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10 Proven Approaches to Law Firm Business Development
In general, business development means pursuing great opportunities for a business; the same goes for your law firm. Law firm business development can include building new relationships, identifying various sources of revenue, cross-selling to current clients, adding new services (that are in great demand) to your portfolio, expanding business in different locations, contacting, following up on prospects, and to name a few more efforts.
Law Firm Business Development vs. Marketing
Marketing should be an essential component of your law firm’s business development strategy. Your marketing plans help you achieve most of your business development objectives; both complement each other and have mutual dependence.
When it comes to lead generation, marketing includes sharing valuable, informative, helpful content through email marketing, events, publications, and social media. Business development with lead nurturing can incorporate emails, phone calls, meetings, and other social interactions.
On the whole, marketing and business development contribute to generating value for your law firm. Both consistently work together to build your firm’s reputation and make it a brand name people can trust.
Why Does Your Law Firm Need Business Development?
Running a newly launched law firm? Business development can be one of the most challenging, but at the same time, one of the most crucial strategies to establish your law firm. You might not have a strong client base, so you need to be strategic while working on a plan to attract new clients; consider smart marketing tactics to generate new business in order to keep your firm operating.
However, that does not mean you lose focus on business development once your firm starts operating comfortably; it is a never-ending process. Competition in the legal industry is fierce. If you are not innovating your strategies on a constant basis, you might be missing a lot of opportunities to reach potential clients. Therefore, to help you further, we have discussed some effective ways you can work on your law firm business development in this article; read through it.
10 Ways You Can Work on Your Law Firm Business Development
1. Prepare A Business Development Plan
You need to prepare a business development plan. This plan should contain both the general and specific goals of your law firm. To be precise, you need to analyze your market and competitors carefully.
Apart from that, conducting a SWOT analysis that involves analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats can help. With these details on paper, you can easily identify or create a path toward your law firm’s business development and growth.
2. Set A Budget for Business Development
The people with whom you discuss your business matters will most probably suggest you invest 2 to 5 percent of your gross annual income in business development. However, you must consider a couple of things while setting your budget.
For example, the type of law your firm practices can affect your budget. If your law firm mainly offers personal injury or family law services, you will need to invest more than corporate law firms because of the high competition level in your niche field. Similarly, if your law firm is in New York, you will need to invest more than those in Asheville, NC, because of the fierce competition in the legal profession in your area.
Therefore, you need to determine and set a competitive budget to get fruitful results.
3. Properly Execute the Plan
All your brainstorming, strategic planning, and efforts will bring no or unwanted results if you don’t execute your business development plans appropriately. You may make a list of tasks/steps you need to complete, ensuring you do not miss out on anything crucial for executing a detailed business development plan.
4. Leverage Technology
Lawyers can use technology to accelerate their business development. For instance, set up Zoom meetings and boost face-to-face interactions digitally (if prospects/clients are reluctant to meet in person). Apart from using technology to enhance your marketing and sales efforts, you can use different types of tools to improve networking. For instance, Facebook and LinkedIn are likely to be more effective in building a network with companies that might always look for legal help.
5. Update Your Firm’s Profile
This will include updating everything from your firm’s service catalog, website, and social media profiles. Getting a few video testimonials from your recent clients and uploading them on your website or social media profiles can be a great help.
Make sure to highlight your niche areas and add links to presentations and articles the potential clients can relate to. If your lawyers have unique skills, for instance, they have excellent knowledge of other states’ laws or are proficient in a few different languages, include this too on your website.
6. Share Valuable Information Online
96% of people looking for legal advice use a search engine.
38% of individuals seeking a lawyer use the internet to search for one.
People go online to find help for their requirements/issues; if you provide them with helpful information, you can gain their trust (although a little, but it is good to go initially). They will get to know you by reading the valuable information you have shared; this enables them to put their trust in you, as you showed your willingness to serve them with useful information that can benefit them.
You can invest in blogging and content marketing to boost your business development strategies.
7. Attend Seminars & Conferences
We all have gone digital for several things; still, there are many ways you can work on business development offline. Attending industry-relevant events like seminars and conferences can help your law firm establish itself as an expert that values in-person interactions and business relationships. Getting out of your workplace and showing up in such events puts you ahead of your competitors.
Look for business conferences and seminars in your or nearby city and select the ones you want to invest in. Keep in mind that you should choose the ones where you think most of your target audience will participate.
8. Ease Off Your Workload
You need to have enough time so that you can prepare plans by giving detailed thoughts on everything. Many lawyers fall short of the time required for building marketing and business development strategies.
Suppose you also remain busy with your core legal functions, dealing with clients and resolving their queries, and do not get enough time to develop your law firm business. In that case, you may consider legal outsourcing services. This way, most of your tedious, time-consuming back-office work can be done by a trusted outsourcing partner, allowing you to get more time to focus on business development plans and efforts.
9. Ask for Referrals
If you want, you can gain new clients with the help of your existing clients. People seeking an attorney will most likely first trust the word of their family members or friends, or else their interest in your firm will depend on your law firm’s online reviews given by your previous clients.
To ensure your previous and current clients refer their relatives and people they know to you, you need to make your law firm client-centric and build strong client relationships, not only during the case but also after your service contract is completed. Although there are several ways you can do this, everything comes down to delivering an exceptional client experience.
10. Follow Up and Stay Connected
Law firms spend long hours writing articles, promoting blogs, attending seminars, and preparing sales pitches, but if they do not follow up on leads, there will be no reason for prospects to recognize your legal solutions or become aware of what you can do best for them.
You must realize the importance of following up and staying connected. Connect with potential clients on social media or networking websites, add them to your contact list, send them your digital newsletters frequently, ask them for lunch to understand their business or requirements better, and do whatever suits you and makes your prospects feel valued.
Other than the ways discussed above, you may consider obtaining training, attending workshops, or taking courses relevant to law firm business development. With such programs, you can learn some of the most important strategies to run a law firm successfully.
Do you or your team often experience heavy workloads? Do you spend most of your time overseeing your attorneys’ work, due to which you cannot focus on business development? If so, get in touch with Cogneesol – one of the leading legal process outsourcing service providers.
We have been delivering excellent back-office support to law firms, businesses, and lawyers across the world since 2008, and we are still counting our happily satisfied clients.
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