5 Steps to Growing Your Area of Practice in a Law Firm
Congratulations if you have recently been given the task of growing your own area of practice. Hopefully you have received adequate training and preparation. You could have been promoted to Partnership or be a Managing Associate? Whatever your current situation, here are 5 tips that I think could help you.
1. Decide the type of work you want to do and win.
What do you enjoy? What work is the most profitable? What will your fees be and how will they be structured? This is the first and most important step. Once you have this clear vision of what you want to achieve, make sure your strategy is solely designed to help you reach this goal.
2. Talk to your network and existing contacts first.
This is often referred to as the low hanging fruit. It is much easier to win business through people that already know and trust you. Set yourself targets in terms of how many phone calls and meetings you are going to have each week to promote your practice to your network. It is critical you devote sufficient time to this activity every single week.
3. Develop a strategy in terms of how you are going to build your reputation.
Do you have clients willing to talk about you? If so word of mouth is by far the easiest and quickest way to generate new clients. Ask for referrals, find out who your advocates are and leverage them through written case studies/testimonials and referees for the legal directories. Set aside some time every week to write thought leadership content about your area of the law. If you don't have a big marketing budget or a communications team that can get you editorial content, write articles on LinkedIn or start a blog.
4. Ask your colleagues from other practice areas for help.
We all know cross-selling can be a challenge and is often the elephant in the room. Make sure each area of practice commits to personally introducing you to at least one client in a meeting or on a conference call. This is such an easy way to win new work and should ideally be step 2. But you may need to build trust and credibility amongst your colleagues first, until they feel comfortable "sharing" or recommending you to their clients.
5. Measure your activity and set yourself realistic goals.
Make sure you are able to measure the activity of everything you do to promote the practice in terms of a return on your investment, commonly referred to as ROI. Measure the conversion rate of meetings with potential clients that become new business. Measure the impact of your marketing activity, this is why digital is so effective, as you can see how many users read, click and interact with your content on-line. Measure everything. You should also be realistic with your targets. It would be amazing to be able to achieve over 7 figures in your first year, but I would advise you to manage your own expectations and those of your partners.
Good luck and keep me updated on your progress!
Michael Heron, Founder at Avanlight Consulting
E: email@example.com M: +351914566295