There are more lawyers now than ever before, and that means it’s more competitive for law firms now than it’s ever been.
There are also alternative sources of legal advice that are available online, and people have more power to choose their lawyer using the internet.
Using the internet, potential clients can research your law firm and compare it against your competition based on your expertise and affordability.
If your law firm isn’t able to adapt and grow, you risk falling behind in a marketplace that will continue to get more competitive.
If you’re a smaller firm, you have an even bigger task at hand. You also have to compete with larger firms with seemingly endless budgets.
If you’re a small law firm on a limited budget with limited resources, don’t worry.
It’s still possible for you to compete with larger firms and be successful.
With the power of the internet and the right legal practice management software, you can grow your law firm for a fraction of the cost.
In the article below, we will discuss a few ways you can grow your law firm and handle more clients.
Table of Contents
- Create An Online Offer
- Create Efficient Systems
- Play To Your Strengths
- Create Financial Benchmarks Before Hiring
- Develop Unique, Quality Content
- Outperform Everyone Online
- Law Practice Management Software
- Try CoCounselor
Create an Online Offer
When competing with the large firms on the internet, you have to make sure to create an offer they can’t refuse, even if it means testing thousands of offers to find the best one.
And be sure that when you test that you’re testing for the offers that bring you money, not the offers that bring you leads.
After painstakingly tracking your offers, even if it takes years, you will eventually have an offer that will generate not only high-quality leads but revenue.
And it will do it on auto-pilot.
Maybe you think the offer page is too ugly or too busy.
None of that matters if the offer is getting you leads and revenue.
And the best part about this is that once you find an offer page that works, it can be duplicated and used over and over again for different offers.
Create Efficient Systems
Many lawyers are well aware of the importance of documentation when it comes to legal cases.
However, not all lawyers take the time to apply the same principles to their internal business practices.
Instructions for the tasks you repeatedly perform, like filing documents, contacting clients, and scheduling meetings, should be straightforward and easy to access for everyone on your team.
It would be best to establish procedures for these tasks to remove friction and allow this work to happen quickly and easily.
When you write down your procedures, you enable your law firm to operate smoothly even when you aren’t there, which is key to a firm’s growth.
Optimizing your business procedures before you try to grow your firm will accomplish several things, including:
- Freeing up the funds needed for growth by saving time on tedious tasks allowing you to focus your energy on more lucrative tasks.
- Ensuring you have a solid procedural foundation to build on before your processes get more complicated.
- Making it easier to hire potential employees because you will have a clear idea of what you expect them to do
- Making it easier to train newly hired employees with ready-made instructions for essential tasks
If you want to grow your law firm, you have to become systems focused.
It will require a long-term commitment from leadership because your staff will ignore procedures if they don’t seem important.
Play to Your Strengths
Bigger isn’t always better; small firms have a unique set of strengths when they are first starting to grow.
Those strengths include flexibility and the ability to connect with your clients on a personal level.
You aren’t tied down by a corporate structure that can slow down your growth.
There won’t be much red tape or a chain of command to get in your way.
This agility will allow you to compete because you’re still in the phase where you can fail fast and bounce right back.
Customer service is vital no matter what industry you’re in, and unfortunately, many law firms are notorious for poor customer service.
This is where you can really blow the big guys out of the water.
When you are first starting to grow, take the time to woo every single prospective client you come across.
As a small firm, you are poised to deliver exceptional, personalized service. You will also be able to respond to customer needs better.
And, with fewer points of contact, your clients will get to build a relationship with the lawyer they deal with.
Use your size to your advantage and build those long-term relationships built on empathy, trust, and transparency.
Every small firm should:
- Respond to clients within 24 hours of the first point of contact
- Set clear expectations during the initial consultation
- Do the little things like wishing clients a happy birthday or congratulating them on their newborn child.
You are also able to go the extra mile for your customers by negotiating alternative fee structures.
Never get less than what you deserve, but customers today expect options and flexibility.
Deliver exceptional customer service, and you’re already ahead of the game.
