Many consultants and marketing companies take a cookie-cutter approach when a client asks how to grow a law firm. Every law firm is unique, so we don’t have fill-in-the-blanks marketing plans. What may work great for one firm may be a waste of time for another. But there are tools in our toolbox we use with most firms to one degree or another.
No matter your practice areas or size, whether your firm has been around for decades or was newly formed, Lawyers Marketing Associates (LMA) can work with you to create strategic, sustainable, measurable development plans that will be the blueprint for your firm’s growth. We will work with you to learn more about your abilities, plans, and goals, then put together a unique, flexible program that’s right for you. LMA won’t just hand it over and then move on to the next client. We’ll work with you to implement the plan, measure results, make corrections, and see that you’re successful.
How to Grow a Successful Law Firm
Don’t Expect to Accomplish Much if Your Firm Has Serious, Ignored Problems
Before you can drive your firm on the road to success, it’s time for a thorough inspection. How to grow a law firm business? Not by ignoring your problems.
Does your law firm deserve to grow? You’ll only grow if you can attract clients. If you’re failing at that or not attracting the numbers of clients or types of cases you seek, why not? Are you not growing because you need some help and guidance, or does your firm suffer serious flaws? Truly effective growth comes after clear, maybe heartless, self-examination along with practical steps to correct what needs repair.
The legal market is brutal, filled with competition eager for new clients. Depending on where you are and what you do, the fight for clients could be cutthroat. There may be well-established firms (perhaps believing their own press and resting on their laurels) or upstart firms with big advertising and marketing budgets, while your firm might be in between.
How to grow a small law firm or one of any size? Here are some questions that should help you head in that direction:
- Why should clients use your services? If you don’t have compelling reasons, maybe you shouldn’t have more clients.
- What makes you a better choice than the other lawyers and law firms? You may have had a great education and lots of experience, but many others do, too.
- What are your clients’ experiences with your firm (from the managing partner to the employee greeting people in the waiting room)? How does it compare to others? How well does your “back office” work? Does it create positive or negative experiences for clients?
- How efficient is your practice? How well can you address issues, respond to phone calls and emails, and get things done? Are your employees and attorneys poorly trained or not very motivated? Attorneys need to be careful and thoughtful, but are you suffering from paralysis by analysis?
- What’s your impact on your community? Increasingly many potential clients want to see good done by their service providers, either directly by their work or indirectly through volunteer or fundraising efforts. Is your community just where you make money or are you focused on improving it?
You may be at a competitive disadvantage for many reasons, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around. No matter what you may think, positive change is possible. Your law firm can be bigger and better. We’ve worked with firms needing major overhauls, while others just need a little work around the edges. No matter where your firm is, we can help.
How to Grow a Successful Law Firm? Don’t Let Fear Stand in the Way of Change.
You Have Met the Enemy of Growth, and He May Be You
For many people, changes are scary. Even though they know they can do better, they’re comfortable with how things work and fear failure if they take the risk of doing things differently. Your firm may continue to stumble along, keeping your doors open, and with a core group of satisfied clients. But is that all you want? Along with change and working smarter (and maybe harder) could come rewards that give you a great return on the time, money, and energy you invested.
We don’t like uncertainty that comes with change, but we’re able to change and adapt – as long as we don’t let our fear get in the way, according to Psychology Today. People are hardwired to choose a certain outcome over the unknown, even if the certainty is negative. Our fear is based on the stories we tell ourselves that we’re just ships tossed about on an ocean churned up by forces greater than our own.
Though we can’t control every outcome in our lives, we determine the storyline of our lives. We may impact how the story ends by changing our approach and learning from mistakes — not fixating on them. We not only fear change but also the failure that may result.
Some of us also fear success. When you’re out in public, you could be the subject of scorn or suffer from self-doubt. You may fear that if you approach success and do well, you’ll be exposed as an imposter, incapable and undeserving of success. You can be successful and deserve it, but you must try first and put in the effort.
Whatever is holding you back, you need to control your fears, and take steps forward. You made mistakes before, and you’ll make them again, but that doesn’t mean that neither you nor your law firm can succeed.
How to Grow Your Law Practice? Let Us Count the Ways.
