Marketing. Marketing. Marketing. It is often a foreign language for attorneys, but it doesn’t have to be. Shelly Simpson, a criminal law attorney based in Denver, has taken the idea to the next level. Simpson has had a steady flow of clients into her practice throughout the years but has had to hire three associates in the past year to accommodate the increase in cases being handled by the firm. Simpson’s secret, “We want to be our client’s attorney before they even know they need an attorney.”
“Of our criminal practice, 75% is made up of DUI/OVI cases. While there is usually a nice flow to those cases we wanted to help increase numbers in that specific area,” Simpson stated. One night after work while reading through some briefs for court the next day and enjoying a brew at the local pub, Simpson had an idea, “If you can’t find more drunk drivers, why not make more drunk drivers?” Simpson and her firm, Simpson and Associates began hosting Happy Hour events throughout the Denver area. They worked with local bars to offer $1 shots and $1.50 PBR’s to the locals all while passing out business cards throughout the crowd.
“We saw an immediate increase in business,” said Simpson. Their first Happy Hour brought in two clients that week. Overall it is a cost benefit analysis for Simpson. “If our firm has to pay a bar $500 to host an event, it is well worth the overhead when we can get four new clients paying $1,500 per case.” Simpson and Associates now host weekly events at local bars and Shelly claims her business has never been better.
Jon Kumar has yet to host Happy Hour events to increase his practice but his marketing ideas are not far off. “As a DUI/OVI attorney I would often pass out my card when I was at the bar but I needed a more efficient way to reach potential clients,” said the Dallas-based attorney. One night when entering the bar a bouncer placed a wristband on Kumar to denote he was of age. “At that moment it hit me: that is my next business card.”
Kumar began working with local establishments, offering to provide them with wristbands for free so long as they used them for their patrons. Kumar has tripled his business in the past 6 months due to his marketing strategy. “Every time a person hands an officer their license and registration, the first thing that drunk sees is my name and 1-888-DUI-LAWR on their wrist,” explains Kumar.
These type of marketing actions are not limited to DUI/OVI practices. Tara Knapp has set her sights on becoming the premiere divorce law firm in the entire Law Vegas area. In order to accomplish this task, Knapp has pushed her firm to become a “full service operation.” Knapp would often see clients come in, go through the divorce process, then disappear for 3 – 5 years. After a couple of years, Knapp began to notice some repeat customers would walk through her door. Knapp explained, “While I appreciate the repeat business, I often thought, ‘how can I make this happen faster and more often?’” Learning from the success of Simpson’s practice, Knapp began hosting “Singles Night” at local bars – sponsored by Knapp Law Office.
“The nights are legend . . . wait until the final divorce decree is issued . . . dary. Legendary,” claims Knapp. “At the last event, cougars and mustaches packed the bar. The parking lot was full of more Cameros and Miatas than you can imagine. And the best part, a lot of bad decisions were made that night,” Knapp explained. Two weeks later, Knapp had three annulments walk into the office. A month later she had a dissolution agreement to prepare. Nine months later, custody and child support agreements. One night at Applebee’s lead to $5,000 in new business.
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