Why Fishermen Chum
Growing up, I spent summers with my dad in southern Alabama. He lived near a swamp formed by the backwaters of the Pea River, outside of New Brockton. A few times a week, I would dig for worms and head off to catch a few bluegills or bass with a cane pole and Zebco 404. My typical approach was to bait the hook, adjust the bobber, toss it in and wait, and wait some more.
A few years ago, I went on a fishing trip with my friend, Captain Brad. We jumped in his boat, found the right spot and spent a few minutes chumming the water with baitfish. Before you knew it, we were pulling in some large redfish off the Florida flats.
Both of the above techniques worked. One simply had much better results and produced them more quickly. This lesson applies to marketing your law practice. At the risk of overdoing the metaphors, let’s consider a few tips you can use to grow your client base in 2016.
“Why Do Fisherman Chum?” is the title of my article published in the LBA’s Bar Briefs (Feb, page 20) and in the Fayette County Bar Association’ s Bar News. The article uses fishing examples to help firms consider aspects related to marketing.
Testing the Water
If you’re new to marketing, fishing is a good example. Most successful outings begin with testing the water. You need to figure out where the fish are. A typical fisherman will put multiple lines in the water so he/she can use different lures positioned at various depths. Once the fish begin biting a certain lure, the fisherman will be able to adjust the other lines.
Law firms should put together plans to test the waters. Blog posts, videos, articles, social media all provide valuable information in different formats to a target audience. Certain clients will prefer specific formats or types of information. You may find clients gather and consume information in a variety of ways.
If you only have one facet to your approach, you may not be presenting your “bait” in the most effective way. I spent hours sweating on the banks of the swamp with my hook and bobber.
By implementing multiple marketing tools (e.g. website, blog, YouTube channel, social media campaign, etc.), you’ll be able to figure out what works best for your firm and client base. Chumming the water will produce effective results as long as you’re using quality bait. Read more →