One Method Can Help You Make Progress. Using Several May Be Game-Changing.
Growing a law firm requires many steps. You need an integrated plan so you can attack the issue from different angles. Ideally, success will spread and rebound as word spreads and you make contacts through different efforts:
- A LinkedIn article read by a reporter leads to a story quoting you, which gets the eye of a potential client
- A person you meet at a charity fundraiser read one of your firm’s Facebook posts
- Catching up with a client who read your newsletter leads to a conversation about an issue his business faces.
How would this work?
This is sending targeted messages to or interacting with parties who may grow your firm so they can know your firm better, want to use your services, refer others to you, or generally improve your standing in the community. Effective marketing involves research of who you should target, how they should be targeted, the effectiveness of your message, and how it can be improved.
Most people think of marketing just as emotion-based language and pitches to get your attention and make a connection. That’s just part of the picture. There should be research every step of the way to determine the return on the investment and how your marketing can improve.
Marketing “puts you out there” in a controlled way to tell your story and how you help your clients and community. It’s through marketing that you will be noticed by others who may later become clients. Marketing has many facets, and good marketing takes time but works like a well-oiled machine.
- Social Media Marketing
This is part of marketing, which has taken off over the past several years. As more of us switch from traditional media to spending our time online, social media is a major attraction. Social media marketing involves creating posts and advertisements that tell your story to people you can target in many ways to most effectively spread your message.
- Internet Marketing
Websites were online brochures. They still can be if you want to ignore the enormous potential of internet, content, or online marketing. Your website can be the hub of your firm’s messaging. Its content can be the focus of your social media efforts, drawing potential clients in to read about how you can help them and who you are, that you’re knowledgeable and trustworthy. Search engine optimization can improve your website’s search results so more people will see your messaging.
- Public Relations
This sounds “old school” but it can give you a powerful boost. It’s a way to get your message into the media. This can range from full-blown press relations campaigns to being ready, willing, and able to answer reporters’ questions. Social media and websites get your message out there, but many may not trust the source of information. More traditional media still carries huge audiences and maintains credibility for many, so when you’re quoted or featured it carries a lot of weight. Mentions of you or your firm can also significantly improve your online presence.
- Use Technology
Customer relationship management (CRM) programs aren’t just for salespeople, they’re for everyone in a law firm who contacts a client or potential client. If organized and maintained properly, it can give users a range of information that helps them communicate effectively, give clients updates, and let others at the firm know what’s going on. If a client gets off the phone with you thinking about how much you care about them and how well-informed you are, it might be thanks to the help of your CRM.
- Referrals and Networking
Though CRM is a relatively new development, no method to get new cases and clients is older than referrals and networking. For many firms, it’s by far their biggest source of ongoing revenue and growth. Though the internet, social media, and high tech get a lot of attention for law firm development, referrals are old reliable (though those other channels can give it a big boost). You make connections to other professionals and attorneys who may refer clients to you while you do the same. Excellent personal service and good outcomes can inspire current and former clients to refer friends, family members, and co-workers your way. Their positive comments on social media and rating websites can also be a big help to your firm.
How to Grow a Law Firm Business? Don’t Squander Opportunities.
Be Careful What You Wish For
You must plan for and prepare ahead of time to grow ahead. You need to lay down that proverbial foundation before you build upon it. Without preparation and planning ahead, your firm won’t handle the growth you create, and the progress you made will be wasted.
The quality of your representation may suffer. Clients may leave and tell others about their bad experiences. Overworked and stressed employees may leave, and fed-up attorneys could quit too (and may take clients with them). Don’t just make plans to grow. Make and execute plans to handle that growth.
Growth Isn’t a Destination. It’s a Process.
Hiring a law firm development consultant to ensure you have what it takes to be successful makes sense. Lawyers Marketing Associates, Inc. (LMA) consultants can discuss your firm’s growth (or lack thereof), listen to your needs, answer your questions, and show how we can help. LMA provides customized solutions to your law firm’s development that will focus on your areas of greatest need.
You want clients to hire you because of your expertise. Maybe you should do the same.
Call your experienced team at Lawyers Marketing Associates at (919) 637-9144 today and we’ll help get you moving in the right direction. Remember – there’s no time like today to start growing your firm!