Running a solo law firm can be rewarding, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. You have the freedom to build the practice that you want. You also have the responsibility of getting new clients in the door.
In our digital marketing guide for attorneys, we shared how law firms can use digital marketing to get more clients.
However, solo attorneys don’t have the same time, budget, and resources available as larger law firms.
In this post, we’re covering common questions about growing a client base as a solo practitioner as well as specific marketing tactics to help you do it.
- How many clients should a solo attorney have?
- How do you build your client base?
- How much time should you spend on marketing your law firm?
- 4 marketing tactics you can use for your law firm
Running a solo law firm gives you the flexibility to establish a business model that works for you. There is no golden number of clients to aim for that works for every solo attorney.
Attorney caseloads will vary based on certain factors, such as the firm’s practice area. An attorney handling large commercial law cases may only have a few clients at a time, while someone with DUI or estate planning cases may have hundreds of clients. It takes a bit of trial and error to find the ideal client base number that allows your business to thrive and lets you hit your income goals without spreading you too thin.
The key to operating a solo firm with a sustainable client base is to outsource time-consuming tasks to in-house staff or hired professionals.
For example, you can hire a company, like TitleTap, to manage your website and digital marketing efforts. This frees up more of your time to focus on billable work.
And, you can hire an accountant to file your taxes.
It’s not that you, as an attorney, couldn’t do this work yourself. It’s that you recognize your time is better spent elsewhere and are able to take on more clients as a result.
Operating as a solo law firm means the attorney is responsible for various aspects of managing the business, including growth. Building a client base is crucial for the long-term health of the firm, but it can be a challenge to get started.
It’s important to remember the value of relationships as an attorney. Not just with clients, but with other firms. Focus on building your referral network and bolstering your credible reputation. Be genuine and authentic in your interactions. Strong relationships and word of mouth will go a long way in growing a client base.
Investing in marketing is another important piece of growing your law firm’s client base. Much like outsourcing day-to-day office management tasks like managing client data and answering phones, marketing is another area that’s smart to outsource. Whether you decide to tackle your marketing efforts in-house or work with a marketing firm like ours, you need to be strategic in your actions, including the amount of time spent on your efforts.
Similar to the question of how many clients are ideal for a solo law firm, the answer to this question will depend on different factors. Each marketing plan will vary with a different cost and time frame to execute.
A good rule of thumb is if you find that your marketing efforts are taking too much time away from your actual clients, it’s time to streamline your processes and outsource any time-consuming or repetitive tasks.
Below are 4 effective marketing tactics you can implement for your solo firm. It will take some experimenting to find the right tactics for your firm, but these are an excellent way to get started.
1. Share your knowledge on social media
You won’t need a presence on every social platform, but a strategic social presence is important. It will help you show up in search rankings as well as boost your law firm’s credibility. Many consumers do their research through social media. They’ll look for how you communicate as well as customer reviews as social proof.
Keep in mind that you can always add additional platforms to your solo firm’s social presence as you master them.
For example, once you have a solid Facebook presence, you can consider expanding your social reach to Twitter. Adding too many from the start can be overwhelming and cause you to not effectively engage on any platform.
2. Publish a blog or vlog
Search engines like to reward websites with fresh, constantly updated content. One way to accomplish this is through regular posting, either blog posts, videos, or both.
For example, a bankruptcy attorney could post a blog that tells their audience when to consider filing for bankruptcy.
If you’re stuck on trying to come up with blog topics, here are a few thought starters:
- Policy and law changes in your practice area
- Unique case studies from your clients
- Any recent awards you won
- Most common questions that prospects and clients ask you
For example, sit down and brainstorm a list of questions that your current clients have asked you and use these as topic ideas. So, if you are an estate planning lawyer, you might write a post on XX things to include in your will.
3. Write a newsletter
Email is one of the most cost-effective tactics for marketing to existing and potential clients. By publishing a regular newsletter, you can stay top of mind with your audience while establishing your expertise and credibility.
To get potential clients to sign up for your email list or newsletter, try offering an incentive. This could be access to gated content like a guide, case study, or ebook. The content included in your newsletter is dependent on your firm’s individual objectives. However, a good place to start would be sharing recent blog post snippets, team bios or additions, legal updates, press releases, or relevant cases and news stories.
4. Invest in SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it plays a crucial role in any website, particularly those in competitive industries like legal. Search engines crawl websites looking for information that can tell them whether the site is relevant to the visitor’s search query. If your site is optimized for search, it will be easier to crawl and show up higher in the rankings.
To optimize for this, you’ll need to publish regular, quality content. You’ll also need descriptive page titles, meta descriptions, alt text, and you’ll want to improve the load speed of your site. All of these will help to improve organic search traffic. Keep in mind the keywords you want to rank for when optimizing your site.
For example, if you want to rank for “estate planning attorney in Houston,” you’ll need to make sure your website spells out exactly where you’re located and the services you provide. Search engines will never associate your firm as a Houston law office if you never mention the city or even the state on your website.
When choosing the marketing tactics to help you land more clients the most important part is to just get started. Your marketing strategy doesn’t have to be perfect right off the bat, but you do need to have one. Select a marketing strategy that makes sense for your firm and move forward with it. You can always try another one later.