Summertime business development ideas

Issue July 2014 By Damian Turco

Ahh, summertime. Things just seem to slow down a bit while we take it all in. And when it comes to business development, we seem to consider the summer as time off. Well - don't! Yes, people take vacations and leave work early in the summer. It can be difficult to get people to volunteer for things or get excited about new ideas, but to put the summer categorically off limits as a time to build your business is nonsense. There are plenty of ways you can drive business this summer. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Go to events. Hey, I realize you want to get home while it's still light out, but summer events can be a lot of fun and are a great venue for building new relationships. They tend to be more relaxed, outdoors and focused on socialization. The MBA has two more summer socials and you should put them on your calendar. The next one is Thursday, July 17 at The Yard at the Liberty Hotel. And on Thursday, August 21, we have the highly anticipated social at Tia's on the waterfront. Be there!

Promote yourself in existing social circles. The summer is a great time to catch up with friends at cookouts, weddings and family get-togethers. Before you go to your next one, formulate an interesting story or two about your practice. Make it interesting to the non-lawyer while highlighting your knowledge, short of sounding boring or arrogant. This will give other party-goers some insight into your industry while gently reminding them that you are their legal resource.

Get involved in a section. The MBA has several sections, mainly aligned with practice areas and practice management. Because our membership year begins in September, the summer is a great time to sign up for more involvement starting in the fall. Identify a section of interest and commit to a plan of involvement. Join a Section Council, commit to help organize an educational program, or write a related article by reaching out to the section's incoming chair. Section involvement builds your professional credibility and the more you do, the more you get back. The more credibility you have, the easier it is to land clients.

Assess your Internet presence. Okay, there are admittedly some slower days in the summer. That's exactly what you need to effectively assess your Internet presence and strategize changes. Take an hour or two and see what your competition is doing. Compare that to what's being done in other markets and other states. Read about trends and formulate a tactical plan for better success through the end of the year.

Be creative. Unique, creative ideas are great. While there are reliable ways to develop business in every practice area, unique ideas are a great way to develop your brand. How you do that should be closely related to the practice area, but, generally speaking, you want to do something few others (if any) are doing. Sponsor a softball team and get your firm's name on its jerseys. Participate in a fundraising effort in the name of your firm for a worthy cause. Create a branded pro bono program with the help of a local organization. Be creative and do good and you will win every time.

Damian Turco owns Mass Injury Firm PC, a Boston based personal injury law firm, representing the victims of negligence across Massachusetts. Damian is the vice chair of the Law Practice Management section.