If you’re a Dallas lawyer who recently received an email from D Magazine notifying you that you made their list of Best Lawyers in Dallas, congrats! This blog post will give you some ideas for what to do next.
If you’re a Dallas lawyer who didn’t get one of those emails, but you wish you did, we’ve got some tips for you too.
As someone who’s been in legal marketing for 24 years, I have a love-hate relationship with these lists. Many lawyers feel the same way.
Need help marketing a new recognition? Or just getting on a list in the first place? We can help with that! Muse Communications was named Dallas’ best legal public relations firm by the readers of Texas Lawyer (although we represent clients all over Texas). Just drop us a line.
The Cons of Best Lawyer Lists
Ask a lawyer/legal marketer why they hate these lists, here’s what they might say:
- They seem like nothing more than popularity contests;
- Clients don’t put any stock in them anyway; and
- They’re just ways for the publications that put them out to make money selling ads, badges, and branded swag.
The Pros of Best Lawyer Lists
- It’s nice to win popularity contests;
- Maybe some clients put a tiny bit of stock in them; and
- If you’re going to spend money on marketing and advertising anyway, this is as good a way to spend your money as any.
Love them or hate them, though, “best lawyer” lists aren’t going anywhere. If anything, they’re multiplying.
Our best advice: If you care about making a “best” list, pick the one or two you care most about, educate yourself on their selection process and criteria, and set about putting yourself in the best position to make those lists.
Fortunately, the most important things to do to be selected are precisely what we recommend to any lawyer or law firm looking to grow their practice:
- Step one: Be very good at what you do.
- Step two: Make sure other people know you’re very good at what you do.
That’s business development in a nutshell. There are a million sub-steps, of course, but that’s the essence of the entire concept. (I go into more detail in “Getting Past the ‘Ick’ Factor in Legal Marketing.”)
By being very good at what you do and making sure other people know about it (via blogging, social media, email newsletters, personal networking, speaking, writing for business and legal publications, etc.), you’re more likely to be top-of-mind when “best lawyer” nominations go around.
Because, for the foreseeable future, we’re still going to be in pandemic mode, it’s smart to go long on your online presence. See “What’s Your Post-COVID Marketing Plan?” for more.
One other tip: If you’re not already a household name in your local legal community, you probably have to get comfortable with asking people to vote for you. Overt campaigning for “best” lists is frowned on, but it’s certainly appropriate to reach out to a handful of people who are in a position to know the quality of your work and ask them if they would consider casting a vote for you.
Getting the Word Out If You Made a Best Lawyer List
If you made the D Magazine list, the magazine offers paid profiles in the magazine and on their website, so if your budget allows those, great. If you don’t have paid-profile money, though, here are some more budget-friendly ways to get the word out:
- A press release and/or blog post. The post should spell out the selection criteria and give a run-down of any other bona fides and awards you’ve received;
- Promote the news on social media, especially LinkedIn;
- Promote the news via email and/or your law firm’s email newsletter; and,
- Digital ad on a legal publication’s website.
In your social media promotions, make sure to add an image. If you don’t have an in-house designer, check out Canva.com, where you can create FREE graphics. We are enormous fans of Canva, and we apologize in advance for all the time you will waste there now.
Of course, promoting good news and helping our clients let the world know that they’re good at what they do are just some of the many things we do for our clients. So, if you need a hand, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Boardman Hunt is all about helping lawyers find their voice and showcase their expertise. When she’s not doing that, she’s trying to find great hiking spots in Dallas. If you know of any – or you need a legal marketing muse – drop her a line at email@example.com.