One of the biggest challenges for growing a legal practice is finding the time to build a reputation for excellence and maintain top of mind visiblity with former clients, referral sources and your professional network. How can lawyers with busy lives, demanding clients, challenging origination and aggressive billing targets build their practice?
The key to accelerated growth comes from the choices lawyers make about how they spend their time and money, and with whom they will spend it. Successful lawyers make a deliberate choice about their commitment to growing their practice and it is this commitment that provides the foundation for their accelerated growth.
You have more control than you think
Often clients will tell me they “don’t have the time” to contact previous clients, maintain a contact database, write blogs or meet with referral sources to learn about their practice. Their priority is to respond to urgent client issues and meet daily billing targets. It may seem like there are no choices and the thought of transforming a practice is beyond your control. However, you may have more control than you think. The first step is to realize that control comes partly from an awareness that we are constantly making choices.
A client of mine is a highly successful lawyer who I have had the privilege to work with for the last nine years. I have watched his practice grow from a new associate with no origination to a highly respected partner with a seven figure origination at one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. What did this lawyer do to achieve this level of success? As an associate he knew what he wanted to accomplish, he was passionate about his work and he made choices to put systems in place so he can focus on what matters most.
Clarity about what he wanted and why helped him to make the day to day choices that have resulted in the practice he has today, His choices included, taking on leadership roles in his law school alumni group and getting on boards that were aligned with his interests, speaking on topics related to his brand, leading training programs, initiating networking events with like minded professionals, establishing a presence on social media, maintaining consistent visibility with his former clients and putting systems in place for optimizing his time.
How does he find time to do all these activities, meet his challenging financial targets, serve clients and have a balanced life? He knows what he wants and has bought into the benefits of having a reputation as a top lawyer in his field. He made the decision to do the work and create the systems that will support him in building a rewarding and profitable practice.
What Matters Most?
Ask yourself, “What matters most to me? What would I really like to accomplish? The answer to these questions will act as a guide for making choices that are in alignment with your values, passion, and goals
My goal in writing this article is to remind you that you have the control to create a practice that is rewarding, improves the lives of your clients and is profitable. This control comes from making choices about how you spend your time and resources.
One strategy I have found helpful is to start each day asking the question, “What am I going to do today to close the gap between what I am doing and what matters to me?”
At the end of the day, ask yourself, “What have I done today that is consistent with this value? What do I need to do more of? Is there anything I have done that does not reflect this value?”
You will begin to see results by simply increasing your awareness of what is important to you and how you spend your time.