Tyler Martinez (Guest Contributor)
December 5, 2019
Once you are ready to begin taking on cases as an Expert Witness, you must spread the word about your expertise. You will have to market your expertise in places where attorneys are likely to find you. There are many ways to market yourself so that you may be found for cases that require an Expert Witness.
It is important to remember that you don’t want your marketing to portray you as a hired gun. If so, your marketing can be used against you in court. The opposing side may try to portray you as an expert witness who is willing to say whatever is necessary to receive payment and win the case. Your expertise will not appear reputable to the judge and jury. Avoid this situation when marketing by focusing on your expertise, avoiding wording that makes it sound like you are taking sides on any case, and avoiding any promises about how you may influence the outcome of a case.
Marketing expenses are part of any business or practice, and many people don’t realize that is a must if you want your expertise to be found. A good way to think of it is to consider your marketing expense as an investment in yourself, rather than just money coming out of your pocket. This makes sense because there are several ways to recover your expenses and increase your return.
When an attorney needs an Expert Witness for a case, most will have their staff search online. That is when you want your information to be visible and accessible. Online directories are the easiest way to achieve this. There will be multiple results from multiple directories, so the best approach to maximize your response and ensure that you are found is to list yourself in multiple directories. More is better because of the way search engines like Google work, and the way people search on them. Each expert witness directory is positioned in different places throughout the search results. Each keyword or phrase searched will return different directories in the results. For example, if a law firm is searching for an Expert Witness for a case involving the cardiac specialty, they would probably search for “Cardiac Expert Witness.” But, the directories that appear in the search engine results would be different if they are looking for a different specialty. When you have listings in multiple directories, you increase your chances of being found, no matter which keyword, phrase, or directory the attorney searches. While most of these directories involve a monthly or annual fee, that expense can easily be recovered in just one case, and you can receive multiple cases per year from them.
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Networking is the most proactive method of marketing for the Expert Witness. This involves positioning yourself in locations and events where you can easily meet attorneys and others who may need your expertise in the future. The best place to achieve this is at attorney associations and meetings. To find these events, search online for the Bar Association and other attorney associations in your state, county, or city. Look for affiliate memberships that allow non-attorneys to attend the events and receive notifications for future events. You may have to call to find out more information if it is not available on their site. Some associations are very active in their event planning. They may offer luncheons and mixers that are set up for the purpose of networking.
Before you attend an event, be sure to prepare yourself so that you are ready to answer common questions confidently. Some of these questions may include:
It is important that you keep some business cards on you as much as possible. You never know when you will meet a potential client in public or at a social event. They are especially important when you are attending a networking event. Business cards should not just be handed out. They should be used to memorialize a conversation. They offer the recipient a way to remember the conversation and who it was with.
Attending conferences where you can promote your expertise is another very effective form of marketing. At conferences, you will enjoy the opportunity to discuss your services with those who are actively seeking your expertise and new services. You can benefit a few ways from conferences. You can just attend and network, you can choose to exhibit, you can place advertisements that will reach the hands of the conference attendees, and you can even offer to present a topic as a speaker. Conferences are usually very productive because attendees are interested in meeting new business connections. The key to receiving a good response at a conference is to understand that you are attending so that you can make connections. You should meet as many people as you can and network as much as possible.
To get the best results from conferences, it is very important to choose the right conference. Look for conferences where your target market will be attending and make sure that the conference will include topics where your areas of expertise are relevant. For example, if you are an Orthopedic Surgeon, an example of a good conference to attend would be one where personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys will be attending. If you are an Expert Witness specializing in Business and Finance, an example of a good conference to attend would be one target to bankruptcy attorneys. There are many conferences to choose from. Some focus on individual topics, and some are very broad with a wide variety of attendees. A simple search online will give you many options to choose from. The best approach is to start with smaller conferences and work your way up.
Just like when you attend a networking event, be sure that you have prepared yourself to speak confidently about your services. Be ready to answer common questions and practice ahead of time if you need.
After you work a case with a client, it is always a good practice to ask for another case. This is why the quality and professionalism of your work is vital. If your client doesn’t have any other work available for you at the time, don’t forget to ask them to refer you to their colleagues. However, most the time, when a referral happens, you won’t know it until you are contacted for a new case. This is why it is so important to ensure the quality of your work. When you know that your client was satisfied with your work, ask for a testimonial that you can add to your web site or listings.
One of the best ways to show off your areas of expertise is to write about them. Many publications and blogs online will accept article submissions from guest authors. Find Web sites where you can submit a relevant article, email the editor, explain your qualifications, and ask if you can submit an article about your chosen topic. You will probably have to try several publications to receive a response. You can even start your own blog where you write about topics you choose. If you have a web site for your practice already, these blog articles can easily be added to give your site a boost in the search results. These types of articles will build a great web presence and will help your name to appear when someone is searching online for your specialties.
