The legal industry has been undergoing some massive changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as mandatory shutdowns are forcing legal professionals to work remotely and connect with clients in new ways. With significant change comes the urgent need to adapt and learn from others’ mistakes and successes. In this day and age, it’s becoming more and more necessary for lawyers to think of themselves as legal experts and savvy business owners alike.
Much like aspiring entrepreneurs, a legal professional should strive for constant progression and avoid stagnation at all costs. Fortunately, the rules and general strategies of expanding your law firm are no different from those recommended to grow a business. Therefore, it’s always helpful to refer to others’ successes and failures, no matter the field. By studying the strategies of those before you, you can get a better sense of what rules to follow and what methods you should avoid when developing your law firm.
For some useful examples, look to the London-based firms that have recently gone digital to meet the demands of the era defined by COVID-19. Wh Law, a North Little Rock law firm in the United States, is another strong example of a law firm adapting to these changing times.
In the past, lawyers often adopted the strategy of sticking to their legal duties and letting the business grow organically. However, this approach may not be enough anymore. Due to the competitive market, a law firm can’t rely on word of mouth or even their lawyer’s unique skill sets to advance in the industry.
Amid the Digital Age, online marketing or web development skills are mandatory. Without these tools, your firm’s ranking could fall victim to a state of stagnation and destructively plateau. Regardless of your firm of employment, growth should be of utmost importance.
Place more focus on accessibility
Whether by phone, email, or online messaging, your customers must be able to reach you with ease. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the legal industry, you likely understand that the legal profession can be unpredictable. A hit-and-run accident or a home invasion isn’t an event you can record on your weekly calendar.
Despite this unpredictability, you must adequately staff your phone lines to increase firm responsiveness and boost client satisfaction. Quick responses to emails and phone calls are critical for building trust and establishing long-lasting relationships with clients. If their phone call is unanswered, your impatient clients may contact another firm to answer urgent legal questions, costing you business.
Rebuild your website
Clients will click away from websites that look unprofessional or those with painfully slow loading times. With client criticisms in mind, it may be in your best interest to rebuild your website from the ground up.
Even if you already have a website, its design might be outdated, or it may be missing vital elements or pages, both of which speak to your professionalism and your ability to provide clients with helpful resources. To ensure potential clients partner with your firm, spend the necessary time and resources to develop an intuitive website.
Just like you wouldn’t invite a client into a messy office with missing chairs, you don’t want to direct your clients to a website overflowing with 404-error pages. In many cases, your firm’s website is an opportunity to make an excellent first impression. Use it wisely. If your website is error-ridden, you should strongly consider hiring a web designer to revamp your website in a way that better represents your law firm and how you envision its future.
Your clients need to know that you view them as an asset. Keep in touch with your clients via phone or by email to nurture a relationship. For whatever reason, people won’t always inform you that they have a problem you can help with due to a state of denial or a lack of knowledge as to what constitutes a litigable case.
Create a solid business plan
Like with all businesses, a business plan is a must. Adopting a proactive approach and planning what your firm will do before you do it often yields better results. The importance of proactivity has remained a universally-accepted truism since our early history. Even if you have a sound business plan, it will be much more difficult to communicate if it exists only in your head and not on paper.
Optimize your site for mobile users
We live in the 21st Century. To keep pace with Digital Age innovations, your law firm must make certain adjustments to avoid falling behind the curve. If you’re a law firm owner without a mobile-friendly site, you risk burning bridges with potential clients.
Due to the influx of demanding job descriptions and on-the-go lifestyles, working professionals have started to rely on their phones to complete the most basic daily tasks. Even if only subconsciously, a potential client will interpret a site that’s not compatible with a smartphone as a sign of an unreliable law firm. Similarly, a client will conflate lower site functionality with lacking professionalism. To prevent potential clients from slipping through your fingers, optimize your site for mobile use, fix errors, and address inconveniencing slow loading times.
Increase your social media presence
Your firm may have a few social media pages. However, they may be inactive or have a startlingly small following. When evaluating your firm’s social media pages, you’ll need to ask yourself some key questions:
● Are these pages up to date?
● Do you post with regularity?
● Do your posts receive likes and shares?
● Have you garnered an impressive following that could attract potential clients?
If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, you’ll need to reconsider your current digital marketing strategy.
Many people believe that with the increasingly competitive quality of the legal market, it is impossible to grow your law firm while adhering to strict budget guidelines. However, when you develop a thoughtfully-designed marketing strategy, capitalize on your firm’s strengths, and use time and resources wisely, it’s more than possible to overcome these barriers.
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