Sharing your knowledge about immigration law is essential to establishing how knowledgeable, relatable, and trustworthy you are, both to potential clients and your peers. It can help you grow your referral network and maximize your client’s lifetime value, increasing your positive impact as an immigration lawyer and as a result, securing the future of your practice.
Whether you’re a newer immigration lawyer or have many years of experience, there are multiple ways in which you can get the opportunity to speak in front of others to share your knowledge about immigration law and connect with both clients and other experts. But before we dive into a few common opportunities you might be able to leverage, the first thing that’s really helpful to do is to figure out what your area of expertise is and create content around it.
In general, if you’re working on implementing a marketing strategy for your immigration law firm, one of the most important things you should do is figure out your area (or areas) of expertise and brand yourself as a specialist rather than a generalist, especially as a solo or small firm, to stand out from your competition. One of the best ways to brand yourself in such a way is to create content - whether blogs or social media posts or videos - focused on that area of expertise.
There are two reasons behind this. First, when you create informative content that showcases your expertise, it helps people learn about the solutions you might have to their immigration questions. For example, a clear blog post or YouTube video that explains their visa type, how to think about eligibility for that visa type, and, say, tips on how to approach the application, would educate them and also make you one of the first attorneys they think of when they’re ready to move forward with their immigration case.
But second, and more importantly for purposes of this article, when you create and share content on social media, whether your email newsletter, YouTube channel, Instagram or TikTok account or other marketing channel, it helps you practice articulating your expertise in a way that others find engaging and can understand, which you can then use as an example when you’re looking for a speaking opportunity. If a conference organizer or YouTube channel host can see or hear you speak about your area of expertise, or at least read what you’ve written about it, they might be more inclined to invite you as a speaker since they’d be more comfortable knowing that you’ll truly educate their audience and keep them engaged.
Once you’ve figured out your area of expertise, and especially if you already have some content you can share about it, whether a blog or prior videos you’ve recorded and shared, the next step would be to try and land speaking opportunities. Keep in mind that different speaking opportunities can have a different impact, e.g. speaking at an AILA conference would help expose you to your immigration attorney colleagues while getting on a podcast aimed at your target clients would help build your brand in front of prospects.
With that said, here are three different types of speaking opportunities you can pursue as an immigration lawyer.
Industry conferences happen all year long and all around the world, and it’s always prestigious to be able to speak at a conference. Typically, conference organizers have calls for proposals that allow their members (or sometimes non-members) to pitch potential topics. They don’t always require prior speaking experience and in fact sometimes prefer speakers who are new to speaking at that conference to give conference-goers variety and diversity.
You’ll have to narrow down what industry conferences you can apply to speak at, but one framework to consider is whether you want to speak in front of your peers and colleagues or potential clients. For example, as an immigration attorney, if you want to speak in front of colleagues, some conference organizers you can pitch would include the American Immigration Lawyers Association, your state bar association, or national bar associations like the American Bar Association or Federal Bar Associations, all of whom hold numerous conferences all year.
On the other hand, if you want to speak in front of potential clients, consider organizations in your target industry. For example, if you work in business immigration and your clients are HR or in-house global mobility teams at companies, consider reaching out to organizations like Worldwide ERC and their various local chapters, SHRM and others. If you handle investment-based immigration, consider chambers of commerce or other community investment organizations. And if you’re a family immigration attorney, consider an organization that supports your target audience, like a local YMCA, a religious or cultural center, etc., that holds events regularly.
New digital media outlets, including podcasts, YouTube channels, or individual or law firm Instagram, Facebook or TikTok accounts, for example, all present great opportunities to get to speak in front of an audience. Whether it’s a YouTube channel focused on a particular immigrant demographic that you could record a video for answering specific immigration or going live on Instagram or TikTok together with another account that already has a large following of people you’d like to reach, or being a guest on an industry podcast if you’re on the business or investment immigration side, there are content creators out there with existing audiences that would benefit from your knowledge and expertise. To help you convince these creators to have you on as a guest, you can link to a video or blog you’ve put out in the past about your particular topic so they can get a sense of your style and what you specialize in.
One final way you can get the opportunity to speak in front of an audience interested in your area of immigration expertise is through a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) organization for a credit-granting webinar or course. Some organizations, such as Lawline, provide online continuing education, which may allow you to be a contributor over a longer period of time and asynchronously. In other instances, bar organizations like AILA and the others mentioned above often hold CLE classes outside of fully organized conferences. And still other organizations, such as Law.com, hold events all over the world so you can potentially get a speaking opportunity outside of the US to educate individuals on your niche within immigration law.
When you become better known as an immigration law expert through, among other things, more speaking opportunities, your firm is more likely to grow as a result of the increased exposure. As your firm continues to grow, you’ll need a case management platform that can grow and adapt with you.
Dockewise offers just that - an immigration CRM, a full library of immigration forms, easy-to-use client questionnaires and industry-leading API integrations, Docketwise is the immigration case management platform that will help you stay up to date on all your cases, communicate easily with your clients, and otherwise build and manage your immigration law firm.