ForensicExpertPro Practice Development for Expert WitnessesBeryl Vaughan, Consultant | Nationwide

Email us go@forensicexpertpro.com or Call (415) 302-9589

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FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST?

EXPAND YOUR PRACTICE:

“HOW TO” GUIDE

The Author and Bona Fides
Attorney whisperer Beryl Vaughan applies her skill to expanding an expert witness practice in forensic mental health fields. Her background is the perfect marriage of decades of experience in the legal field and forensic practice marketing.
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12 years

Consulting with Forensic Experts to build and enhance a Reputable and Profitable Business. Special experience in Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology.

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20 years

Lawyer-wrangling, case-wrangling.

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30 years

Business development and Practice Management. Best practices. Return on Investment. Profitability. Efficiency and Hassle-reduction.

The first year Ms. Vaughan set a marketing plan and my forensic income quadrupled. My income in the first half of this year is already equal to all of 2018 and I expect my practice will continue to thrive as a result of Ms. Vaughan’s expertise. My practice can no longer be considered a side-gig.

Sanjay Adhia, M.D.

Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrist and Brain Injury Medicine Expert Witness

Ms. Vaughan tailored a marketing strategy to the needs of my clientele. Many potential clients were “pre-sold” on retaining me as a result of her techniques. My billable forensic hours increased more than 50%. She developed a highly successful website. Ms. Vaughan has unusually diverse skills and developed practice procedures which improved efficiency and results.

Stephen M. Raffle, M.D.

Board-Certified Forensic Psychiatrist, Stephen M. Raffle, M.D. & Associates

SERVICES

Marketing a Forensic Practice in Psychiatry or Psychology

GOAL: Attorneys Can Find You, Maximized.

Synthesis and momentum for visibility is real and calculated.  We find where you are and aren’t and craft a plan to uptick the “are.” It’s not a secret sauce, it’s a specialized sauce.
The fact is, what you bring to the trier of fact is as strong as your skill, experience, credentials and unique areas of practice.  No lawsuit is absent a psychological factor. Teach them and they will come. Attorneys need experts to address issues absent in their own expertise. Clinically significant psychiatric and psychological features may exist (or not).  When damages are claimed, an attorney needs the right expert. Is it you? 
Attorneys use paid and free services and platforms to find experts in your field, with your own brand of skill and experience about any relevant issue being adjudicated.  Is it a competency case, undue influence, criminal responsibility…are the concerns Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Personality Disorders? The list goes as far as your expertise reaches.

Spend Your Money Wisely. Our Experience Maximizing Return on Investment.

Advertising.

No, advertising or marketing your practice is not a sign of greed.*  The idea that you are “above” advertising, or that it diminishes you professionally, is an attitude that will cost you. Do you believe your professional acumen speaks for itself? Remember, if a tree falls in a forest.. :

(a) Nothing you know “speaks for itself” when no one can hear what you have to say. In a word: Advertising is speaking up. We have the highest respect for best practices and ethical standards–and know them so you do not overstep.

(b) Advertising is another way to say “getting the word out”–and sometimes paying for it. Google Adwords, for example, are those names that pop up at the top of the page after a Google Search.  Do a search yourself. Much of the time the result displayed will be a colleague, not you.

(c) What if it marketing comes up in testimony? What if I look greedy?  There are answers to this question that can shut it down–a little coaching to ensure confidence, not defensiveness goes a long way (more about coaching below.)

More about Expert Directories and Referral Services $0 – $$$$  
Expert referral services or directories are widely used by attorneys because they can  search by specialty and spot-on expertise.  Not all are helpful for you. Some referral resources do produce cases for your colleagues. Why not you?
Presentations and Multi-Media.  $0-[Your Hourly Rate Here]
Public speaking and multi-media presentations are powerful when topic and audience serve the marketing goal.  Your time is valuable. Spending it on your practice–paying yourself to do the essential marketing homework can pay you back at a handsome return.
We identify with your target clients and pursue presentation opportunities to improve your visibility, communicate your expertise, and use it to audition for forensic work.
Social Media, Used Judiciously. Social Media is not to be taken lightly, but it can be a case-producing resource.  
Social media is a minefield. On the one hand, it enlarges your online footprint or visibility. On the other, the wrong choice of social media can backfire–especially when you’re on the stand.  We help you understand the options and navigate for best effect.  If indicated, we craft our recommended Social Media accounts for our clients’ professional practice.

