Posted by Jay Kamlet on Jul 11, 2018
Take your independent law practice into the big leagues with these small law firm growth steps
If you have been in solo law practice for a few years, or if you want to hit the ground running with a new firm, you need to think about next steps. Small law firm growth is necessary if you want to compete for bigger clients and bigger budgets.
Ready to take your firm to the next level? Think about:
While you might not buy television spots or bus ads, your small law firm still has a brand. You personally have a brand. That brand encompasses everything from your logo and website to how you greet each client with a smile and a firm handshake.
Think hard about what you want your brand to convey to potential clients. Think about:
- What sets you apart from other lawyers or other firms in the area
- Keywords you would like your firm to embody (examples: client-centered, down-to-earth, fierce negotiator, well-educated, prepared, fighter, etc.)
- If a client were to refer you to a friend or colleague, what would you like her to say about you?
Right now, you might have an independent practice. That size is part of your brand. If you want to grow your practice, think about your brand in aspirational terms. Think about what you want to achieve, and then build your brand around that.
Today, your size might mean personal, hands-on service for clients. As you grow, your brand might evolve with an emphasis on depth of experience and service offerings.
Your target clientele
Right now, who makes up the bulk of your client base? As an independent practitioner, it’s tempting to hold on to every client and every lead for dear life. However, when you reach a growth phase, you also need to look at whether your current clientele fits your future vision.
In short, do your typical clients:
- Fit your preferred practice area and allow you to work on cases and projects that most interest you?
- Allow you to reach your financial goals without sacrificing work-life balance?
- Give you renewed passion for your work every day?
While you shouldn’t walk away from all current clients, you do need to think strategically about which clients will fit better with your practice as you grow. Once you have a clear picture of your ideal target clients, you can better position yourself and your firm to attract them.
Attracting higher-level clients to your growing law firm requires networking savvy. That doesn’t mean you attend every networking event in town and pass out hundreds of business cards. You need a quality network to find quality clients.
Think strategically about how to meet people who can introduce you to your ideal target client, but focus first on relationship-building. Spend time cultivating authentic business relationships with lawyers and professionals in other fields. When you fill your network with people who know you on a deeper level, it translates into collaboration and the exchange of both ideas and leads.
Lawyers who rent space at one of our three LawBank locations, for example, develop long-term, collaborative relationships with one another. These entrepreneurial lawyers see each other every day and exchange business advice on a regular basis. That daily interaction naturally leads to deeper relationships and a quality network.
Your space and location
Many independent lawyers start their practices in a home office or coffee shop, and that’s a great way to cut costs while building a new practice. When you feel ready to grow, however, it’s time to look for a real office space.
Your space can make a huge difference in attracting your ideal clients. A professional office in a central location can help convey your brand to a potential client. Envision meeting a corporate client in a clean and well-lit conference room vs. shouting over the sound of espresso machines and chatter in a cafe.
You don’t need to buy your own building or lease several floors of a high-rise to sell your brand. You do need a space where clients with bigger budgets and higher expectations will automatically feel your professionalism and commitment to their case.
To learn more about LawBank’s three central locations for lawyers in Denver, contact us. We offer a variety of suite and office spaces, and coworking spaces, to fit your growing law firm’s unique needs.