyouracists04/01/19
Old people. midlaw04/01/19
Old peoples' $$$ is just as good as younger peoples' $$$.... catwoman33304/02/19
I find it baffling that anyone could get so much business fr cranky04/03/19
define "so much business"? If it's "recouping the cost", dingbat04/03/19
Yeah, the yellow pages were not bad when I hung out my shing dnabrams04/04/19
I’m focusing on immigration, but I was also thinking of ju nycop04/01/19
You still in NYC? I imagine getting to the top 1st page superttthero04/01/19
Yup. Still in NYC. I might have to pound the pavement and ha nycop04/01/19
I'm not familiar with NY ethics rules but it seems most bar catwoman33304/02/19
Didn’t groups and lawyers set up shops in airports during underemployedlawyer04/02/19
Good point! I do recall seeing a lot of TV interviews w catwoman33304/02/19
I actually just got a phone call from Avvo!!! I mean, it was nycop04/02/19
I wish you well with that endeavor. But, personally, I th catwoman33304/02/19
I don't think you know what SEO is It's basically setting u dingbat04/03/19
Avvo and linkedin are both useless to me. Avoo reps have bee cranky04/03/19
yeah, I don't know of anyone making money off AVVO, Justia, dingbat04/03/19
" neighborhood filled with immigrants if you’re a member o 2ski04/04/19

nycop (Apr 1, 2019 - 7:39 pm)

Just wondering what worked and didn’t work for you.
Website, done. FB/Avvo/Linkedin done.
Business cards, I have 2 kinds depending on the crowd (one specific to an ethnic group I identify with).

Did any of you walk around and hand out business cards? (Not in/near court, of course). But say a neighborhood filled with immigrants if you’re a member of that community?

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catwoman333 (Apr 2, 2019 - 9:39 pm)

I find that community "networking" with social groups is an effective way of getting word out, more so than internet websites or social media.

I carry business cards but don't just "randomly" hand them out. I usually just hand them out if people ask in casual conversations (e.g., on a flight when seat mates or fellow partiers ask "What do you do for a living?"). I would also suggest posting them on bulletin boards in "high traffic" areas (restaurants, Starbucks).

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jeffm (Apr 1, 2019 - 8:01 pm)

Get lots of friends on FB and use FB to advertise to them. I haven't done this, but I am looking into it. Looks interesting.

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dingbat (Apr 1, 2019 - 8:11 pm)

It really depends on the practice - and the budget.

I have a friend who gets plenty of clients from the yellow pages, another from billboard advertising. Newspapers still work, for some, and Facebook for others. Same with TV and radio.

The problem is, you don’t know what works until you try it. I’ve blown $5k on ads that didn’t work, and it hurt.

The other thing is that some forms of advertising take longer to pay off than others, and, just because something works once, doesn’t mean it’ll work again a week later.

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fuckyouracists (Apr 1, 2019 - 8:13 pm)

Who still uses the yellow pages in any format?

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midlaw (Apr 1, 2019 - 8:18 pm)

Old people.

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catwoman333 (Apr 2, 2019 - 9:40 pm)

Old peoples' $$$ is just as good as younger peoples' $$$....:).

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cranky (Apr 3, 2019 - 11:32 am)

I find it baffling that anyone could get so much business from yellow page advertising anymore. Maybe if the firm does something like SSDI appeals or auto accidents and has a huge ad on the back of the book, I suppose. I haven't wasted money on yellow pages in over 12 years. Even back then all I got out of it were some loser calls from people with no money and maybe one case that didn't even make up for what I paid for the ad. I haven't even seen a phone book in years, and I'm one of the older people on this forum!

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dingbat (Apr 3, 2019 - 2:52 pm)

define "so much business"?

If it's "recouping the cost", then, probably. Based on the rates here, if I get one client a year out of it, it's worth doing. Likewise, I advertise in my local gym, because, one client covers a year's worth of advertising

Not necessarily the most efficient use of limited advertising dollars, but, it certainly pays for itself in the end.

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dnabrams (Apr 4, 2019 - 6:49 am)

Yeah, the yellow pages were not bad when I hung out my shingle in '02, but by 2010 they were pretty much worthless.

There was actually a period of 2 or 3 years around the time I cancelled my yellow pages ads where literally 100% of the calls I got were from cranks and whackos. The kind of people who thought that the government was spying on them and making voices speak inside their heads. The kind of people who were fired from their jobs back in the 70s and were still searching for a lawyer to bring a wrongful discharge claim.

