How to Grow My Legal Business: Ultimate Guide For 2023
Merely relying on referrals for new business and clients can be dangerous for the growth of your law firm. Once you start your law practice, you need a rock-solid growth strategy and tactics that work for attorneys in today’s competitive environment.
In this article, we’ll discuss the exact pathway you need to take to build a successful growth strategy for your law firm and the key areas you need to work on to get more clients and assist you in expanding your law firm.
Let’s dive right in.
Related: Top Tools for Lawyers
Before you create your law firm’s growth strategy, you must prepare for it. It’ll help you know what to do more of, what processes to improve, and which methods to eliminate.
Begin by determining the current position of your business and what you ultimately want to achieve.
Learn more about your existing and potential clients and figure out
- What methods have helped you win their businesses so far?
- What measures do you take to keep them happy?
- What went wrong with the clients who chose to go in another direction?
- Why have some of the leads never converted after the first demo call?
- Who are your top 10 clients, and the revenue do they bring? And what made them choose you over every other law firm?
Besides that, audit your current internal process and review how client communications work in your law firm.
While creating a growth strategy for your law firm, create SMART goals to improve your growth in specific markets, increase the number of referrals, the number of new and returning clients, and brand awareness.
Measuring performance helps you know the impact of your actions. Simply put, when you set goals based on Key Performance Indicators, you measure the output instead of the input.
For instance, rather than setting a goal like “Send 30 educational emails to potential clients this month,” determine your KPI, which is email marketing performance in this case. Then, set a SMART goal based on it: “Increase your email CTR by XX% by the end of this month.”
For inspiration, you can check out this sample law firm marketing plan.
If you’re expanding your services to help your law firm grow, consider analyzing the local market. Here are a few things you would want to consider.
- Determine the size of the market.
- Understand the demand for your services.
- Identify your target audience and ideal clients.
- Study the approach your prospects take while seeking legal services.
- Analyze your competitors.
It helps you market your legal services to your audience effectively, make wiser decisions, land more business opportunities, and position your law firm better. For instance, knowing whether you’ll be one out of 1000 attorneys or one out of ten attorneys for a particular practice area in a specific geographic location can significantly impact your decision to have a branch of your law firm in that area.
The most important part of your growth strategy is law firm marketing.
Hence, begin with having a client-centric law firm website and a sound marketing growth strategy. You can invest in SEO to build brand awareness and generate leads using tactics like social media marketing, content marketing, PPC advertising, and email marketing.
They can significantly increase or decrease your chances of landing more clients.
Business development is taking a proactive approach to growing your law firm and landing new businesses and clients. For instance, getting prospects that lead to more contact with new and existing clients, eventually assisting the expansion of your law firm.
Some of the major ways you’ll need to work on are:
- Building brand reputation and raising awareness.
- Delivering great client experience and services.
- Implementing effective systems and acquiring strategies for the regular growth of your law firm.
- Putting constant effort into developing new clients.
You can take a look at these ten steps process to create a business development strategy for inspiration.
Lead management is just as essential as lead generation. After all, it bridges the gap between law office marketing and sales and leads to conversions.
To successfully manage your leads, consider doing the following.
- Be highly responsive to your leads and answer within 10-15 minutes of receiving a query.
- Consider having a receptionist so that each call is answered on time.
- Use highly detailed trackable forums on your website to get detailed insights on your customer journey.
- Develop systems to classify highly qualified prospects.
- Use CRM software to track your leads.
Growth may bring more revenue, but it also means more responsibilities and high pressure. Hence, you need to be well-planned and highly prepared so that things don’t get too much and you can keep the system from falling apart.
Here are a few measures you should take.
In the second edition of Effectively Staffing Your Law Firm, Jennifer J Rose discusses a few signs that indicate that you need help and that it’s time to hire new staff.
- The non-billable hours take more of your time than billable hours.
- You find yourself doing paralegal or clerical work.
