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How to Grow Your Legal Firm (By Selling More Online)

October 7, 2020

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We live in the era of convenience, we do everything online from ordering meals, cabs, and even our suits. We want things quickly and without sacrificing quality.  

So it's no surprise that clients are turning to the Internet to find their next lawyer.

Which is how do-it-yourself options like LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer have become successful. However, what’s lacking in these offerings is the oversight of a real lawyer with the full understanding of the nuance of law along with each client’s unique situation.

There is a way for clients to have the speed and convenience of an online option with the support of a lawyer: Start selling your legal services online, directly from your website.

Why should you bother?

When you open up an online storefront you’re opening your firm up to state/province-wide sales, breaking into brand-new markets.

And, with legaltech software you can combine client questionnaires and document automation to speed up the process, having clients start the process automatically with every matter!

We’ve been helping law firms set up their online stores and wanted to share some of our lessons learned.

Let’s get started.

1.  Set Up Your Digital Legal Storefront

The first and maybe the most daunting task is to actually set your storefront up. However, this can be accomplished relatively easily.

First, set up a dedicated page listing the services you’d like to offer online.

This should be a page branching out from your main website, as this is where the bulk of your traffic is already going. You can call this page “Services”, “Digital Solutions”, “Online Options”.

Here's how your firm could present their services:

Law firm using Rally to improve their services page
This firm lists their services on a self hosted page

Second, think about the user’s journey and make it as easy as possible to reach this new page.

This will depend on how much of a focus you’d like for this to be for your firm.

If it’s less of a focus you can include it as a simple link on your main page. If you would like this to be a higher priority you can tailor the 'Above the Fold' section on your landing page to lead visitors directly to this new page.

In this example, Brown & Associates want to direct users straight to their services page:

Law firms using Rally legal software to improve their websites

Think about how the website or page is working towards your goals and decide from there.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your page:

  1. Have a clear and pronounced Call-to-Action (CTA).
  2. Write headlines and body copy that has value to your audience. Ideally highlighting a pain-point or identifying a solution.
  3. Social proof is a powerful force, include logos of clients or associations that your audience knows. Add testimonials when possible.
  4. Above the fold will have the biggest impact on your site, make sure it's relevant and well laid out.

When you're travelling you always make sure to buy a map, right? Creating a seamless user journey helps guide your visitors to the right place on your website and ensure that they don't get lost along the way.

2.  Streamline Client Intake

Clients can now select a service directly from your website but how do we intake them and deal with conflict checks and KYC? You're going to need an intake form to gather information about the client and their matter, and a mechanism to review their information and send the client an engagement letter.

You could use Google Forms to create an intake form, linking this directly to your site. There are also legaltech tools, Rally included, that offer client questionnaires and a streamlined intake system that can enable you to automatically generate engagement letters.

Whichever way you choose to do this you'll want to ensure a consistent and repeatable process to ensure quality. A good way to think about this is to imagine your goals, if you expect to do a high volume of business online you'll want to invest in software. However if this is more of an auxiliary revenue source you can set up a Google Form quickly, easily, and for free.

3.  Make Sure You Can Accept Payments Online

You now have a storefront and can intake clients, great! Now, how are clients going to pay?

There are a few ways to do this, with easy, integratable software already existing  on the market. One of our favourite solutions is LawPay, you can integrate them directly with your site, allowing your clients to pay for services.

Which is why LawPay is now built-in to the Rally platform.

When you integrate a solution into your site, you’ll be able to seamlessly accept payment from anyone who orders services.

4.  Create a Digital Workspace for Your Law Firm

Can your clients currently access their files from a distance?

Business owners want to see their legal documents from the comfort of their home or office, no matter where that happens to be. This is a trend we’ve seen for a while now which is gaining even more popularity given the new social distancing norm.

Here are the top three things we see clients requesting:

  1. Ability to access files conveniently from their home or office
  2. Revision tracking
  3. An easy way to sign documents

A few of the most used options to share documents with clients would be Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or to use a legal technology platform. All can accomplish your goals, however it’s worth considering something made primarily for your use case.

If you’re investing in having a more digital client interface and attracting clients state-wide then legal technology platforms simplify your workflow, build automation directly into your process, and offer clients online portals. Allowing you to scale your practice.

Three things to keep in mind when looking for the right platform:

  1. Does this platform solve my law firms unique needs, such as internal/external collaboration, external collaboration, e-signing, and online payments?
  2. Does this make work easier? Many tools out there—including Rally—offer automation systems, saving your firm time in drafting routine documents.
  3. How secure is the software? This can be a show-stopper. If you aren’t certain about a platform’s security posture, you could be exposing yourself to major liability issues.

Find out how Rally is solving these six problems for lawyers and clients.

5.  Attract More Clients Online

There’s that old adage: “If you build it they will come”. But anyone who’s built something online knows that this never seems to be the case.

You’ll need to build up traffic to your website if you want to see results. But here’s the good news: we’re seeing lawyers gain surprising traction by advertising their services online.

A few of the most popular ways to do this are through paid ads, search engine optimisation (SEO), or social media.

How do you get started? You can find the marketing guru-of-the day promoting silver bullets. But what we’d say is: go with your strengths.

Are you a writer? Start a blog and share each post on your social media, use digital means to advertise, and enjoy the SEO benefits of writing great content.

Born to advertise? Would you prefer sipping cocktails dreaming of the best campaigns Mad Men style? Find out what the pain points of your clients are and build campaigns around solving those problems. Advertising solutions directly to your clients can prove very successful.

Prefer to stay social? If you would rather keep connected with your audience in bite-sized ways, solve a problem your clients are having with short-form content shared on your social media accounts. Help your clients, build rapport, and give them a way to easily connect.

The internet is a competitive place with so many companies and individuals making content. Do what you’re good at and do it well. This will bring more success than doing what gurus are saying is in vogue.

What will be important is finding the right channels. Where do your clients spend time?

Millennials? Think Instagram, Snapchat, or Medium. Baby boomers? Think Facebook or news sites. LinkedIn and email are cross-generational.

Promoting your firm and content on the right channels will be key to success. You can make and share the best content in the world, but if your clientele can’t see it, it will be fruitless.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. Our 5 ways to quickly get started selling your legal services online.

Here's a quick recap to get you started:

  1. Set up your online storefront. You can easily start this by making a new page on your site specifically for this purpose.
  2. Streamlining your client intake. Make sure your due diligence is taken care of with each new client, you can use legaltech or free forms online.
  3. Accept payments online. This is a quick and easy one but perhaps the most important. We highly recommend LawPay.
  4. Create your online workspace. If you're going to sell legal services online you need to collaborate with your clients online.
  5. Attract more clients through marketing your services. If you build it you'll want to promote it to make sure they come.

We know it can seem daunting but selling legal services online is likely the best way to grow your practice in 2020. With legal technology software like Rally you're able to solve all these problems with one clean solution.

Rally is here to help if you decide you want to leverage all-in-one software rather than going it alone.


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