Whether you are fresh out of law school or just ready to strike out on your own and run a law firm your own way, starting your own law firm is a lot of work and a lot of long nights. However, most of those long nights probably won’t come from working cases, at least not at first. Instead, that hard work will most likely need to go into rounding up new clients for your law firm.

Even if you start your law firm in a small town, there is still probably competition, and in order to get that client flow going, you need to know how to attract them first.

Talking About Your Law Firm

Word of mouth is the oldest form of advertising, and still effective. For most lawyers who start their own law firm, their first clients will probably be brought in by referral from your friends and family. Everyone likes to say they know a lawyer when their friends are in need of one. It is a prestigious and noble profession, after all.

However, you can generate referrals yourself as well. All it takes is a conversation in a bar, at a seminar, or any other local meet and greet. Just be sure that talking about your law firm doesn’t turn into a series of free legal advice. Instead, focus more on what your firm can do for a person in need, leave your card, and urge them to call you in the morning to schedule a consultation.

Start a Blog on Your Website

These days no law firm can afford to not have a website. No one is looking for legal representation in the yellow pages anymore; they all head right to Google. However, it is not enough to just have a website; you want them to choose yours out of all the other local law firm websites. The best way to do this is to start a blog. Before looking for a lawyer, most people will Google their specific legal problem. If they read a blog about their problem on your site, they become more likely to become your clients.

However, legal advice given for free on your blog should, again, be limited. Instead, you may want to familiarize your visitors with the legal process as most people looking for a new lawyer are also new to the legal process. Consider highly searchable topics like “Steps to take After a Car Accident” or “How to Prepare for Divorce” with a call to action at the end to remind them that the article is on a local law firm’s website.

SEO and PPC Advertising

Having a blog on your law firm’s website can be a good way to land new clients, but only if local clients can find their way to your website first. There is a lot of competition for law articles as well as law firms on the internet. The best way to make sure those visitors that can actually translate to clients is to advertise your law firm. In this digital age, the most effective way to advertise is through search engine optimization (SEO)and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Unfortunately, this isn’t always something small law firms can do effectively on their own.

Instead of waiting for your law firm’s website to rank organically near the top on search engines, you can essentially run a paid campaign to rank at the top of Google. Furthermore, you can buy ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, and essentially any social media to make sure local potential clients are directed to your website or social media pages.

The best advice for small law firms is to hire a small SEO/PPC firm to handle this type of advertising. By hiring a small advertising firm, you know that they can appreciate your budget as a small law firm. Just like you know the rule of law, they know how to advertise effectively on the internet. As both small companies, you may even be helping them out as a new client, which can be a solid networking tool if they ever need a lawyer.

Seek Out Local Lawyer Communities

The beautiful thing about lawyers is that very few handle all areas of law. This makes it so lawyers can actually refer clients to one another based on specialties. If you started your law firm in an area where you have no or very few connections with other lawyers, seek out legal groups in the area such as the local Bar Association. By making connections with other lawyers, you set up the potential for a client swap.

If they handle family law, they can send any personal injury clients your way. This becomes more likely if you work that in reverse a few times first. As a small legal firm, you may think it is more prudent to handle a wider array of legal cases, but when it comes to landing more clients after opening a law firm, it is actually more prudent to specialize your legal focus and network with lawyers that represent clients in other specialized areas of the law.

In Summary

There are multiple ways to find clients both offline and online. Talking to family and family and letting them know what you do is one place to start. Blogging and online marketing is always something that is worth investing your time in. Writing a blog article lets you build know, like and trust with potential clients and people usually do business with those they trust. It’s a powerful way to get a steady stream of new inquiries online along with using SEO and Pay Per Click ads. Networking with other lawyer communities can also help you get client referrals. The best thing to do is to try all of the methods suggested here and see which ones bring you the most client leads.

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