How did you do last year? Many law firms are reporting that their incomes in 2010 were lower than in previous years (many said the same about 2009), which is the reason so many firms have become so focused on cutting costs. What is the situation at your firm?
As we go into the new year, an important question to think about is how to increase law firm revenue over the next twelve months. Too many attorneys are so focused on the practice of law that they pay no attention to the business of law. But if you want your 2011 income to be higher than what you earned in 2010, you have to put together a plan on how to achieve that goal.
Some of the ways you can increase your income include:
- Better time management. Have you considered how much time you waste every day? Do you have a time management plan? The less time you waste, the more profitable your day can be. Read Three Essential Tips for Effective Lawyer Time Management to get a start on getting your work day under control.
- Become the Local Expert. Becoming known as the expert in your field, at least in your local community, is one of the best ways to expand your client base. After all, who wouldn't want their case handled by the lawyer at the top of his field? But people don't necessarily make hiring decisions based on who is the best lawyer, but rather on who they perceive to be the best lawyer. Learn how to improve the public perception of your practice by reading Four Steps to Becoming the Recognized Expert in Your Legal Specialty.
- Work the Media. How good are you at dealing with the local news media? Do you know how to give a quotable quote? Do you even know how to get a reporter to ask for your opinion? Read How to Become a Media Source for Local News Articles and Gain Free Publicity for Your Law Practice.
- Start a Law Firm Newsletter. How do you keep your name in front of potential clients and referral sources? Have you considered a law firm newsletter? Read Six Tips for Creating an Effective Law Firm Newsletter. To learn how to take your newsletter onto the internet, read How to Create a Digital Edition of a Law Firm Newsletter.
- Start or Improve Your Law Firm Website. The internet has displaced traditional forms of advertising like phone book ads, to the point that the real grounds for competing for clients has moved online. What are you doing to draw clients in from the internet? For starters, you need to build a website that is tightly focused around your area of law practice, using the same keywords that a person would use if they were looking for information about a legal problem that falls within your scope of practice. Think about questions people ask in your office, and answer those questions on your website. And while putting together a good website, avoid making the following Top 10 Lawyer Website Mistakes.
- Sign Up for Our Newsletter. Want to stay up to date on the latest articles we post on Law Practice Management? Join our email list to get our newsletter by email each Monday. Enter your email address in the box on the upper right side of this page to sign up today.
What are your thoughts on the best ways to increase law firm income in 2011? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, or join a conversation in our Forum. Have a happy and prosperous new year!