At some point, the yellow pages started focusing on internet advertising, so perhaps there's some value in that.

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nycop (Apr 1, 2019 - 8:23 pm)

I’m focusing on immigration, but I was also thinking of just taking out ads for traffic/crim. to take advantage of my retired cop background.
Any of you have 2 websites targeting 2 groups?

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superttthero (Apr 1, 2019 - 8:42 pm)

You still in NYC?

I imagine getting to the top 1st page of google results in NYC would cost a lot in terms of SEO (even if it can be done), but if you're in a secondary market or smaller I would look into this.

I have a friend in Texas that does immigration who spends a pretty penny on SEO, but says that being on the first page of google is vital to his client finding. Note, I'm not saying that this is the only way, as others have said, some stuff works for some, other for others.

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nycop (Apr 1, 2019 - 9:05 pm)

Yup. Still in NYC. I might have to pound the pavement and hand out flyers or business cards. Maybe stop in the stores and introduce myself.
What’s the ethics on handing out business cards anyway? I was thinking of heading to LIC where the TLC offices are and where the drivers hang out and give cabbies my business cards (for traffic tickets and OATH hearings)

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catwoman333 (Apr 2, 2019 - 9:13 pm)

I'm not familiar with NY ethics rules but it seems most bar rules limit or ban "direct solicitation" of clients (e.g., walking up to someone in court and peddling services).

I don't think posting a flyer or tacking a business card on a bulletin board or wall in a nearby Starbucks or restaurant frequented by cabbies or parties to hearings would be a problem. But standing in the admin. court bldg., handing out business cards as the hearing parties--esp. if unrepresented--emerge from the court...well, I wouldn't risk it. While an unrepresented party would probably be happy to see you, I could also see another atty, clerk, or judge reporting that to the bar.

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underemployedlawyer (Apr 2, 2019 - 9:17 pm)

Didn’t groups and lawyers set up shops in airports during the travel ban or was that pro bono and not subject to the solicitation rules?thr rules that primarily for financial benefit and even if its pro bono I’m sure they are intending to get those airport clients to be paying clients eventually

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catwoman333 (Apr 2, 2019 - 9:29 pm)

Good point!

I do recall seeing a lot of TV interviews with many immigration attys. It seems like many of them literally rushed to the airports to pass out cards during that "crisis". And I doubt the bar assns. did anything to discourage or "reprimand" that--perhaps because of PC, fear of discrimination lawsuits.

Personally, I think bar rules "regulating" advertising services are seriously outdated, in need of revision--esp. in the 21st Century where so many attys struggle to find decent jobs, make a living.

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nycop (Apr 2, 2019 - 9:38 pm)

I actually just got a phone call from Avvo!!! I mean, it was someone with no money, looking for free advice, but at least it works. I have the free account at that.

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catwoman333 (Apr 2, 2019 - 9:44 pm)

I wish you well with that endeavor.

But, personally, I think Avvo, LinkedIn, and SEO (and places promising good atty referrals) are a big waste of $$$. Too many people wanting "free" advice; also, it's too time-consuming to respond to calls and "explain" why I can't help them. Also, I work solo and contingent fee--I don't get paid for my time if the case lacks merit, and I've found 9 out of 10 of these internet responses are worthless (lacking in case merit).

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dingbat (Apr 3, 2019 - 12:42 am)

I don't think you know what SEO is
It's basically setting up your website to get to the top of google search. there are SEO services, but you can also do it yourself. NYC might be tough, but in a smaller market, you can figure out how to do it yourself

Linkedin is mainly useful if you're going after corporate/business clients. Going after retail on linkedin is a waste of time and effort

If you don't understand internet marketing, you're never gonna succeed at it. Or be able to give half-decent advice on it

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cranky (Apr 3, 2019 - 11:34 am)

Avvo and linkedin are both useless to me. Avoo reps have been calling and emailing me repeatedly, but other attys I know say it is a waste of time and money. My best cases from from referrals from other attorneys. So keep up the bar association networking, go to lunches and CLEs to meet other attys.

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dingbat (Apr 3, 2019 - 2:50 pm)

yeah, I don't know of anyone making money off AVVO, Justia, lawyers.com, etc.

I'm guessing some people do, because they do have some long-term subscribers

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2ski (Apr 4, 2019 - 8:48 am)

" neighborhood filled with immigrants if you’re a member of that community?"

Invite yourself to give a free talk re immigration issues to local group, church,etc. and network. Me thinks face time is more valuable than clever internet ads for this market. Their trust is everything.

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