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Run Your Legal Practice with Purpose: How to Calm the Chaos and Grow Your Business 

June 18, 2024
By Legalfit
four seedlings in soil growing upward towards the sun

Many lawyers establish their law firm because they envision a life where they have flexibility and freedom. In reality, they’re overwhelmed and can’t break away from their desks. 

If this sounds familiar, you can’t continue this path. The healthy business you envision will not happen, so you must be strategic with running your business. 

Of course, you can't ignore pressing work, but you need to also schedule time out of your week — say, a couple of hours every Friday — to do strategic work that will be the foundation for your business. Once you have a strategy, you'll know how to make all your business decisions, what to focus on, who to hire, and where to spend your time and resources. 

Fundamentals of a Law Firm Strategy 

Setting a business strategy takes focused effort, but it shouldn’t be another overwhelming item on your to-do list. Define these four principles, and you’ll be well on your way to running your legal practice with purpose.  

1. Vision 

Your vision is a statement of what you're building, where you're going, and who you want on your team. It's what you want the future of your law firm to look like. 

2. Values 

Values are the guiding principles for your firm. They define what success looks like, guide your employees, and help you make business decisions.  

3. Business model 

Defining your business model begins with understanding your clients, their needs, and what they desire. For example, if clients prefer to pay a flat fee instead of an hourly rate, consider this when setting your pricing model.  

Other business model considerations include how you are going to provide your services to clients, who you're going to hire, what your office culture will be like, and how your team will serve clients. 

4. Targets and priorities 

Now it is time to plan how to make your vision, values and business model happen. 

Each quarter, pick your top one to three initiatives. This ensures you take incremental steps that will help you reach your goals. Then, scope out each initiative to know exactly what you need to do. Use these questions to guide you: 

  • What does “done” look like? When you’re at the end of the quarter and looking back, how will you know if you were successful? 

  • Who will be accountable? It might be you, or you might designate a lead.  

  • What are all the steps needed to complete the goal? 

  • What are your due dates? What might get in the way of those dates, and how will you overcome them? 

  • What resources will you need, and where can you go for help? 

How Marketing Can Help Fulfill your Priorities 

With a business strategy in place that defines your vision, values, business model, and priorities, it’s time to leverage marketing to help you reach your law firm’s goals. 

Marketing can help put your business strategy in motion by consistently communicating your firm’s identity and values with potential clients through multiple digital channels that build your online presence and drive results for your firm.  

Most legal clients begin their search for legal services online, so without a strong online presence, you are invisible to a substantial portion of your potential client base. 

3 Things You Can Do Today to Grow Your Firm 

1. Refine and focus your practice  

You’ve already zeroed in on where you want to take your firm. Now you want to define how you’ll present yourself in your community to clarify your marketing strategy. 

In developing your business model, you learned you can’t be everything to everyone. The same goes for your marketing strategy — you need to highlight your specialty and what makes you unique to curate the right customer base that aligns with your business model. 

From there, your marketing efforts can snowball. 

  • Targeting specific clients for outreach helps you build the case portfolio you want to represent in your community.  

  • Taking your specific counsel to market allows you to highlight your knowledge and skills more effectively. 

  • You’ll become a thought leader in your community and can position yourself as such within your marketing strategy. 

2. Leverage technology to maximize your time and scale your marketing efforts 

Use technology to streamline processes and the client experience. For example, you can offer online consultations, secure client portals, or online appointment scheduling through your website.  

Just remember that not all websites are created equally. They need to be set up properly to drive ROI for your marketing efforts. This means being able to leverage data from Google Analytics, your website performance, and the quality of your lead generation efforts. Your site should also be SEO optimized, mobile friendly, ADA compliant and state bar compliant.

3. Find the right marketing partner  

Just as you only want to work with the right clients, you also only want to work with the right marketing partner with a proven track record of success. Look for a legal marketing partner that constantly works with you to nurture and maintain your marketing strategy. This should involve a comprehensive legal marketing strategy that includes: 

  • Content generation to build and promote your thought leadership 

  • Pay-per-click advertising to generate traffic to your website 

  • Local Service Ads to reach local leads 

  • Social media management to create positive impressions, communicate your firm’s identity, and engage with potential clients 

  • Paid social media campaigns to target specific types of audiences for higher quality leads 

Your Firm, Your Way 

As a lawyer and business owner, you’ll always be busy. It’s up to you to set time aside to get clear on your business strategy and bring it to life with an equally clear marketing strategy. Be consistent with both, and you’ll be well on your way to a less chaotic, more purposeful business that grows and serves clients on your terms. 

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