Competition in the legal industry continues to intensify requiring lawyers and their firms to deploy all the tools in their arsenal to stave off the competition whilst bringing in new clients.
Winning in such environments and bringing in new clients as a solo attorney can be challenging. You can quickly become overwhelmed when you consider the amount of work you will have to do on your own to win clients over from competing lawyers and firms.
As daunting as it may seem, it is doable. The only significant difference between working with a team of lawyers under the umbrella of a firm and working alone as a solo attorney is that you will have to wear multiple hats and invest more time and personal resources. It will also take some more time to get solid results.
This article discusses some tools you can use to expedite the process and grow your clientele.
8 Strategies You Can Employ to Get Clients as a Solo Attorney
There are hundreds of marketing tactics and strategies you can follow to get clients as a solo attorney, but here are the 8 best strategies that won’t put a hole in your wallet:
#1 Have a Clear Vision
The first step to getting clients as a solo attorney is to define what your goals are and what success means to you.
What Are Your SMART Goals?
Before you can begin to acquire clients, you must first define success for yourself. What exact results are you seeking?
Are you seeking to get clients to:
- Have a large number of clients?
- Grow revenue to a level where you can sustain yourself?
- Create a reputable brand name for yourself?
- To kickstart the formation of a law firm?
Once you have determined why you want to grow your clientele, you will have key performance indicators(KPI) you can use to measure how much progress you have made and how much more you need to do.
If you’re a solo and want a large number of clients, you have to define how large “large” is. Otherwise, it’s very likely that you may end up chasing shadows and losing your acquired clients.
If you’re a solo attorney seeking to grow revenue, you will have to define how much revenue is enough to sustain yourself and grow your practice. Otherwise, revenue growth will continue to be a dream that will not become a reality.
Set a goal for yourself from the start, and make sure it is SMART:
You cannot be impactful as a solo attorney if you don’t know who you are.
- Who are you?
- What is your mission?
- What are your values?
- What principles do you hold dear?
- Where do you draw the line?
- Where do you see yourself in a couple of years?
These are some questions you will need to answer before taking the next step. If you do not have a definite identity, you will believe all clients are valuable, leading you to choose a vast and generic audience as your target market.
The broader your target audience, the more extensive and diverse your competition, and the lower your chances of success.
Define Your Ideal Client
The question you seek to answer in this section is: Who is my ideal client?
Once you define your identity as a lawyer, you need to determine which clients will derive the most value from your services. If you are a family lawyer passionate about domestic violence cases, you could make the mistake of thinking your ideal client is anyone who has suffered from domestic abuse, but in doing that, you might be casting a broad net.
It would be better for you to dig deeper to find a niche within the domestic violence space. This could be male victims of domestic violence who are too scared to pursue criminal charges or victims of sibling physical abuse who don’t know they have the option of going to court.
By getting specific about your target client, you can focus on a specific group and increase your chances of success.
However, this does not mean you should turn down work from people who don’t necessarily qualify as your ideal clients. If they fall within the periphery of your ideal target audience, working on their case could provide you with revenue to boost your client acquisition efforts and an opportunity to strengthen your legal skills.
#2 Build Your Personal Brand
The next step is to define a personal brand.
What Is a Brand?
A brand represents your personality, experience, expertise, competencies, actions and achievements. It is represented by your name and a sign, symbol, color combination or slogan. A brand is a promise you make to the client, which sets their expectations for your performance.
Although your law firm branding may not initially impact your client acquisition, you must continue to work with more clients to build a name and reputation for yourself.
Your brand incorporates the following elements:
- Your mission
- Your vision
- Your goals
- Your values
- Your target audience
- Your service offerings
- Your competitors, and more.
Why Should You Care About Lawyer Branding?
Attorney branding is critical in determining success or failure for a solo attorney. The following are key reasons why solo attorneys should focus on branding:
- Law firm branding helps you stand out in the competitive legal market: A unique brand identity sets you apart from the other lawyers and firms operating within your niche. A unique brand and unique brand messaging capture the interest of potential clients and turn them into leads that you can convert into clients.
- Building a solid brand reputation based on achievements will build credibility: As you accumulate achievements, you will gradually build a reputation for efficiency and success, making it easy to acquire more clients because your brand reputation will precede you.
- A solid brand allows you to charge more: Once you have built a solid reputation for your brand and potential clients know that you can deliver strong results, you will be able to charge more for your services.
- A solid brand cements client loyalty: A strong brand reputation strikes fear in the hearts of opposing lawyers and makes your clients confident because of the higher potential for success. A client assured of success will scarcely look elsewhere for legal representation.
