For many lawyers, having a solo practice can be both immensely satisfying, but also daunting. It is the culmination of all the hard work you have put in through university and your years in training, but it’s also when you are completely on your own. So, how can you market and let people know that you’re in business? Here are our top LEGID tips for getting your solo practice off the ground.
1. Build A Strong Web Presence
You might have all the business cards in the world, but if people can’t find you, what’s their incentive to contact you? You could have a flawless legal practice, but if nobody knows about it, all your hard work will go to waste. That is why it is so important for lawyers to have a strong web presence. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Quora, Facebook and Twitter are essential for building your online reputation. You should also have a website that sets out what you can offer to prospective clients.
2. Network Consistently
No matter how good your business network is, it will slowly but surely shrink unless you keep working on it on a daily basis. This does not only mean attending networking events, but also joining professional online communities. There are numerous industry specific forums where you can share your links and learn from other lawyers who have been in the profession for years. These communities will give you the inspiration and motivation to upgrade your skills and develop as an individual.
3. Attend Conferences and Legal Seminars
Often, legal seminars and conferences provide a lot of value to lawyers who attend them, but they can also help you grow your circle of influence at the same time. By attending such events, it will allow you to expand your network of contacts and build a rapport with other professionals. This, in turn, will help you garner more referrals for work that you are not able to do. You can also take the opportunity to speak on panels or give presentations about certain subjects related to your field.
4. Connect with Online Lawyers
Just because you have a solo practice, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have competition! With many people being able to advertise themselves as “legal experts” thanks to platforms such as YouTube and LinkedIn, clients may be confused when faced with a number of options for legal advice online. One way of differentiating yourself from your competitors is by joining industry specific online communities and forums. In addition to keeping you up-to-date with the most recent legal news, it will allow you to establish yourself as a thought leader.
5. Create a Referral Program
Many lawyers lose business because they do not have a strong referral system in place. A good way of doing this is by making it easier for your existing clients to recommend you to their network. A referral program can be as simple as a one-page website, where potential clients can provide information about what they need legal help with and a list of contacts who they can refer them to. Lawyers often use incentives such as free consultations or even cash payments to entice more people to make referrals.
The simple fact of the matter is that if you want to succeed as a solo practitioner, it’s important that people know about you and what services you offer. It’s not essential to have every social media platform under the sun; instead, focus on those which your ideal clients use most frequently and make sure that you actively update them with new content. Networking is just as important offline as it is online, so attend events and connect with other professionals in your field. Let them know who you are and what value you can provide to their networks. Establish yourself as an expert by writing articles for industry specific forums. Lastly, make sure that people can easily refer others to you by offering incentives through a referral program.
If you follow the advice outlined in this blog, you should be well on your way to gaining more clients and establishing yourself as an authority figure in your field!