Three Things To Do Now So You Can Practice Law Later
Remember law school? Maybe it felt like the law was the only thing that mattered and you focused on it 24/7. (Maybe you weren’t quite as wide-eyed about it, but you get the idea.) Whatever your history, today’s reality is that owning your own practice means administrative duties, marketing, client intake and whatever else the firm needs that day. A recent survey by the Thomson Reuters Solo and Small Law Firm Group found that solo firms spend 55 percent of their time practicing law while firms with seven to ten attorneys are working at 68 percent.
The implication is that a lot of attorneys spend a lot of time on other business tasks. What do they understand? That you need to put the time and effort into growing your firm today so you can practice tomorrow. That can start with these three tips for your online marketing.
- Get a Legal Directory Listing
Consumers come to legal directories for one thing: to find a lawyer. A recent FindLaw survey found that consumers who use legal directories are two and a half times more likely to retain the lawyer they contact than those using Google. With this kind of influence, along with ease of set up and wide use, a legal directory listing is an import component of any online marketing plan.
- Think Beyond your Website
Social media is another important way to build your brand. The number of people searching for an attorney on social media rose from six percent to 20 percent in recent years. As more brands and companies move to sites like Twitter and Facebook that percentage is likely to increase.
Marketing your law firm on social media means showing the human, authentic side of your business. Post pictures of you and your firm on occasion. We’ve said a lot about this before, but sharing simple little moments truly does add up in the end. Consumers make decisions based on emotion, so make sure you use social media to create a warm and welcoming environment. (If this sounds difficult or frivolous to you, check out our recent white paper From Novelty to Necessity: Pragmatic Social Media for Law Firms.)
- Focus on Conversion
Most discussion about law firm marketing focuses on reaching prospects, but many lawyers miss out on actually converting them into clients. Whether someone is calling, emailing or chatting it is important to have an intake structure in place. In a recent FindLaw study 87 percent of consumers said they retain the first lawyer they communicate with. Make sure you answer all communication—whether phone, email or chat—as soon as possible.
The big takeaway here is this: to actually practice law, your business needs to be healthy and reliable. Every business (including your competition) faces this same challenge. The way to overcome it is to keep one eye pointed upstream so that your flow of future clients isn’t interrupted. That’s you gain the freedom and security to do the work you had in mind back when you first earned that law degree.