Launching a law firm seems like a safe small business idea since many lawyers make enormous income. But what they don't talk much about in law school is that you have to do quite a bit of marketing to compete in this crowded field. In order to get your phone to ring or emails to appear in your inbox, you must invest time and money into marketing. Otherwise, the business may be slow getting off the ground. Here are deeper issues to consider to help you save time and money on your marketing.
One of the most significant changes in the new millennium has been the proliferation of smartphones, while consumers have been abandoning landlines. Many people commonly call up to five law firms while scouting for lawyers. They expect to connect with someone in a matter of minutes when they call a law firm, even outside of business hours.
Thomson Reuters recently surveyed small law firms with less than 30 lawyers to find out what their biggest challenges are. The top challenge turns out to be acquiring new clients, followed by clients demanding more effort at lower rates. Other challenges include reducing administrative tasks while spending more time on practicing law, cost control and growth expense. Some lawyers mention dealing with the increasing complexity of technology as a key concern as well. Some lawyers also cite enormous documentation as one of the challenge areas.
Overall, only about one-third of the lawyers surveyed said they have implemented changes to address each of these issues. In other words, the majority either have a plan that hasn't been implemented yet or haven't yet determined how to address these challenges.
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One way to build up a clientele is by investing in a combination of technological solutions. Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps manage your client list and connect with your clients. This solution can be pricey to buy the software, but an affordable alternative is to use an email marketing service such as MailChimp.
You will also need legal case intake software designed to organize your cases, which helps speed up processes. Many firms use legal case intake software that integrates with a built-in CRM platform such as Law Ruler because it's a way to automate intake. This solution encompasses email, newsletters, phone, text messaging, e-signature solutions and more. It's a solution that resembles the efficiency of how Uber has revolutionized ride services.
As far as documentation is concerned, law firms can reduce a lot of burden by outsourcing some of their paperwork to a professional legal transcription service provider. It will help them to focus better on their legal practice.
A major advantage of a solution like Law Ruler is that it allows you to track your legal intakes in one place, whether leads come from the phone or the web. This technology allows you to respond in the way your prospects want, such as through texting, email and phone. You'll learn which forms of communication work best for your business.
Another primary advantage to legal intake software is that it will improve your customer relations and retention. In the long run it can help you cut expenses on acquiring new clients since it helps strengthen relationships by tracking communication history with them. It will help you remember clients more as people than statistics.
If you run a small firm with a limited budget, the 24/7 automation aspect is ideal for cutting overhead costs. You'll be able to take calls around the clock and give automated responses or send messages manually. It will give your company the same effect as a larger firm that responds quickly at all times.
The software gives you access to plenty of analytics to study so that you can learn what marketing strategies work best for your newsletters and other types of communication.
Software and cloud services can modernize your business, but you will also need a method to drive leads to your business. Two ways to attract online followers are through blogging and social media engagement.
Blogging takes time to establish authority with Google and other search engines, but it can ultimately bring you endless leads once your firm shows up in search rankings. You need to create many original blogs that don't duplicate other online content in order to stand out. The most effective way to accelerate attracting online leads is usually through a pay per click (PPC) advertising platform.
Sharing your blogs on social media is a valuable way to connect with your followers and attract new leads through referrals and an expanding base. Developing a list of prospects from social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn is fairly easy. The more you engage with your following, the better chances of creating a snowball effect of attracting friends of friends to join your list.
There are plenty of software programs and web applications to choose from to create an Uber-like experience that generates and manage leads for your law firm. Not all of them have the same functions, so you need to test them out and decide which one suits your business.