I started my own solo practice less than two months ago and everyday presents new challenges, to say the least. Many days, the most challenging tasks are the non-legal tasks: intake, bookkeeping, and marketing.
If you just started your own firm, make sure you dedicate time to marketing.
Referrals can make or break your firm
On top of getting good legal experience, working for Sam was great because he is a marketing machine—lunches, social media, teaching CLE’s—he did it all. Frankly, there is no way I will be able to market the same amount or same way, but part of that is my personality.
That said, even only two months into my own firm, I know that referrals from other attorneys will potentially make or break my firm.
I also know that running your own firm is hectic and when things get crazy, the first thing I want to do is clear my calendar so I can work. My first instinct is always to cancel that networking lunch across town. Most of the time, however, I keep the commitment and make a new connection. Many times, those same people end up referring a client within a few weeks.
That does not always happen, but I am also quite certain they would never refer me a case if I cancelled lunch. Bailing on networking lunches is easy—but do not let yourself into that trap.
Market in more than one way
Dedicate yourself to your blog or another form of marketing. Dedicate does not mean that you have to spend hours a day on it.
I wish I could post to my blog a couple times a week, but that is not feasible right now. Set a goal that works for you. If you just started blogging, it will take longer to write posts—so try and post at least twice a month. If you more experienced, try posting once a week or more.
You might surprise yourself—writing a blog can actually be fun and provide a nice break from legal writing. At the same time, writing for a blog can also enhance your legal writing skills. It also gives you a chance to showcase your personality on your website, which can be a real plus (if you showcase the right things).
When you hang your own shingle, it is easy to focus on work and ditch out on marketing when things get busy. But spending that extra hour or twenty minutes a day can make a big difference.
Read the next post in this series: "Suddenly Solo? Make a Marketing Plan."