This week in Things I Wish Knew, solo attorney Joleena Louis explains three different ways that she has retained new clients for her law practice by blogging.
It’s not always easy coming up with topics and finding the time to write; I’m currently drafting this in a taxi on my way to a meeting that I’m running late for.
But in the end the time spent is worth it because it has helped me with my networking, marketing and has lead to referrals.
Here are three ways I get new clients by blogging:
1. It makes me more credible with prospective clients who Google me.
The Things I Wish I Knew blog series is written for other attorneys. In particular, attorneys who are thinking about starting solo law practices, or have done so recently.
Believe it or not, according to a survey conducted by Law Firm Suites last year, solos are pretty good at marriage. So generally, my target clients are not reading this blog and it has not produced any clients directly.
However, prospective clients who have come from other sources often Google me before they call. At least half of my consults mention seeing the blog post.
The blog, along with my other internet presence, makes me look more credible to a potential client and aids in their decision to hire me. It shows that I am an active member of the legal community.
Plus, I write about my personal experiences in an informal tone that more closely conveys my personality than my other marketing channels. I think prospective clients read my posts, and see that I’m human — just like them.
This helps us establish a rapport more quickly. It’s like they know me before they arrive at their initial consult, making the whole process that much easier. This is important, especially given the difficult circumstances most of my clients are facing.
It’s one less thing for them to worry about.
2. I connect with other attorneys I would have never met, many of whom have become great referral sources.
As a result of blogging, I have made connections with many other attorneys who I would not have otherwise met. Recently I had coffee with a solo from California while she was visiting Manhattan. She contacted me because of the blog.
A few months later I referred a former client to her who was looking for an attorney in her area and she eventually referred someone to me as well.
I’ve also received several referrals from other attorneys who read the blog, including one that was the biggest case my practice has seen thus far.
The “feels like I know you” concept works as well with other attorneys as it does with clients.
I am honest about my story and other attorneys either relate to it (and me as a person) or they don’t. The ones who do are people who I would have made great networking partners with anyway.
The blog just helps me get in front of more people than if my only marketing was shaking hands Bar association events.
3. Coming up with weekly content forces me to work “on” my law practice.
Since I write about what’s going on in my practice, it forces me to work “on” my practice as opposed to “in” it. To come up with article ideas every week, I have to look at where things are at in my firm, where I want them to go and how can I improve on what I’m currently doing.
As attorneys (and I’m no different), I think we are most comfortable working “in” the business. It’s easier, and perhaps more comfortable, to stay mired down in client phone calls, drafting pleadings or dealing with administrative issues.
But the looming deadline that I have every Wednesday forces me to do a lot of self-reflection.
As a result, I find that I do not get stuck on strategies, tools, techniques that aren’t working. If something works well, I do more of it, if it’s not, I stop or change what I’m doing.
But unless you stop practicing law and take some time out to analyze what you are doing, you may just continue doing the things that are not supporting the growth of your practice.
Plus, no one wants to fail publicly, so I feel pushed to grow this practice. I want to inspire other lawyers who are like me: unhappy working at a firm but terrified of where their professional (and personal) life might end up if they quit and go solo.
I think that this weekly review has been one of the biggest reasons for the growth of my practice. It’s become the ultimate marketing tool.
Think you can get clients by blogging? Law Firm Suites is looking for new guest bloggers.
Joleena Louis is a matrimonial and family law attorney at Joleena Louis Law, a ﬁrm she founded after leaving a boutique matrimonial ﬁrm in Brooklyn. Joleena is a client in Law Firm Suites’ start-up program in Downtown, New York. Her weekly blog series Things I Wish I Knew… explores her thought process and experiences in her transition from small law ﬁrm employee to successful solo practice entrepreneur.