You’re an attorney. It’s not hard to guess what your day-to-day work looks like. For that reason, we figured it’d be beneficial to highlight some of the ways that going through the motions is holding back your firm’s growth. The first step to making progress is knowing what you need to solve.
1) Putting Out Fires
There are going to be scenarios where you need to get hands-on with client work. Sometimes it takes the highest level of expertise to solve legal problems. It’s important to realize, though, that those situations only occur sometimes. More often than not, the client work on your desk can just as easily be completed, at a level of quality worthy of your brand, by an associate, paralegal, or other assistant. Your focus is best spent on setting the direction of your firm, building partnerships and strategic connections, and promoting yourself as a thought leader in your field of practice.
2) Competing On Price
Settling on a fee schedule that matches the firm next door may make you competitive, but only to the clients that the other guy is trying to attract. Your best clients are going to work with you because of the value of your counsel, and if you demonstrate that value appropriately, they’ll pay accordingly. It’s also important to make sure your fees are delivered in the right way, too. Setting your rates by the hour puts you on the fast track to working endless days in order to chase your next revenue goal. Have you thought about flat fees, instead?
3) Crossing Off To-do’s
As the principal of your practice, you should be setting your own schedule. Yet, when the office gets busy (and it’s always busy), you get stuck with a list of tasks that need to be completed to please your clients. Should you ignore those tasks? No. Should you set up blocks of time where you can focus on your practice’s development, and be strict about reserving that time? Absolutely. Incorporating practice growth efforts into the daily workload is the first step toward actually doing it. That growth work doesn’t have to all be “big picture” stuff, either. Taking networking actions like spending an hour on searching for LinkedIn opportunities or publishing some legal advice for your target clients also adds to development efforts.
4) Showing Off for Your Peers
Just because you’re positioning yourself as an expert doesn’t mean you have to make every communication an echo of academia. Always remember that your clients are the ones you’re trying to serve. They don’t care whether or not you’re entering into a legal jargon contest with the firm next door, they care about whether you’re solving their problems or not. Even once they’re through your doors, it can be easy to forget that they aren’t the lawyer in the relationship. Keep it simple, keep it valuable, and you’ll keep your clients satisfied.
5) Marketing the Old Way
What does heading into networking events get you? If “new business” isn’t the first thing out of your mouth, it looks like the local Bar Association event isn’t such a hot ticket. The same old methods that have worked for your law school mentors are simply not going to fly anymore. The name of the game now is, in a word, specificity. Your targeting needs to be more accurate. Your value statements that promote your services need to be more relevant to those targets. Best of all, there are tools like marketing automation that help you take those actions without adding too heavily to your workload.
Good Plan = Superb Growth
This article’s title may be somewhat misleading. It’s not like you’re trying to keep your practice from success; on the contrary, you’re trying to keep it growing and profitable. With the right marketing plan, however, you just have to follow the steps laid out before you, which is easier than trying to brainstorm your next move while also handling client work. Develop the marketing plan that’s best for your firm by answering the key questions found in this free resource, the Complete Guide to Building a Marketing Strategy for Your Law Firm.