When business clients need a lawyer, they seek help. When business clients do not need a lawyer, that does not mean you should do nothing to attract those potential clients. I attracted those clients and you can also.

Five years ago Seth Godin addressed this question in the context of dentists in his blog: My tooth doesn’t hurt. He suggested:

  1. Figure out a cost-effective way to be there. A way to gently be in my face so that when my toothache shows up (in whatever form that takes) you’re the obvious choice.
  2. Create new products and services that build engagement and possibly revenue among members of the population that aren’t in pain. That, of course, is why teeth whitening services are so smart. You can sell to people who didn’t know they had a problem until they met you.

Watch this Youtube video where David Meerman Scott talks about Boston Dentist: Helaine Smith, who created an e-book.

Dentistry is not much different than law. No one gets up in the morning and says: “Oh boy I get to visit my dentist today.” And, as Seth Godin points out, potential patients do not reach out to dentists when their teeth are fine.

At some point, a business with a legal issue that has not hired a lawyer will do a Google search of the legal issue. You want to be the lawyer the potential client finds. You can increase your chances by blogging, creating guides, and putting your presentations on Slideshare.

I spent a career creating what Seth Godin describes as “new products” and services. How did I do it? How can you follow my model? I tried to figure out potential future legal issues and then I wrote articles (would be blog posts today) and gave presentations.

To get an example of what I did, read this article: Legal Issues in Design-Build Construction that an associate in my old law firm wrote about workshops on Design-Build that I was doing at the time. Or, take a look at my article: Design-build: evaluation and award. Both the workshops and the article led to me being hired to work on Design-Build projects.

If I was able to attract clients who did not have a legal problem at the time, you can also. Give it a try.