According to a recent survey by Thompson Reuters, the biggest challenge for small and solo attorneys is bringing in new business. (No shocker there!) Of the firms surveyed, 41% had yet determined how to address acquiring new clients. (Ok, 41% is actually pretty shocking.)
The legal market has been trending down or flat in the past few years. For firms that are trying to keep afloat in this market, acquiring new clients and growing current clients is a major hurdle to address. However, it’s not their only challenge according to the survey.
Lawyers and small firms list their top four challenges as:
- Acquiring new client business (78 percent).
- Spending too much time on administrative tasks (69 percent).
- Increasing complexity of technology (63 percent).
- Cost control and expense growth (62 percent).
- (Tie with 4) Clients demanding more for less or rate pressure from clients (62 percent).
Another interesting result breakdown from the Thomson Reuters small-solo law firm survey provided by Law Site Blog:
How do these firms measure success?
- Enhancing their reputation in the local community (46 percent).
- Increasing or improving business development and marketing (45 percent).
- Being considered the best of the best (42 percent).
- Providing better service to their current clients (39 percent).
- Growing while maintaining quality (39 percent).
How can firms improve reputation and bring in business?
Cordell Parvin writes in his post, Client Development: Building Your Brand:
In 2016, it’s not what you know, it’s not who you know. It’s who knows what you know. The goal of client development is to increase the number of influencers who know what you know and recommend you to potential clients.
If you’re looking to increase the number of potential clients or referral sources to bring in new business, you’ll need to make sure they know your firm is credible. Building law firm reputation and increasing new business comes down to sharing expertise with a wider audience.
There are several tactics both the attorneys and the marketing teams can focus on:
- Consider blogging. Blogging isn’t for everyone or every practice group, but it is a very effective way to show your expertise in real time and update your clients.
- Get social. 54 percent of consumers say they would likely hire an attorney who is active on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Have a conversation. When was the last time a client got a call or a lunch meeting? Show your firm cares and understands their needs by making time to listen and touch base.
- Stand out. Do something different from your competitors. Focus on creating niche for yourself that isn’t the same as what every firm on the block is doing.
If you are a small firm looking to bring in business, you’re not alone! However, you can stand out from the crowd by making sure your firm is credible online and you are driving that conversation.