By the end of their career, over 80% of attorneys end up in a law firm with less than 25 attorneys. When it comes to business development, there are several critical areas where the size of your law firm seems to matter most.
Attorneys in small firms must wear multiple hats at the same time — which means they are extremely pressed for time.
Most of our clients in small firms have to wear half a dozen hats every day! However, they cannot neglect learning the art and science of lead generation and conversion; they just don’t have a lot of time to learn this critical skill.
When it comes to learning how to market and grow your law firm (or any other skill you must possess), solos and small firms must do it in a compressed time frame and then get back to work.
Our Rainmaker Retreat 2-day law firm marketing seminar is an intensive, deep dive into practical techniques and proven strategies that are specifically designed to help attorneys in small firms and solo practices. It covers over 65 different strategies in a step-by-step fashion that focuses on implementation and taking rapid action to achieve maximum results.
Size of the marketing budget.
Many large law firms have a marketing budget bigger than the annual revenues of small law firms. Years ago, I stopped asking my clients for the size of their marketing budget because I grew tired of hearing, “Budget? We don’t have a budget.” I get it. Your marketing plans must be designed to be easily implemented on a low cost budget.
We teach our clients one of the best returns on investment a small firm can implement is to start a monthly e-newsletter. We recommend Constant Contact or another similar service to help them get started. Our clients tell us that almost every time they send out their newsletter, referrals start coming in. Make the choice to do “something” versus nothing.
Number of decision makers.
Most marketing decisions at many large firms are made by committees. I see committees as a waste of time because in order to make a decision virtually all of them must say ‘yes,’ but it only takes one person to say ‘no’ and the whole deal falls through.
When you are making a big decision about marketing your law firm I recommend you assemble your people to get their input, but then take personal responsibility as the owner of the firm and make the best decision you can given the information you have at that time.
Or appoint a specific team member to oversee the firm’s marketing efforts. Allocate an amount they can invest each month on marketing and then have them develop a written plan or at least a list of initiatives they want to tackle, help them prioritize, then hold them accountable for the results. Taking action immediately and consistently versus waiting months for a watered-down decision from a committee will produce better results over time.
Need for immediate ROI.
Large firms can afford to be patient and wait months or even longer before they see a positive return on investment. Small law firms require a much shorter time frame within which to measure their ROI. Many of the business development strategies we teach our clients are focused on a shorter time frame.
At the same time, you cannot expect instant results, because the clients you get today come from the marketing you did 3-6 months ago. Law firm marketing is hard work, but part of the reason why some firms are so successful and others are still struggling is because only a relative few are willing to do the hard work it takes to implement a truly effective marketing strategy.
Knowledge is power. Being more nimble by nature, solos and small firms can prevail when it comes to business development by educating themselves on the marketing strategies that are working in the legal services marketplace today.
One way to do this is to attend a Rainmaker Retreat. Another is to attend the ABA 2015 Solo & Small Firm Summit on September 24-26, 2015, in Boston. I will be one of the speakers, talking about Law Firm Marketing Strategies. I will be sharing real-world examples of how solos and small firms are succeeding at legal marketing and the strategies they are using to get more clients. Join me!