An inside glimpse of a practicing lawyer and how she used different marketing strategies to build a successful solo law practice. This is real life advice for real life lawyers.
In December 2013, a young matrimonial lawyer named Joleena Louis came to Law Firm Suites’ NYC Financial District office to do what many others had done before her: blaze her own trail into the world of solo practice.
At the time, a Law Firm Suites staff member had the good sense to approach Joleena about writing a weekly guest blog series about her experiences. With over 100 articles published, Things I Wish I Knew chronicles the challenges and frustrations of launching a new solo law practice, and one solo’s approach to solving those problems, as it happens in real time. Her advice has given dozens of lawyers the confidence to start their own solo practice, and inspired experienced solos to make their practices more efficient and profitable.
In just a few short years, we have watched Joleena transform from an uncertain new solo into one of the most prolific legal marketers in New York. She now runs a successful law practice that is the envy of lawyers many years her senior.
Here are four law firm marketing strategies Joleena needed to learn in order to grow her practice:
1. Build a personal brand based on your core values
Personal branding is what sets you apart from other attorneys. A personal brands is a reflection of your values, and you have to be in tune with those values in order to successfully promote your brand.
Determining your core values is the first step in building your personal brand. Your core values will educate clients and referral sources on what your firm is about. If they identify with your values they are more likely to want to work with you.
Quick tips for finding your core values:
- Write down what is important to you
- List your strengths and weaknesses
- Examine what led to your greatest accomplishments and failures
- Ask your colleagues what values they see in you
Once you have a list of four of five core values, test them to see if you can really demonstrate them in your everyday life. If you’re not seeing any actions align with a certain value then maybe it isn’t strong enough, and you might want to consider replacing it.
2. Target your marketing to your ideal client
In the early days of your law practice, it will be tempting to take on every case because your firm need the revenue. Unfortunately, this is not a good path to take if you want quality referrals.
If you want to effectively grow your law practice you must define your ideal client, and stick to that vision when accepting referrals and taking on new cases. Start by thinking about the cases that bring you the most satisfaction, and begin defining your client from there.
Quick tips for defining your ideal client:
- Decide where they live and work
- Narrow down their age and income range
- List their marital status
- Understand their interests and hobbies
- Analyze their fears and biggest problems
Knowing your ideal client will help you create a custom tailored and personalized experience for prospects during all stages of your marketing process.
3. Take advantage of social media
In today’s technology driven world, you are doing your business a great disservice if you ignore social media all together. Clients expect some sort of online presence and social media is the easiest, cheapest and most interactive way to achieve that image.
Quick tips for a quality social media presence:
- Update regularly
- Don’t have more social media sites than you can effectively handle
- Schedule posts in advance
- Don’t use social media to advertise, use it to inform.
- Interact with referral sources both on and off-line
- Keep it professional
- Don’t buy followers
- Encourage your clients and followers to share your content.
Do not underestimate the value of your social media presence. It’s a great way to show potential clients what you are all about when they are deciding to retain you.
4. Use a system for managing lead conversions
As your practice gets busier, it gets harder to close more clients by simply spending more time on marketing. There are only so many hours in a day.
Take a serious look at your processes to see how you can improve, especially your marketing > consult > closing > onboarding process. By doing this, you will get better results with the same amount of lead traffic.
Quick tips for managing leads:
- Before the consult: Send a confirmation email that includes: confirmation of date and time of consultation, address, directions to my office, a list of documents to bring and an intake questionnaire.
- After having the consult: Send an email summarizing your discussion with instructions on moving forward.
- After signing the retainer: Send a welcome packet which includes a copy of the executed retainer agreement, my policies & promises and links to helpful resources.
Having a well planned out follow-up and consultation process enhances your marketing strategy, and is key to efficiently closing new business for your law firm.
Joleena didn’t start her law practice with any marketing advantage. She knew the same as any other new solo. Implementing these tips from Joleena will help you hit the ground running, and eventually you can replicate her success in your own firm.