Here are some rainmaking ideas for patent practitioners who are starting out as solo practitioners or joining a new firm. Rainmaking is all about bringing in the business, that is, paying the rent. More than anything, business development is about being known and recognized.
Networking opportunities you might consider:
LinkedIn - a business networking portal where you enter details about yourself and build a network of connections
LinkedIn Questions and Answers, where you respond to queries. Here is the IP section:
Law Guru IP discussion Forum:
Create a blog and establish yourself as a pundit in some IP area:
Respond to IP related blog entries:
Patent Law Practice Mailing List:
Troll the Craigslist Legal Services section:
Start your own newsletter.
Create a seminar for professionals. Teach them.
Publish a general interest article in local newpaper, IP trade magazine, Bar Assoc., etc.
Get a spot on local PBS radio station or another, talk about IP law, trolls, answer call ins, whatever.
Sponsor a local sports little league team, charity event, etc.
Speak at an IEEE, ACM, etc. local section meeting.
Do some related pro bono work for a charity, United Way, etc.
Post articles you author on your web site. Make them a regular feature with real advice.
Meet with clients, prospects, on their turf, not yours.
Read this book:
Hire a legal marketing personal consultant:
<http://legalease.blogs.com/> - one of the best!
Refine your elevator pitch, e.g.,
"I’m John Smith, an attorney helping individuals and companies protect their intellectual property with an emphasis on valuing my clients assets and making the process as worry-free for all involved." [Note that no multi-name law firm was mentioned here. Stick to what people can remember!]
And finally, the ultimate marketing tool--write a book!