More and more attorneys are making the jump to working remotely and running their own law firm.
If you’re a new solo attorney, you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I get more clients?”
The consensus today is that building a client base online is all about your social media presence. But that’s not very helpful if you’re running a one-person show.
(It’s also not really accurate advice, either.)
Here are some tips for getting more clients as a solo attorney.
1. Know that Lawyers Don’t Need Social Media!
As today’s business and information superhighway, many believe it’s hard (or not possible) to grow a business if you aren’t active on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook).
Social media is enjoying the limelight currently, but this just isn’t true. These platforms can help your legal marketing efforts. But as a solo attorney, you’ll likely have a hard time attracting thousands of followers right away.
Paid advertising is really the only way to inject some real juice into your marketing efforts. This can be costly, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, will be a waste of time.
So first and foremost, solo attorneys can take a deep breath. Social media is a way to grow. But it’s not the only way.
It can, however, help to have active accounts. Even if you don’t have lots of followers, many people will look you up first before calling. Studies show people are less likely to call if your accounts are inactive or send a negative message.
2. Speak Your Client’s Language
Big box firms have strength in numbers. Your greatest strength as a solo attorney is your expertise and ability to stand out as a true expert in your area(s) of law.
Successful solo attorneys are masters of language. They understand their target client’s problems inside and out, and can explain the nuances of the issues they’re facing better than they can.
This skill develops with time. But even if you’ve just started practicing law, it pays to be intentional about developing this skill.
Learn to anticipate the needs of your clients and the questions they may have. Study patterns. Ask others who practice your type of law. And if you are considering building a social media presence—it’s by no means a bad idea— creating instructional videos.
Long-form YouTube videos or short Instagram educational content are both great options. You can establish expertise in your legal area(s) and still provide value without having many viewers or subscribers.
3. Don’t Just Network with Lawyers
It’s easy to only talk to other attorneys. But networking with people outside of law can be a great way to drum up new business.
Build relationships with people in fields that work closely with the type of law you practice.
For example, personal injury lawyers could network with local medical providers.
Medical providers who share their health records online may be more likely to pass along leads to attorneys they know and trust.
Or they may be more likely to connect patients with lawyers who already have access or familiarity with their secure online portal. You could wind up getting leads simply because you’re already in their system.
ShareScape makes this easy for connecting attorneys and medical providers. And since lawyers don’t have to pay for the service, it’s a total win-win.
4. Lean on Referrals
Word of mouth is your most powerful marketing tool you have as a solo attorney.
You don’t need a big presence on YouTube or Facebook if the people are out in the community saying good things about you.
The question is, how can you scale your efforts to gain referrals?
One way is to think small and identify specific trends—based on where you live or relevant data in your area—to see which areas are underserved in your community.
Clients may be more likely to pass along their lawyer’s name to a colleague or family member who experiences similar struggles. Be creative and work hard for your clients and watch how your referral network expands.
5. Incentivize Clients to Generate Leads
Doing a good job is one way to get people to pass along your name. But you can always simply ask and offer rewards to those who do.
Even small incentives can go a long way. Some ideas include:
- Offering Amazon and Starbucks gift cards to people who mention your name
- Offering discounts for family or friends
- Giving away tickets to local events (or cross-promoting with other local vendors)
- Giving away your time to help understand problems
Also think about how you might cater your incentives to the type of law you practice.
Incentives don’t just have to be offered for client referrals, either. You can also incentivize clients to leave you reviews on Google, Avvo, and Yelp.
6. Develop Savvy Website Skills
An outdated or clunky website is like a ship leaking water for any solo lawyer trying to get clients. You need a website that’s fast, mobile-friendly, and designed to generate leads.
The dilemma for solo attorneys is that website design isn’t cheap. A local vendor might charge $1500 to $5000 for a full website design, which might not fit your budget.
Fortunately, you can learn how to host, design, and build a great website on YouTube—all for free.
You can also pay a little extra for a website service that has a drag-and-drop interface (apps like SquareSpace or Weebly). Either way, it’s truly worth the investment of time or money.
7. Invest in SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is quickly becoming the key to growing a small business without social media.
Paid promotions on social media can be effective. But they’re expensive, and also one-and-done. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might as well be shoveling money into a hole.
SEO, on the other hand, is a long-term investment. It takes some time for Google and other search engines to pick up your website.
But eventually, you’ll start to generate leads through targeted keywords that drive traffic to your site.
Solo Attorneys: How to Get Clients
You may be small as a solo attorney. But you can absolutely attract new clients and put together a thriving marketing effort without building an audience or having a big name on social media.
The key is to narrow your efforts. Do a great job for your clients and give people a reason to talk about you. Incentivize people to spread your name. And make sure your digital presence is at least respectable.
Are you a personal injury attorney that works with medical providers?
Request a demo of ShareScape today—or pass along this link to your favorite medical providers in your area—to learn how easy it is to share medical records online.