The article is the third in a series on "Doing Forensic Work." The first two parts are also available online: (1) Starting the Case and (2) Fees, Billing, and Collections. Dr. Reid's website also has more useful information on forensic psychiatry and related topics, including for students and early-career professionals.
William H. Reid, MD, MPH, fisherman"Marketing" refers to the entire process of bringing a product or service to the public and creating a demand for it. It is not simply advertising. There are good and bad ways to market one’s practice, and some that are distasteful or even unethical. The quality and credibility of your work are your most important marketing tools. Reputation and word-of-mouth among attorneys is the largest referral source for most private forensic practitioners. Your professional and business practices, the quality of your staff and their interactions with clients, and your day-to-day availability are all critical. The Internet is important for some practitioners. Practice websites are inexpensive, but they should be carefully constructed and avoid appearing sensational or overly self-serving. Research the basics of websites and website traffic, and don’t expect great results for the first year or so. A Web consultant may be helpful, but avoid those who charge lots of money or make grand promises. Paying for advertisements, listings, or brochures is rarely fruitful. Your primary marketing targets are likely to be attorneys, but may include courts and certain government agencies; clinicians are not usually a major referral source. Patients and potential litigants themselves are off-limits; marketing to them is generally unethical.
Hat tip: Ken Pope