This type of marketing has been around for a very long time, but the way it is conducted has changed dramatically in recent years. With the decrease of printed publications, most paid advertisements are now seen online. Whether your ad will be printed or posted digitally online, your goal is to ensure that your message is seen by your target market; those who would be interested in utilizing your service. The largest platform for paid ads is Adwords by Google. With this system, you can pay in an auction format to have your ad included in the search results and throughout the web. Positioning in the search results can be very competitive and costly, but the results can be lucrative when you get some cases. If you are unfamiliar with this type of marketing, you may want to consult a marketing expert to ensure that it is done properly. Other sites like Facebook offer paid advertisements as well. Some websites still manage their own ads, so if you see a site where you would like to advertise, look for information on how to do so on that individual site.
The great thing about speaking publicly is that you have a chance to show off your professionalism, demeanor, confidence, and expertise. If you happen to be lacking in any of those areas, you can also use speaking engagements to improve. Those who will hire you as an Expert Witness will have the opportunity to preview what you will look like when you are on the stand in court. The most common place for speaking engagements is at conferences. However, there are other opportunities such as TV talk shows, radio shows, and podcasts. These types of appearances can gain you some great exposure. While they are much more difficult to come by, you may stumble across these opportunities as you have more speaking engagements.
Nothing says that “you know your stuff” like being a published author. When you can write a book about your expertise, you prove how extensive your knowledge of the topic may be. Additionally, when you are on the stand as a published author, it further solidifies your credibility with the judge and jury. While you are in the process of promoting and selling your book, eventually those who are seeking your expertise will take notice. Essentially, you are indirectly broadcasting your availability as an Expert Witness, just by showing off your expertise with a book.
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Even with the many digital marketing options available in today’s world, direct mail is one the “old fashioned” forms of marketing that still can receive a great response. This is because it allows you to target an individual who works cases that need your specialty, and places your information directly in their hands. Many people still enjoy sifting through the mail and reading through what they have received. However, when marketing to attorneys, your approach will have to be a little different since they will typically have an assistant who may screen the mail for them. You will have to get a little creative to make sure that your mail piece does not look like an advertisement. The best way to do this is to make the mailer look like a personal invitation. You can use thank you cards or something similar to provide some quick information and your business card. Use a designer envelope, hand write on the outside for a more personal touch, only send to one attorney at a time in a firm, and make sure that the envelope is not see-through. Other types of mailers, such as post cards, will get a good response if you are targeting other recipients who won’t have someone screening the mail.
While many people enjoy complaining about receiving too much email, it is still a very effective form of marketing. The key is to avoid making your email look like spam. You can search the Web to find lawyers and others who would hire you as an Expert Witness. Get their email address from their Web site, and send them a message. Some have a form that you can submit on their Web site. It is important to use the recipient’s name, keep the email content clear and concise, quickly explain your qualifications, and include your contact information. When starting out, it is best to target individual leads. As you do Expert Witness work for a while, you can save the contact info of all your past clients and leads. You can follow up with them from time-to-time to remind them that you are still available. As that list becomes too large for you to send individually, you can use a service such as ConstantContact.com or MailChimp.com to create and send the messages in bulk.
If you have a medical practice or business you may already have a web site. Ensure that it is up to date and profiles your expertise. However, it is best to keep your Expert Witness marketing separate if you have a medical practice. This is where the previously mentioned online directories are very useful. You can detail your Expert Witness experience while separating it from your main practice or business. These directories act as your Web sites for your Expert Witness practice. Your web site can still be a very useful for profiling your general expertise and posting blog articles. Even though you aren’t listing yourself as an Expert Witness on your Web site, you may still be found by those seeking Expert Witnesses.
The best approach for any form of marketing is to track your results to see which forms of marketing are working best for you. This is how you get the most value out of your marketing budget. Spending your marketing budget aimlessly is a good way to waste money. If you find that a marketing method is not performing well, try to isolate it and determine why. Many forms of marketing such as online directories, email marketing, and paid advertisements will provide metrics and statistics that will show you if your marketing is performing well or falling short. You can then use this information to improve your marketing. For example, if you have a listing on an online directory that is not providing you with the number of leads that you had hoped, look at the statistics that they offer and see how you can improve your listing to increase its performance. Maybe you need to improve your listing for better results. Another example is with paid advertisements. If one of your ads doesn’t receive the response that you had hoped for, stand back and see how it can be improved. It may have had poor placement, it may have been too small, or it may not have been eye-catching enough.
There are many effective marketing methods available today. It is important that you don’t rely on only one form of marketing. You should implement as many forms of marketing as possible, since some forms will result in quick leads, and others will bring you leads later on down the road. Use them to your advantage so that you may show off the great expertise and qualifications that you have accumulated. Your expertise is of great value to many people. They just need an easy way to find you.
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