- You can’t get enough time on your schedule to draft the requested motions or documents.
- You’re distracted from your main work due to answering unsolicited calls from people looking for free legal advice.
You know what to do if that’s something you’re going through.
Hiring new staff can take time and effort. It takes time and money. You can’t just wake up one day, think about hiring some new employees and by the end of the day, have some awesome new people onboard.
So, first, make a financial benchmark. Depending on various factors – your firm’s location, background, history in the community, and marketing choices – the specifics may vary from firm to firm. But as per a guide from the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, each person on the payroll should generate $150K – $175K per year.
To create this figure, divide your last year’s total amount of gross revenue by the number of employees you have and set a benchmark based on your requirements.
Besides that, revenue generated per attorney should be $500K per year as a standard. You can calculate this benchmark by dividing your law firm’s gross revenue by the number of attorneys you have on the staff.
Hiring full-time employees can be costly. Plus, you may need extra resources to manage them as well. Hence, delegate tasks whenever you need extra time on your hands.
Some tasks you can consider delegating are document reviews, client interviews, information gathering, managing deadlines, drafting legal documents, or bookkeeping.
If you want to scale your law firm without a heavy investment, consider collaborating with partners to aid your clients better. It can help you manage client relationships better, provide them with better cross-functional services, and serve more than one practice area.
The key areas to collaborate with other law firms are pitching, marketing, and serving clients.
We kept this pointer towards the end, as you must’ve already read about it in almost every second law firm growth article. Yet, it’s worth mentioning because it’s one of the best ways to win more business for lawyers.
The best way to get good referrals is to proactively reach out to your clients and ask for good recommendations. Besides that, go for a clearer approach and describe to them the type of clients you’re looking for.
Suppose you’re a business lawyer. Consider mentioning you’re looking for a business person buying, selling, or managing a company, hiring or firing employees, or needing legal counseling. Do not vaguely mention, “bear me in mind if you know anyone who needs my services.”
Another great way to get more references is to create a client referral program. Here’s a checklist template that you can use to build your referral program.
84% of the people trust reviews and personal recommendations, and about 70% of those looking for legal services say that they would consider a law firm far from their convenient location if it has better reviews than the one nearby.
Hence, reviews matter.
The best way to get positive client feedback is to provide exceptional services and ask them to leave a review for your law firm when they’re the happiest. Some of the platforms on which every small law firm should have a page are Google Business Profile. Bing places, Avvo, Yelp, and Facebook.
You can also offer incentives in return for reviews. Additionally, ensure to respond to all client reviews across all platforms and monitor them regularly. It shows your diligence and helps you address the negative reviews quickly, as one bad review can cost you as many as 30 clients.
With a growing business, you need a better case management system to provide timely and excellent services and ensure client satisfaction.
To save yourself time, consider investing in legal case management software instead of working with papers. It enables you to monitor and manage everything from a dashboard and improves coordination leading to happy clients.
However, while making a purchase, opt for the LCMS that’s easy to operate, ensures data safety, provides mobile access, and has good reviews.
Reliable connections and networking with other legal professionals can bring more clients. However, it’s more than merely attending the events and engaging in small talk.
If you’re attending a networking event for lawyers of a specific practice area, consider preparing a bit about the topics discussed there. Furthermore, always follow up on the new connections you made there.
Here are some of the best ways to start meeting new attorneys.
- Attend industry conferences.
- Organize business brunches.
- Partner with non-profit organizations.
- Participate in webinars.
And for that, you need to create a strategic growth plan. Create systems and outsource tedious and administrative tasks. Then prioritize law firm marketing, so you get new leads regularly and nurture your existing relationships. On The Map Marketing can help you to grow at a desirable pace. Contact us today for a free custom audit.
Article by Sadaf Tanzeem
Sadaf Tanzeem is a B2B SaaS and Marketing writer. She collaborates with overwhelmed content marketers and business owners to take the burden of content development off your shoulders.
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