4 Reasons to Invest in Law Firm Growth Strategies
Every sector in the legal industry has felt the effects of COVID-19. As the role of legal operations in a post-pandemic world remains somewhat hazy, one thing remains constant – growth.
Surprised? That makes sense; after all, why would a firm want to grow in the middle of a pandemic? Well, your firm may not need to grow now, but putting law firm SEO strategies in place will help you recuperate post-COVID.
The truth is that people need lawyers. They need lawyers now, and they’ll need lawyers post-pandemic. For law firms to survive, they need a growth plan. With growth comes better organization and money management. Those will be critical skills needed in the legal industry after the world returns to normalcy, skills that will put you ahead of the competition.
After evaluating your firm’s plans for growth, give EverSpark Interactive a call. We’ve helped law firms expand and bring in new clients through data-driven SEO. Our SEO expertise translates perfectly to the ever-changing legal landscape, and we’ll help your firm realize its goals, now or post-pandemic.
Keep reading to discover some of the reasons why you should invest in law firm growth strategies.
1. You’ll be more competitive.
Today’s legal market looks much different than in the past. Market shifts led by the Great Recession, coupled with innovative legal technologies, have led to a sloughing-off of traditional legal practices.
Thanks to readily-available legal information spreading across news outlets, social media, legal publications, and trend reports, there is more competition among law firms than ever before. Combined with the client-focused, client-controlled legal arena of 2020, these changes prove how important it is that your firm stands apart from others.
With more competition comes more uncertainty that your clients will return to you or that you’ll earn new clients at all. This can significantly impede your firm’s ability to grow.
If you’re feeling the effects of ruthless competition, you’re not alone: 52% of legal professionals said that competition is the top hindrance to law firm growth.
Of course, we can sit here and tell you that your firm needs to be efficient, responsive, human, and skillful to grow and bring in more clients. That’s all well and good, but without a tangible plan moving forward, you’ll just be spinning in your tracks.
Here’s the solution: perform a law firm competitive analysis. This is one of the best ways to maintain (or gain) an advantage over other firms.
What is a law firm competitive analysis?
A competitive analysis is a report or process in which you identify your firm’s competitors and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in relation to your own. The goal is to develop an unbeatable marketing strategy based on real evidence and to mimic the successes your competitors have had in a practice area.
Here are the steps to conduct an effective competitive analysis:
- Find your competitors through an online search and organize the results in a document.
- Take note of their services, the content on their website, and the number of links pointing to their website.
- List your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, including years of experience, awards and memberships, client work, and more.
- Research their local presence.
- Evaluate their presence on social media.
By performing a law firm competitive analysis, you’ll discover the successful steps your competitors are taking that bring in clients. You’ll understand the strategy behind their success and will have the resources to imitate it.
As the old saying goes, the key is to work smart, not hard. Of course, you’ll have to put time and energy into performing a competitive analysis, but by closely examining your competitors, you’ll save time and energy by pursuing growth tactics that are proven to work.
Let EverSpark Interactive do the work for you and get you in the top results. You won’t have to test and guess what methods will attract more clients; a competitive analysis will tell you what works and what doesn’t, so you have a clear strategy moving forward.
2. You’ll be more in touch with your clients’ needs.
Traditionally, individual law firms were in control, but as client needs and expectations continue to evolve, law firms are the ones who need to anticipate what clients want. Although an aloof, distanced approach may have worked for lawyers in the past (“I went to law school so I know what’s best for you!”) it’s no longer a viable option for firms wanting to expand.
Thanks to these recent shifts in client behavior, it’s imperative that you create a dedicated and intuitive law firm customer service strategy that meets client needs.
A clear connection exists between excellent client service and law firm growth, but it can be tricky to implement a new customer service strategy. Here are some tips for driving greater efficiency and predictability in your legal services:
- Get everyone involved in providing excellent client service. That means attorneys, staff members, paralegals, assistants, everyone.
- Encourage clients to leave feedback on your service, and give them several options to do so. You can set up an email address or phone number specifically for client concerns, and encourage clients to leave reviews on your Google My Business page.
- Be proactive in your responses and communication with clients. Make it a goal to respond to client messages within 24 hours.