- A solid brand smooths the expansion process: A strong brand reputation translates to faster customer acquisition, and as you acquire more clients, you will reach a limit for how much you can do. At that point, you will have to engage other lawyers’ services and create a full-fledged legal practice.
#3 Build a High Converting, SEO Optimized Website
Digital marketing is a springboard for any lawyer or law firm. It has a multiplier effect on your client acquisition efforts and shortens the amount of time before you begin to acquire leads.
You need an excellent website for digital marketing to pay off. A great website will be a foundation for your client acquisition efforts because your ads will all link back to the website and drive traffic.
Your website must incorporate all the qualities of a great website to ensure you make an excellent first impression on prospects. In our increasingly digital world, a website has become the face of any brand, and you must accord it the level of importance it deserves.
Some of the core qualities of a great website are:
Clean Design and Practical
Your website serves as a reflection of your brand. Therefore, it’s crucial to present yourself formally and professionally. Let your message stand out with white space, clear layouts, and high-quality images and graphics.
The website must function swiftly, accurately, and as intended. Build to web standards, carefully check for typos, and run frequent speed and functionality tests. Each page on your website might be a potential customer’s first or last impression. It should always be quick and easy to use. Your visitors will become annoyed by broken, sluggish, or poorly built pages, prompting them to depart.
Easy to Use
Clients want to navigate your website and locate the information they need quickly. Including a “sticky” navigation bar—a menu that stays at the top of a website but moves with the user as they scroll down the page—is one approach to make this possible.
Credit: Content Square
Optimized for Mobile Devices
According to SEMRUSH, over 60% of Google searches happen on a mobile device. Hence, your website must be user-friendly and look beautiful across all devices. You never know what gadget your next visitor will be using and making your website mobile-friendly will enhance your visitors’ experience and SEO rankings.
- Be brief and original and avoid excessive use of legalese and acronyms.
- Use language that your audience can understand.
- Have a law firm content marketing strategy in place and consistently add new content through blogs and social media.
Need assistance with legal content writing or content marketing? Feel free to reach out to us for law firm content marketing.
Location and Contact Information
Make it simple to connect with you by providing a variety of contact options, such as a contact form that is simple to use, social media, email, phone, and even a Google map with your location pinpointed.
Call To Actions (CTA)
You need to have a process in place for your audience to follow that will ultimately lead them to taking a specific action. Your call to action could be urging visitors to share content, subscribing to your law firm email marketing campaigns, follow you on social media, download assets such as white papers and e-books. Each page on your website should be optimized for conversion by including a clear call to action.
Make sharing your material with others as simple as you can for visitors and large amounts of traffic may be generated via by having a law firm social media strategy in place.
Optimize Your Web Pages for Social Media and Search Engines
Building a user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing website is a great start, however, your website should act as a lead generation machine and should bring in consistent traffic and generate high quality leads every month. Here are some tips to get you started on law firm SEO:
- Use page titles, meta descriptions, and alt text for all of your pages and images.
- Do some keyword research and write high quality, useful blog articles.
- Use the right keywords in your content and links.
- Layout your page using Cascading Style Sheets to avoid cluttered HTML.
Thinking of investing in SEO for your law firm and require assistance in this area? Reach out to our law firm SEO experts.
The most straightforward way to get clients is to look within your network or join new networks. Although the lawyer networks you belong to are an excellent place to start, do not make the mistake of thinking that your search should be restricted to those you already belong to.
Join new communities, if necessary, but make sure the members of the communities you join are within your target audience.
For example, a solo business lawyer would benefit from picking golfing as a hobby and joining a golf club to be close to small and medium-sized business owners.
Your lawyer networks are also valuable source of clients. One good approach could be to incentivize lawyers within your network to refer clients that don’t fall within their target audience to you in exchange for a referral fee.
Don’t forget that networking is a long-term approach to growing your clientele, so don’t expect results to come immediately. To be successful through networking, your focus should first and foremost be on being helpful to the people within your network and then gradually converting them to your clients. If you approach them with the mindset of converting them overnight, you may scare away potential leads because your network membership will seem purely profit-motivated.
If you don’t have extensive networks that you can rely on for clients, you can use the following websites to find new networks:
#5 Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a form of digital marketing which requires you to pay a fee each time your ad is clicked. The most prominent PPC platform is Google.
Why should you use pay-per-click advertising to get clients as a solo attorney?
- According to a research done by Google in 2018, PPC gives an ROI of 2$ for every 1$ spent.
- PPC advertising only charges you when a user clicks on the advertisement and visits your website. As a result, it is an affordable method of attracting clients and gives you control over your spending.
