7 Rainmaking Ideas For Busy Lawyers

Note: I originally wrote this article in 2006, but decided to reprint it for lawyers and other professionals who are finding it a struggle to get new clients during our tough economy. In many ways, it might be even more relevant today than it was when I first wrote it.

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The road to rainmaking success for any professional involves communicating your area of expertise to potential clients through writing and speaking. It is rare to find a successful rainmaker who has not made use of one or both of these two communication formats.

Because of this, attorneys have a distinct advantage over other professionals. The very nature of practicing law already involves both writing and speaking.

Although most of a lawyer’s writing is directed toward other lawyers, most of this written material can be easily reframed to address the questions and concerns of non-lawyers. The typical attorney has filing cabinets full of written material he or she has already produced. With minimal effort, briefs, letters, wills, trust agreements and contracts can all be reworked and revised to become information products like tip sheets, articles, booklets, white papers, speeches and even full-length books.

Moreover, an attorney must read a great many cases, statutes, law journals, court opinions, briefs and letters written by opposing attorneys, and continuing legal education materials. Each of these materials can also be used as the foundation for producing information products.

Here are a few ideas to help get the rainmaking process started:

  1. Begin with written materials you have already created. How might potential clients benefit from this information? Can you develop a brief you have written to warn business clients of some pitfalls to be aware of when signing a contract? Can you turn a pre-nuptial agreement into a short article on things to consider when entering into such an agreement?

  2. Look for ideas that can be turned into tips sheet articles or a frequently asked questions (FAQs) articles. These are not only popular with readers and magazine editors, they are very easy to write.

  3. If you are wanting to attract business clients, seek out the trade publications that service those target industries. Trade magazines are very open to articles written by non-professional writers. When your articles appear in these trade publications, you position yourself as an expert in the legal needs of that specific industry group.

  4. Start a blog on a legal niche that you want to get more work in. If you only write two or three paragraphs a day, your material will grow quite rapidly. This material can then be revised into publishable articles. And don’t think starting a blog requires any technical skills. If you can send an email, you can start a blog in less than 15 minutes. Check out blogger.com to see just how easy it is.

  5. Repackage the same written material you have been turning into articles and now create speech outlines and handouts to give to your audience. Once you have written a single article on a subject, you should be able to get speaking engagements on that same topic.

  6. Repackage your written material once again to create press releases. Tip sheets make great inserts in a press package if the topic is of interest to the publication’s readers.

  7. As you start to accumulate more and more written material, you may suddenly realize that just a little more effort could turn it all into a full-length book. Blogging (as long as you have been diligent about writing 2-3 paragraphs a day) especially has a way of writing a book for you, almost without your being aware how much material you have been writing.

    A book is the ultimate rainmaking tool. Your topic may be too specialized to make a lot of money on book sales, but as a way to attract new clients, a book has few equals.

Remember, everything you write or ever have written, can be turned into information products. Non-lawyers find the law very interesting. As long as you can write to non-lawyers and remove jargon from your prose, you will find a receptive audience for your articles and other writings.

COPYRIGHT(C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

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COPYRIGHT © 2009, Charles Brown
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