Create Financial Benchmarks Before Hiring
If you’re looking to grow your law firm and hire additional employees, that’s probably a sign that things are going well for you.
You might even be overwhelmed with all the work you have to do.
Hiring additional staff to help with the work you already have and take on additional work seems like a logical next step.
But an additional employee is a serious long-term investment.
You have to be sure you can afford the additional salary and benefits every month of the year.
Even if your growth slows or you take on additional unexpected expenses, your employee still has to be paid.
That’s why you need to calculate how much each new employee will cost you, and then calculate how much additional work you will need to pay for them long-term.
Seeing those numbers in black and white will give you concrete goals to work toward.
If you run the numbers and aren’t comfortable with what you come up with, part-timers and even freelancers can help you until you are ready to move forward with a full-time employee.
And, if you work with a part-timer or freelancer to begin with, they can easily be transitioned to a full-time role.
Before you make a new hire, you should know the following:
- Your average fee per client
- Amount of initial meetings each month for the last six months
- Amount of initial meetings already scheduled for upcoming months
- Your average engagement rate
- Your average cost to acquire a new client
Develop Unique, Quality Content
Having a website isn’t enough anymore.
Once you get a potential client to your website, you need to convince them that you are the law firm that they need to work with beyond a shadow of a doubt.
To do that, your law firm needs to produce quality content on a regular basis.
A blog full of informative articles will help your website show up better in internet searches, and it will help convince people looking for a lawyer that you know what you’re talking about.
Each piece of content has to have a prominent call to action.
After someone has read one of your articles, there needs to be a button they can click or a phone number they can call to schedule a consultation.
Make it as easy as possible for a potential client to schedule a call with you.
Don’t count on them navigating to your “contact me” page. Put what they need on the page they are currently on.
Outperform Everyone Online
Your law firm’s marketing needs to be a constant work in progress.
You will never be “done” with your online marketing.
Once your marketing is working and generating you enough revenue, you should reinvest some of it back into your marketing efforts.
One of the best things to reinvest it into is a strong social media presence.
Social media is the word of mouth marketing of the 21st century, and a good presence on social media can spread the word about your law firm like a wildfire.
But you need to do more than just talk about yourself (even though that is important) on social media.
You have to design, implement, and most importantly, stick to a social media strategy that is aligned to your overall business goals.
By doing this, you will reach more new clients, develop relationships with clients, and strengthen existing relationships, demonstrate industry expertise, gain insight into what your competitors are doing, and generate more business online.
Law Practice Management Software
Keeping everything straight can be a daunting task when you are a small but fast-growing law firm.
That’s where law practice management software comes in.
Legal management software isn’t new, but today’s cloud-based software has revolutionized the space because it provides law firms with 24/7 access to their forms data.
Cloud-based practice management software offers the convenience of mobile, flexible access to information related to your cases at a cost-effective price.
Many bigger law firms are phasing out their premise-based solutions, so before you know it, cloud-based legal software will be your only option if you’re in the market for cloud-based legal software.
The sooner you invest in the technology, the better off you’ll be.
Growing your law firm might seem like a daunting task, but with a little foresight and a lot of confidence, and the right tools, you can grow your firm.
What works for you may not work for every firm, but there are a few basic principles that are applicable to any law firm.
Those principals are to invest in quality tools, don’t wait until it’s too late to hire additional staff, and utilize the internet to compete against the major law firms.
Speaking of quality tools, CoCounselor is a cloud-based practice management software built with growing personal injury law firms in mind.
CoCounselor can help the growth of your small firm in several ways.
First, it allows you to manage and track your referrals with automated emails and custom reports.
You can also track marketing campaigns and prospect acquisition costs and run scheduled reports to see which marketing campaigns are performing best.
CoCounselor also allows you to gain visibility into all aspects of an individual case without having to flip to other screens or apps.
And, if you’re tired of scheduling the same events for every case, CoCounselor schedules your events and tasks for you.
CoCounselor is customized to your practice area so that it can schedule events based on any field in the system (i.e. Statute of Limitations).
If you’re ready to grow your law firm in 2021 and beyond, click the button below to request a demo of CoCounselor.