The world is full of places and methods attorneys use to find someone like you.  Let’s put our experience and imagination to your practice.

GOAL: Business Practices for a bigger bottom line.

Forensic work is not like other businesses. Ethical guidelines and the law impact day to day business decisions. This is an area of our own expertise. Forensic work is all well and good but business practices speak to goodwill with attorneys, repeat business, the impression you give, and, of course, income.

Billing.  Billing your work to render an objective opinion means there can be no negotiations, bargaining, wheeling or dealing.

Legal Staff.  You’re working with lawyers and paralegals. Hiring staff with legal background may be value-added for you and worth extra cost. I would recommend against hiring a bookkeeper and a minimum-wage receptionist and calling it a day. Once a practice moves from home office to business address, the caller’s (attorney, etc.) expectation changes and a new threshold of professionalism is expected. Attorneys whose first contact with your practice is someone knowledgeable about what to ask will learn immediately that you have medico-legal expertise. A receptionist without legal experience is essentially an answering service. What if that person is a rainmaker?  

Advertising is Not a Dirty Word, though it seems so to some forensic psychiatrists and other mental health experts. It isn’t.  Here’s why. You are making a living and it is essential attorneys can find the expert witness best suited to the elements of a case. This is justifiable in front of a jury, judge or at the moment in deposition that opposing counsel tries to grill you on this point.  I sometimes recommend a script to handle such questions with aplomb and confidence until it becomes more natural.  Newbies to the field are most likely to get stage fright. Yet another reason to hire a consultant to help you navigate such questions. (caveat: shameless self-promotion.)

Hiring a Marketing Consultant Frees You to Do What you Do Best.  A forensic psychiatrist I know did not want any reference to a marketing professional on his webpage, even in tiny font at the bottom identified as a webmaster. He did not want it known that he had hired a marketing expert. He felt it diminished his professional reputation. I call this the fear of “filthy lucre”* or the impression of greed and, thus, bias.  It isn’t true. Attorneys hire marketing consultants and so do your colleagues (see testimonials on this page). It’s smart business and has nothing to do with your objectivity or the seriousness of your profession. More

GOAL: Explain what you know — about what’s important to an attorney.

Content=communicationWe start with learning in depth your professional strengths and goals to help you define the focus of your practice, then communicate it to attorneys.  This includes setting targets to enhance your experience level in those areas you want to develop.
What is Content? Any or all: Articles, case studies, social media posts (judiciously), video, interviews, audio, webinars– all can explain to attorneys about what you know, the quality of your presentation, and skill in your field.
The best content starts with learning, in depth, your professional strengths and goals, we define a focus for the impactful material you can produce. We get this from our Cross-Over Analysis.

GOAL: Online “CV”: An Attorney-Centric Website
(Hint, Many of Your Colleagues Don’t have a Website at All)

Most forensic psychiatrists and psychologists don’t have website.

Be the expert that can be found.

  • If your website speaks to attorneys specifically, the path between expert and retention is shortened.
  • Your website must be tailored to display the forensic expertise you bring to the judicial table. Our greatest value to you is translation, bridging the divide between your practice and legal practice.  
  • Defining your own practice-unique content is the #1 skill we bring to our client’s marketing strategy. 
  • A website is 100% your own; you control communication of your expertise, and it’s working for you 24 hours a day. There’s no better resourceMore

GOAL: Connect with Attorneys in Real Life

Personal outreach builds real-life relationships with attorneys. A meeting, a call, personal emails (not mailings), seminars, attending mutually interesting events.  There’s a reason Personal Outreach is last on this list. Everything above lays the groundwork. The goal is for attorneys to meet you in life or virtually, then find the path to you both smooth and distinct from other experts. The shortest, fastest and easiest leap from the attorney’s search for an expert in your field to retaining you is the best outcome of a marketing plan.

There’s no substitute for face-to-face human contact.

*”Filthy Lucre.”  “Money, especially when gained in a dishonest or dishonorable way.”

Oxford English Dictionary

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