First, you made it through 2020—congratulations. On both a personal and professional level, getting past the confusion and stress of the past year was no easy task, and you should feel proud for having done it.
Now that 2021 is stretching out before us, it’s a good time to think about what you can do to position your solo practice to not just survive but thrive. It’s possible that with just a little more focus, or effort applied in a new way, you can cross the threshold from “just getting by” to prospering.
Contribute thought leadership
Consumers take it for granted that you’re qualified to handle legal work in general. What they want to know is that you can handle their specific matter, and what it’s like to work with you. Try setting a goal of writing one LinkedIn article a month for three months. Talk about developments in your area of law or try your hand at an article outlining how you approach client relations. If you see a benefit to it, you could choose to upgrade by having a blog added to your website, or even hiring a marketing service to blog on your behalf.
Fine-tune your website
If your marketing vendor is up to par, your website should always be working on your behalf. Even when you’re doing other things, it should be operating smoothly and continuously in the background. Ensure that you have up-to-date contact information and a listing of the services you provide (virtual consultations, for example, or Spanish-language capabilities). Even if you don’t have anything new to add, it can be helpful both to legal consumers and search engines to simply freshen up existing content. A stale website won’t do you any favors, so see if you can refresh certain areas like the “About” section of your website to reflect current times.
Amplify your social media presence
If you haven’t done much with social media to develop business and enhance your brand, start small. For example, check your LinkedIn profile to see what needs to be updated or enhanced. Then, take a look at other platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to see what your peers and competitors are doing. If you’re up for it, choose one platform and try to post twice a week for one month. You’ll see the best results from social media when you post consistently and really set aside time to curate content to share. If you see your engagement numbers increase, you may want to try paid promotions for your social media posts—you’d be surprised how $50 can extend your reach.
Try one new thing
In business development, as in life, the same input will most likely net the same results. That’s fine for a while, but this approach isn’t going to help your practice grow. For 2021, set a goal to try one new networking method. It could be presenting about your area of expertise to a local law school or hosting a virtual Q&A for prospective clients. You could think about doing some volunteer work that might introduce you to new clients or becoming more involved with an area group, like a bar association or chamber of commerce. Of the new things you think of, choose one that fits your budget and schedule.
As a final thought, don’t only think about additional things you want to take on. Spend time asking whether there are any elements you need to dial back or remove completely, especially if doing so would tip the scales of work-life balance in your favor. Your well-being is important, and deserves time and consideration, too.
For more tips and techniques developed specifically for solo attorneys, review our complimentary guide, “Work smarter, not harder: Using integrated digital marketing to enhance your solo practice.”
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