We live in an internet, Web 2.0 (or are we on to Web 3.0?), LinkedIn, Twitter, online marketing age. This is true for construction lawyers and their clients. We are constantly bombarded with ways to increase our Google search position and SEO is still a big buzzword. You would almost believe that an attorney or construction professional could not get a client without a serious online presence. On the flip side, you could also get the impression that having a strong online presence is all that is necessary to get clients.
While I am a big fan of the Web as a marketing and information dissemination tool (Musings is a blog after all), I do not see the web as the be all end all of legal marketing. I have said before, and will say again, the web makes my practice of law easier, but I also see the true value of “boots on the ground.”
When answering why I practice in the area of construction law, my answer always includes the fact that I like my clients. I find construction professionals in Virginia to be a great group of folks that I enjoy hanging out with. I also find that, at least here in Virginia (and I would assume without knowing, other states), the internet is one of the first places someone may look to find an attorney when they don’t have one, but deeper research and a phone call or meeting can close the deal. A recommendation or personal knowledge of you as a person is a much better way to turn a lead into a client in my mind and it plays out on a regular basis in my practice.
This is why I go fishing with clients. This is why I learned to shoot sporting clays. This is why I originally joined the AGC of Virginia and why I stay a member. Spending time with my clients and potential clients is both fun and rewarding from a financial, learning and friendship perspective. Staying in touch with my clients on a personal level gives me insight into what is going on in the construction world that lets me better advise my clients. Almost more importantly, I consider many of my clients to be friends and that makes my practice more fun. These friendships also lead to referrals and a deeper and more loyal client base.
In short, while a good web presence is one necessary piece of my practice growth, fishing with clients (among other activities) is an even bigger part.
Please join the conversation with a comment below. Also, I encourage you to subscribe to keep up with the latest Construction Law Musings.