Perhaps the most important change in client service has been the frequency of communication between lawyer and client. Clients want and expect lawyers to respond to them in a timely and appropriate way. If you fail to do so, you’ll likely lose money.
35% of the time, phone calls from prospective clients are not answered. 42% of the time, law firms take an average of three days to respond to a message from a new potential client.
If you’re still unconvinced, consider this: law firms that develop a successful client service strategy grow revenues four to eight percent above their market. That’s a prime example of how investing in growth leads to growth. You’ve got to put effort (and money) into building unbeatable law firm client service. But once you do, you’ll reap the rewards of more growth and more business.
3.You can enjoy long-term rather than short-term growth.
Growth for growth’s sake can be harmful to your firm. Without a fundamental purpose for growth, your firm will likely regress or – even worse – experience reckless growth that quickly spirals out of control. To avoid those outcomes, come up with a law firm strategic plan for expansion.
The most important step in creating a long-term growth strategy is to accurately and honestly identify the reason for growth. This reason should be based on helping make the firm stronger without worrying about things like new offices and added markets. The focus needs to be on sustainability, and you should begin by asking yourself how you can make your client’s lives easier.
Here are the steps you can take to provide long-term growth for your firm:
- Choose a sustainable profit model instead of the traditional billable hour model. Sustainable models include Total Solution, First Mover, Spin-Off, and Product Pyramid models.
- Define the success metrics tied to your firm’s quarterly and yearly revenue. This will help you pinpoint the clients and strategies that bring you consistent business, as well as defining areas of underperformance.
- Evaluate the scope of services offered to clients. Is your firm stretched too thin? Are you limited to a couple of practice areas and aren’t meeting the client’s needs? Try to come up with a plan that places a stronger emphasis on the client’s needs, not just the firm’s.
- In addition to retaining the best possible partners, you should invest in long-term skill-building. This can cover project management and personal development.
To experience long-term growth, you need to position your firm as a client-centered, solution-driven legal services provider. It’s unlikely that you’ll enjoy sustainable growth without taking the time to implement a law firm strategic plan.
It’ll take time to identify and plan towards meeting your firm’s goals, but the rewards are great. Successful growth is largely focused on sustainability, so consider what will help your firm continue to grow and meet the needs of your clients in the years to come.
4.You’ll have more visibility online.
With growth comes responsibility, part of which is creating a well-designed website that attracts potential clients, answers their questions, and gives them an incentive to take action. But that’s assuming the client has made it to your website. Imagine the number of clients your firm could have if your website was in the top Google results.
The first position in Google search results carries a 35% click-through rate. (The average click-through rate in the legal industry is 1.35%.)
If your firm hasn’t already done so, you should implement an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy to get the most visibility online. Lawyers can’t be successful using the old tactics of print and television advertising. The internet has presided over the legal industry for years now, and a proper growth strategy isn’t complete without the data-based, analytical approach to growth through SEO.
Keep in mind that SEO, like a law firm strategic plan, is a long-term investment. You shouldn’t expect results to happen overnight, because they won’t. It could take months to see the results from a well-performed SEO campaign. Don’t let the timeline deter you – there are real, tangible benefits from utilizing SEO for law firm growth. Consider these statistics:
- 96% of people use a search engine to find legal services.
- 74% of people visit a law firm’s website to take action.
Some things you can do yourself to improve your law firm SEO, but crafting a competitive, unbeatable SEO strategy is much more effective with the help of a law firm SEO agency. EverSpark has helped dozens of law firms reach their goals and grow through research-backed, data-driven best SEO practices.
Talk to EverSpark today
Not only does EverSpark optimize law firm websites for the specific language recognized by each state’s bar association, but we understand which terms and phrases will generate the most traffic to your website. We’ve built our reputation as a leading law firm SEO agency through years of dedication to our clients and relentlessness in our desire to always improve and learn the newest practices in the world of SEO.
When your firm grows, people will notice. You can help people take action and hire your firm by meeting them at the beginning of their internet search. With the help of EverSpark Interactive, you can place your website right where you want potential clients to notice it. Contact EverSpark to schedule your free SEO audit and see why clients trust us to deliver real results.