Merrilyn Tarlton’s Getting Clients is not a magic carpet that will transport you effortlessly to the promised land where your future clients reside. But rather it is a map that will guide your steps, showing you the path to your coveted clients. As advertised on the cover, Getting Clients is a primer for the lawyer is who “starting out or starting over.” Having been actively working on my marketing skills for a couple of years now, I found Getting Clients to be an affirmation of many of the avenues I have been pursuing, a reminder about things I should be doing, and an instruction manual for other aspects of marketing that I need to do better.
Getting Clients is a workbook that actively engages you to analyze your skills and approach, and provides insights into making yourself attractive to your intended audience.
“It’s important that you cultivate the right kind of real experience, education and skills to practice a specific type of law, not make it up from scratch every time your get a new gig.”
You’ve got to put in the work (both on and off the clock) that will enable you to become the expert in your practice area that you want to be and are projecting yourself as being. Tarlton gives practical instructions for building your platform to accomplish these goals. Many suggestions should be common sense, but clearly aren’t: establish a positive reputation, create and maintain your online presence, write and speak for publications and venues where your intended audience is, and join and participate in trade organizations. Be a giver before you expect to receive anything.
After you implement the steps and practices outlined in Getting Clients, don’t expect overnight success. Marketing takes time. Building trusting relationships can’t be hurried.
“Effective business development, the kind that sets you up for a successful career that you enjoy and profit from, is a long-term proposition. There is no switch you can just flip, no pill you can just pop that will make the beats beat a pathway to your office door.”
Reading Tarlton’s book, particularly if you’re a novice in the world of marketing yourself and developing clients, is a step in the right direction. But mind you, the price of admission for Getting Clients isn’t cheap at $40.00 for the print version and $20.00 for digital, yet it’s still cheaper and far more utilitarian than any of the books you had to buy for law school. You can purchase Getting Clients from Attorneys at Work.
Rating (out of 4 gavels):
Other book reviews: Dean Karnazes’s Road to Sparta, Portia Porter’s Can You Stiff Your Divorce Lawyer?, Diana Glyer’s Bandersnatch, Larry Kelter’s Back to Brooklyn (sequel to My Cousin Vinny), and Jeff Goins’s The Art of Work.
Artwork via Attorney at Work.