Marketing Trends for Lawyers and Law Firms: An Interview with Norm Hulcher

As 2015 approaches, LBN thought it would be good to report on marketing trends for lawyers and law firms. Legal marketing has always been a challenge, but Norm Hulcher of Phoenix, AZ is an expert on the subject. He shares some of his expertise and his suggestions in this report.

Norm Hulcher

Norm Hulcher

As Norm Hulcher explains it, Hulcher & Hayes is essentially an outsourced marketing department for small law firms and firms for whom it does not make sense to have a marketing department. He has been working with lawyers since 1989 and has been in business since 1993.

Hulcher notes that “what goes around, comes around.” He points out that he began his marketing business before there was an Internet. In those days, email accounts were mostly through CompuServe or Prodigy. In the years since that time, the Internet has brought us websites, social media sites, and constant contact with clients.

However, as the time has passed, many lawyers have seen that the methods that worked before the Internet are the best and most efficient ways to market their practices. Hulcher says that the traditional methods of marketing are still the most viable and the least expensive approaches.

Hulcher says that, over the last five years, he saw legal marketing go through a phase where everyone needed to have a blog, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. And very quickly, lawyers found out that these things either worked for them or didn’t. Hulcher says he has seen the pendulum swing the other way. Lawyers are looking to “referral source development, cross-selling, client relations, and developing relationships that turn into lasting business.”

For small firms looking to develop more referral business, Hulcher suggests that they should develop a list of names of people who are strategically positioned to make referrals for clients in particular practice areas relevant to the firm and to cultivate relationships with those people. The law firm should make those people want to send them business and to make sure that the contacts know that the firm is available.

As to lawyer advertising, it depends on a lawyer’s type of practice. For a litigator, for example, who depends on referrals from other lawyers, the most effective place to advertise would a state or local bar publication. Hulcher mentions a rule stated by Jeffrey Gitomer that, for every person you think you know, there are three people who think they know you. So lawyers should be bold in asking people to lunch. Advertising will help to remind people that they know you.

Norm Hulcher is a legal marketing consultant and the founder and managing member of Hulcher & Hayes LLC, Phoenix, Arizona.  The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.