Develop and Implement Real Management Practices
The article "The Best Advice on How to Prepare for a Legal Services Revolution, (Law Society Gazette), states that the goal is to "identify a strategy that maximizes [their] chances of success, whatever the future holds." This requires deciding which part of the market you want to succeed in and, given where you are, determining what you need to do to get there. It includes all the elements of a full business-plan assessment focused on your strengths, weaknesses, your market and competition. It requires a customer-focused mind-set. Without this process, you will not be able to do the rest. Do this yourself, hire a consultant, but get it done (and read the article!).
Notice I did not say "social media marketing." Because although it is done through the use of social media, it is marketing by creating a professional online presence that reflects the desire to educate both yourself and your clients. It is accomplished by engaging, connecting and adding value. There are two components to this type of marketing: a)Blogging: The value of blogging regularly cannot be overstated. It is where all three goals of this new strategy come together: value, innovation and technology; b)Use of Social Networks: Yes, you must be on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. They each serve a different function, and work in conjunction with your blog to bolster your online presence. For lawyers, there are also several must-participate sites: JDSupra, Justia, Martindale-Hubbell Connected and Avvo are among the most prominent.
Using a Virtual Practice Platform
There are many choices of how, and to what degree, to use web 2.0 services to take advantage of the time and cost saving benefits of this expanding business model. In The Virtual Law Office:Not Your Father's Cloud, I discuss how I function virtually, but the choices are many and varied. Investigate them all to decide what you are comfortable with, and how each choice best serves you and your clients.
Every thought leader in the industry agrees hourly fee structures are going, going, gone for good, and value-based pricing and other models are quickly being developed and implemented by firms large and small. You must begin to incorporate variable fee structures into your practice.
Using Free Online Resources
From research tools to trial-preparation applications, free web-based resources are available to you as cost and time-saving devices. Take advantage of them to help take the stress out of your work and budget.