Growing your practice is a worthy goal, but if you want to make it happen you need to have a plan supported by execution and consistency. If you’re not continually assessing your law firm’s growth — current position, strategies, and opportunities — you’ll wind up stagnant. With the right tactics, you can turn your firm into a profit-generating powerhouse.
1. Look to your current clients
A lot of lawyers are so busy looking for new business at networking events that they forget to tap one of the easiest markets for new clients: their current clients. Existing clients are using you for a reason and if you’ve been providing them with quality work, they’re likely to refer new customers to you. Often it just takes asking the right way to make it happen.
If you’re looking for even more referrals, Three Ways to Build Your Referral Network offers some tips.
2. Email marketing
How many contacts have you made over the years? Probably more than you can even count. Staying in touch with them all is impossible, so cultivate an email marketing list to stay top-of-mind.
Not only is it effective, but the return on investment for email marketing has also been proven to be one of the highest of any marketing tactics. In fact, for every dollar spent, email marketing generates a $38 return according to Campaign Monitor. With that kind of ROI, every lawyer should be including email marketing as part of their growth plan.
3. Create efficiencies
You probably don’t hear this one often enough, but to maximize your time as well as everyone else’s in the firm, you need to create efficiencies. Streamlining workflows and creating automations where possible will free up time for everyone to focus on more high-level tasks, rather than the mundane, recurring ones. Before you hire someone else, take a look internally to see if there’s any way you can optimize your existing workflows. Oftentimes spending money on the correct tools to assist you is far cheaper than the costs associated with hiring an additional person.
4. Get active on social media
Social media offers the ability to reach large audiences with little investment other than time. LinkedIn is an especially effective tool for attorneys, particularly for maintaining a referral network. As we mentioned above, there’s no way to keep in touch with everyone, so create strategies to create as many touchpoints with your network as possible without requiring individual outreach.
For more information on how to get business from LinkedIn, check out Making the Most of LinkedIn for Lawyers.
5. Network authentically
Many times when lawyers go to create their own individual business development plans, they get stuck on the “I should” path.
I should go to more networking events.
I should participate on more panels and public speaking events.
I should be donating more of my time.
I should be requesting more meetings from my leads.
I should be writing more articles to publish.
I should be posting more to LinkedIn.
The problem with this approach is that lawyers often wind up with a plan full of things they don’t enjoy doing. Is it any wonder those tasks would get pushed to the bottom of the to-do list? Instead of focusing on the “I should,” think of what you enjoy doing and build your plan around that. Being authentic is one of the surest paths to success and while building a profitable business means you’ll have to do tasks you don’t always enjoy, that doesn’t mean your entire growth plan needs to be built around them.
If you really enjoy speaking with people face to face, schedule more networking events. If you miss writing something other than legal briefs, commit to putting together two articles a month to share. If you love talking about what you do, look for speaking opportunities.
Set up for success
There’s a lot more to being a lawyer than just practicing law. Building both your book of business while helping your firm to grow requires a wide range of skills, but using the above techniques can lay the foundation for a thorough growth strategy. You don’t need to start doing every tactic right away, but starting with just one can help put you one step closer to more clients and higher profits.