Immigration Practice News

Volume 2, Issue 2

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FROM 1 >> The Importance of Proper Marketing by Helena Younossi Have you ever sat through a presentation with a speaker who leſt you so uninspired and bored that you questioned his general competence in other areas? Well, that speaker probably was acting on the belief that speaking is an essential piece of marketing and that marketing is important. Marketing is certainly important. But more important is that the method chosen matches your skill set. Some forms of marketing are a must. Excellent client service should be at the top of everyone’s list. Another must is the ability of potential clients to find information about you. A website clearly defining your expertise and targeting the clients you are seeking is one means of meeting that goal. Providing easily identifiable contact information is critical. If you choose to market with a website, then ensure its level of sophistication matches the clientele you are seeking. Do not spend thousands of dollars on a sophisticated English- language website and search engine optimization if your primary goal is to attract Spanish-speaking clients who are in need of deportation defense. Additionally, do not build content which makes you a “jack of all trades and master of none.” Finally, and very importantly, be aware that if you make yourself available for hire, via a website or otherwise, you are subject to advertising rules. Tese rules can be detailed, tricky, and especially complicated where multi-jurisdictional issues are raised; this is oſten the case with websites because by nature they reach across state lines. New York, for example, takes the position that marketing directed into the state is subject to its regulations. If you allow for submissions of questions through your website, be wary of claims that an attorney client relationship has been formed and of confidentiality issues. For an overview of these rules, “While it cannot hurt and may be important to engage in traditional forms of marketing ... the most successful marketing comes from engaging in activities which balance your life and bring you joy.” begin your study with the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center. Speaking engagements can be another very important method of building a practice, if you have that skill set. While I do occasionally speak and write, my most effective and lasting client relationships developed from activities that I enjoyed separate and apart from work. One of these was training for an Ironman. Opportunities for marketing exist in every activity, and at times, in the most unexpected of circumstances. While it cannot hurt and may be important to engage in traditional forms of marketing such as blogging, newsletters, brochures, radio shows, etc., the most successful marketing comes from engaging in activities which balance your life and bring you joy: An Ironman anyone? 4. Bad Times Don’t Call for Bad Cases Choose your cases. If a client meets you aſter having discharged two lawyers, the case involves fraud or misrepresentation or involves an area of law in which you do not feel competent, these are red flags. A few dollars in the short-term are not worth the consequences of taking on a bad case. See Reid Trautz, “When Good Lawyers Go Bad: Strategies to Reduce Your Risks”, AILA Practice & Professionalism Center. 5. Market Yourself Schedule time to participate in speaking engagements, write articles, or even start a blog. Keep your website up-to-date and get your name out there. Just because you may not have billable work, it does not mean there is nothing to do. 6. Enjoy! Spend time with friends and family, go to the gym and do whatever it takes to keep yourself healthy and balanced. You are not defined by your work and periods of not having a moment to spare will return. Leading a balanced life will make you a better and more relaxed individual, which is both a personal and professional asset. www.aila.org 2

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