Tips and advice on marketing your services to get clients
Many solicitors have grown accustomed to outdated working practices, late nights, high billable hours targets and long daily commutes to the office that often feel as if they come part and parcel with choosing a career in the legal profession. However, recent developments – such as a major shift to remote working amid the coronavirus pandemic – have raised questions about whether things really do have to be this way.
The working world is changing considerably, and an increasing number of legal professionals are noticing the benefits that come hand in hand with becoming a consultant solicitor. This type of role provides more flexibility, a healthier work-life balance and better rewards. Previously seen as an end-of-career path used by senior lawyers and partners to slow down before retirement, consultancy is a recommended choice for solicitors who want more control over their own lives.
One major sticking point for those considering a shift to consultancy is how to attract clients. Having never had to worry about this before, lawyers working for key law firms may find that they are concerned with keeping their pipeline full. However, attracting clients is possible, you just need to know how to do it.
Here, we offer tips and advice on marketing your own services in order to get clients.
Appealing to clients
Until making the decision to become a consultant solicitor, it is highly likely that you have never been involved in the marketing of your services before. Very often, those who are new to this area can feel daunted at the prospect of wondering where the next client will come from; however, by following a few simple steps, you will be able to learn the techniques required to capitalise on your new role.
1) Use your existing contacts
Getting in touch with old contacts is one of the easiest ways to let people know that your legal services are available. While trawling through your phonebook may not be the most glamorous of jobs, this is one of the most effective ways to generate interest from clients in your new role as a consultant solicitor.
It is highly likely that there will be people in your contact list who already know your next client and will be more than happy to refer them to you. By taking the time to check in with them, you’ve strengthened existing relationships and used them to your advantage. In many cases, your legal contacts could find themselves in a position where they are dealing with conflicting matters on which they are unable to act, but would be willing to refer to you.
Contacting colleagues from old law firms you worked in is also a good way of building up your client base. It is possible they could refer clients to you in areas where they cannot provide representation.
When conducting this initial conversation, it is essential that you rebuild the links with the individuals in a natural manner, then hopefully the referrals will come second. By coming on too strong from the outset, you run the risk of tarnishing good relationships.
Re-establishing old relationships with legal contacts made over the years may not seem like a particularly attractive task – and it can be time-consuming – however, the benefits of doing so can be extremely significant. By taking control of your business in this way, you are highly likely to enjoy the rewards.
2) Hone your online presence
Considering your online presence is another essential factor when becoming a consultant solicitor. The most likely places that potential clients can find out information about you will include:
- The website of the company you work for as a consultant solicitor
- Your LinkedIn profile
- Your personal website
On each of these platforms, you need to ensure that the following is explained as clearly as possible:
- The services you provide
- How you can help the people landing on your page
- Your expertise in this area
- How people can contact you
3) Use email marketing
A successful consultant solicitor will always ensure they keep in touch with all old clients and referrers. This can be easily achieved by starting an email marketing database, which you can add people to on an ongoing basis. You will be surprised how quickly your list will go from tens to hundreds of people, which you can then use as a means of keeping in touch, generating responses and discussions.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools used by consultant solicitors, and those who properly engage with this platform will usually see their recommendations and referrals rise from month to month. This is one of the best methods of marketing for solicitors, so ensure you take the time to familiarise yourself with this technique from an early stage in your new venture.
4) Create a strong website
While the vast majority of consultant solicitors will have a profile that appears on the website of the business they are providing services for, it is also essential to create your own website that will help you to drive leads. Having your own site will help you to demonstrate your expertise in a way that encourages clients to get in touch with you.
Obtaining your own website does not have to break the bank, and it is usually possible to buy your own for a few hundred pounds. Making an investment such as this will pay off in the long run.
While many people starting out as a consultant solicitor believe that they will be supplied with a never-ending stream of clients through social media and regular networking, this is rarely the case. Taking the time to brush up on skills such as email marketing and rebuilding relationships with former contacts are among the strongest techniques that can be used to attract interest in your services. By adopting these methods, while demonstrating expertise where appropriate, consultant solicitors are highly likely to enjoy every success in their career.