Do you ever feel a little isolated as a solo practitioner? Like you’re hanging out, doing all the right things to market and grow your practice, yet the results just aren’t happening?
If you’re in a small firm or a solo practitioner, isolation can be debilitating, particularly when you are trying to build a “firm” mentality with your clients and prospects. Plus, I have to admit, at least in Minnesota, weather does become a factor. You were planning to attend that morning networking event, and you hear on the morning news that traffic is at a standstill and your trip “in” will take another hour. Guess what? I’d cancel too! I am simply acknowledging that you need to approach your marketing efforts with commitment, but also with a degree of flexibility.
So as you are sitting atop your perch today, looking out at the world, what can you do to propel your practice to the next level?
Use Technology as a Solo Practitioner
Between email, Skype, GoToMeeting, and other technologies, you can bridge the gap into the outside world. At PSM we have clients across the country. We definitely feel more connected to our clients when we can talk “live” with them on Skype.
Spend Time on LinkedIn
Truly – LinkedIn is one of your best marketing tools. You can sit in your office and connect with your contacts. You can comment on posts they have made, and post links to articles and websites you find interesting. In addition, you can check out the ability to answer questions prospective clients have about your area(s) of practice, or to conduct advanced searches for people YOUR contacts could introduce you to.
Write a Blog
Content is king, and the best way for you to share your content is to regularly post blogs to your website, then promote them on social media. Clients want to see the you have done what they need, so don’t be afraid to share your expertise – it’s what makes a client hire you!
Schedule a Lunch
Everyone has people to whom they have said, ‘Let’s get together sometime soon!” Well, now’s the time to act! Take your in-office time and reach out to a couple of those people to schedule lunch or coffee; now or after the holidays.
Develop your Marketing Plan for 2018
Rather than wondering where your next client will come from or why the phone isn’t ringing, take action. Develop a proactive marketing plan for your practice by identifying your most important target audiences, what makes you unique and differentiates you from other lawyers, who your best contacts are (referral sources and prospective clients), and what your overall objectives are for next year. How much money do you want to earn? What practice areas offer the greatest growth for you? Once you have answered these questions, you can find out how to implement your plan by reviewing The Four Pillars of Marketing – best practices for lawyers who want to grow!
Focus on your Referral Sources
Take a look at your clients from 2017. Go through each client you would like to do more business with or who was what you consider to be an A-Level client, and identify how you got the client. As you know, most of your new business comes to you from referrals. Who were your best referral sources in 2017? How can you continue to engage with these people and keep your expertise top of mind with them? Nurturing relationships with referral sources offers a very productive and efficient way to spend some well-earned marketing time. It’s a lot easier to market to someone who has access and entrée into possibly hundreds of prospective clients for you versus trying to attract one new individual or business client. If you’re a family lawyer, build relationships with therapists and financial advisors. If you’re a business lawyer, get to know your local CPAs and bankers. You get the idea!
If you find yourself perching on a proverbial branch as a solo practitioner, wondering what the future holds for you, now is the time to take action by implementing the ideas above. Remember that over the holidays is a great time to reach really busy people. They’re likely perching too!
Prior to founding PSM, Terrie S. Wheeler headed the marketing department at three of Minnesota’s largest law firms. Her staff led all business development efforts for the entire firm as well as for practice groups and individual lawyers. Terrie created, implemented, and managed highly targeted and results-oriented marketing strategies.