Craig Taylor of LEAP discusses three technology strategies for attracting and winning new business. This is an abridged version of a new whitepaper from LEAP.
Maximise your visibility
Use technology to your advantage while being able to facilitate the needs of your clients. Some will want to continue visiting you in person and sign documents; that’s fine, but more and more clients want to be able to choose how they communicate with you, so you need to maximise your visibility across all mediums to accommodate this.
Every law firm needs a website – it’s your shop window. It enables clients to easily see who you are, what services you provide and at what cost. Clients should be able to engage with you, download documents and make payments. The closer your website is to a ‘virtual office reception’, the better. Your website never closes and by integrating it with innovative technology systems such as your case management or CRM system, you can create valuable automation and efficiency gains.
Improved search engine optimisation (SEO) helps your site rank higher on the likes of Google and Bing, and comes as a result of changes to your website’s content, structure, key words and phrases. To enhance your website’s SEO there are guides available online that can help you, or external SEO experts you can instruct. Allocating a budget for pay per click (PPC) adverts on search engines such as Google Ads will position you in front of more prospective clients by paying when someone clicks on the advert to visit your website.
Social media can be a natural extension of your brand online; it’s one of the cheapest and most effective forms of marketing in the legal sector. Fresh posts, articles and useful content promoted on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram will promote your message to a wider audience.
Facebook, for example, allows you to not only promote your business and services but to also facilitate reviews, allowing clients the opportunity to publicly comment on the service they receive. It’s important to embrace this and use it to your advantage, as many clients will find this information to make purchasing decisions. Whichever review platforms you decide to engage with, you should ensure they are clearly signposted on your website, that you proactively ask for reviews from clients, provide constructive responses and thank people who have taken the time to leave a review.
Developing your business presence online shouldn’t replace your engagement in ‘the real world’. Conferences, seminars and events are great ways to make new contacts and to learn about your profession. Networking events are fundamental to any business, especially if you rely on local clientele, traditional referrals and word of mouth.
Using technology needs to be a positive experience rather than a barrier. The legal practice management system you use isn’t there to replace you but to provide efficiency, increase productivity, automate processes and allow you to have more time to do the job you trained to do and provide great service to your clients.
A legal CRM ensures you have a single source of truth and a full audit trail of all your leads, referrals and enquiries. Once a lead becomes a client, there are ways of onboarding electronically, in minutes rather than days. Why send your instructions in the post when you have electronic signatures and identity verification tools at your fingertips?
Plan for success
The above will help you to attract, win and retain business. Setting targets and devising clear plans are key. Be audacious – set some big numbers and then work out how to get achieve them. Don’t simply wait for things to happen on their own, because they won’t, and don’t set single figure growth because at best, that’s what you’ll achieve. It’s much better to be ambitious and to have a glorious failure then to be cautious or give little thought to what steps you should take and how you will get there. You should always shoot for the moon, if you miss, you’ll still be amongst the stars!
There is no single thing you can do to develop your law firm and be successful but if you maximise your visibility, deliver distinctively and plan for success, you can revolutionise your practice. By engaging with technology to automate and streamline processes, create efficiencies and productivity, you will free up time to focus on these business-critical activities to ensure future success.