- PPC advertisements can be tailored to a specific audience using factors like location, language, device, etc. Once you’ve connected with your audience, PPC tools let you assess engagement and improve your offer and advertisement.
- PPC can be measured. The results of your PPC efforts will be visible nearly immediately with PPC.
- PPC is adaptable.
Need a fast way to generate leads for your firm? Contact us for law firm PPC services.
#6 Paid Search Advertising
Paid search advertising is a digital marketing strategy that involves paying a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) to run your ads on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Why should you use paid search marketing to get clients as a solo attorney?
- Search ads increase brand recognition. They are the first item a user will view because they appear at the top of search results pages.
- Even though some of audience view search advertisements negatively, compared to organic search results, they convert visitors 2x as frequently as organic results.
- You can use paid search advertisements as a shortcut to your services pages.
- Ad blockers are ineffective against paid search results.
Want to improve brand awareness, increase website traffic or generate consistent high quality leads for your law firm? Reach out to us for law firm PPC.
#7 Paid Social Media Advertising
Paid social media advertising involves paying social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) in exchange for distribution of your ads on their platform. Since social media advertising enables you to directly interact with a particular client profile, it is a must-have tool to acquire clients as a solo attorney.
The likelihood of turning viewers of your paid social media ads into clients is substantially higher here because they typically appear in the social media feeds of the people or groups you are targeting.
Why should you use paid social media advertising to get clients as a solo attorney?
- Statistics from your paid social media campaign help you identify your actual audience and the precise needs they have.
- Knowing which audience is most interested in your material will help you design future ad campaigns that will more effectively target that group. This will raise your conversion rate and improve the quality of the traffic to your website.
- Your campaign will increase your brand’s credibility and social media presence. Your audience’s awareness of your brand will grow as you publish more material, enhancing retention and widening the range of prospective customers.
- Paid social media marketing is cost-effective. Regardless of how much or how little your budget is, your adverts will still be disseminated to a large number of potential clients.
Want to reach a specific type of audience and generate leads from your campaigns? Reach out to us for assistance in lawyer Facebook ads.
#8 Social Media Marketing
Social media for lawyers is a free and organic way to achieve your digital marketing goals through social media platforms. However, this takes time, effort, and strategy, because it is not being amplified like paid search or paid social media advertising.
Why should you use social media marketing to get clients as a solo attorney?
- Social media is cost-free and builds credibility. Sponsored adverts may draw users to your profile on social media, but your page needs to have more organic material than ad content if you want to appear credible to your audience.
- Non-ad content helps your paid marketing initiatives by giving users who discover your brand through ads extra content to consume. Your non-paid content will be used to keep users attached to your brand.
Need help crafting a custom social media strategy for your law firm? Contact us and book a free consulting session.
Getting clients as a solo attorney can be challenging, but it is not an impossible task. It will require time and consistent effort, and you will have to deploy various paid and free tools to reach out to potential clients, but the effort is worth it in the end.
You will gradually grow your clientele by using tools like networking, pay-per-click advertising, paid search ads, paid social media advertising, and social media marketing and if you set propergoals and essential metrics from the start, you will be able to determine the point at which you have achieved your goals, and begin the process of setting new ones.
Take it one step at a time, explore other articles where we dive deeper into each of the tools mentioned in this article, and you will gradually realize all of your goals and build a successful career.
How important is blogging in my quest to get clients as a solo attorney?
Blogging for lawyers is one of the best ways to build authority and trust for your brand and start getting clients as a solo attorney. Publishing content regularly is a terrific method to draw traffic to your website and offer visitors a cause to return.
What tools can I use to measure the performance of my website?
There are several outstanding website analytics solutions available and Google Analytics and Search Console are the most effective in giving accurate data.With the help of these tools, you can learn more about how visitors arrive at your website, what pages they browse, how long they remain there, and other information. This knowledge will be helpful in helping you optimize your website to convert more leads
In one sentence, tell me what my approach to client acquisition should be
Tell them who you are. Gain their trust over time. Tell them what they stand to benefit from using your service.
What other strategies can I use to get clients fast as a solo attorney?
You can use the following tips:
– Send your profile to clients that fall within your target audience.
– Speak at webinars and seminars to showcase your expertise.
– Publish articles on relevant industry related platforms to showcase your expertise.
– Give free legal advice to potential clients.
How should I position my brand for success?
Ask yourself these questions:
– Where are my ideal clients located physically?
– What digital platforms do my ideal clients use for networking and socializing?
Position your brand where your target audience is, and when they search for an attorney or legal information, they will find you.