Each year provides new opportunities for business growth. Small law firms can develop new strategies and find diverse resources to scale their business. Larger firms can streamline their operations to improve their bottom line.

When it comes to growing your law firm in 2021, primary areas of investment to consider are business development, legal technology, law firm marketing, lead loss prevention and client intake scaling. Let’s take a closer look at each aspect of an optimized growth strategy.

1. Business Development

Business development is an ongoing tactic practiced by successful law firms. It involves a variety of initiatives, goals, activities, and strategies aimed at improving the firm’s bottom line. Successful business development affects all departments, including marketing, accounting, and HR.

To succeed with business development, it’s imperative to research market opportunities, focus on client satisfaction, study the competition, and take full advantage of the existing firm’s resources.

For both large and small law practices, business development usually revolves around lead generation, marketing, and client retention.

Exploring new practice areas is also part of business development. It’s often possible to achieve this by using existing sources or through minimal hires.

Business development within a law practice is a team sport. It requires a focused effort from all departments. That’s why it’s imperative to create a business development plan with S.M.A.R.T. goals.

2. Integrate Legal Technologies

Digitalization is the key to successful operations for businesses across all industries. Legal firms aren’t an exception. To grow your law firm in 2021, you need to take a closer look at leveraging available technologies.

Automated solutions are helping law firms achieve success with lead generation, conversions, and client retention. Some technologies to consider next year are:

  • CRM (Client Relationship Management) System or CMS (Case Management Software)
  • A high-quality website with educational content
  • Encryption software
  • Automated intake forms
  • E-filing
  • Cloud solutions (to allow remote operation)
  • Artificial intelligence

It’s imperative to leverage technology to convert law firm leads without minimizing personalized interactions. For example, when optimizing legal intake, you can use technologies to create responsive contact forms but avoid using voicemail or chatbots.

3. Optimize Marketing

It’s impossible to grow your law firm without a good marketing strategy. Consider looking into low-cost marketing solutions or optimizing your existing tactics.

  • Invest in SEO — about 96% of people seeking legal advice use search engines. That’s why it’s essential to work on your SEO strategy. Many SEO efforts don’t require substantial financial investments. You simply need to spend time creating high-quality content.
  • Pay attention to social mediausing law firm social media to grow your client base is more straightforward than you may believe. With a variety of comprehensive tools offered by each platform, you can build an impressive presence and put your ads in front of the target audience.
  • Content marketing — high-quality content is the key to generating interest, nurturing leads, conversions, and retention. Optimizing inbound marketing for law firms starts with creating high-quality content. It can help with your SEO and paid search marketing efforts.
  • Referral programs — word-of-mouth marketing is a highly efficient tactic employed across all industries. 83% of Americans say that word-of-mouth influences their decision to use a service. By creating a referral program, you can turn your clients into brand ambassadors without making substantial investments.

Marketing optimization requires reviewing the current tactics and implementing new strategies according to the latest industry developments and clients’ needs.

4. Stop Losing Leads

If you want to grow your law firm, you can’t allow leads to slip through the cracks. Low conversion rates reduce your marketing ROI. You may not even know how many leads you are losing, blaming the marketing strategy for poor outcomes.

Start by figuring out if your law firm is losing too many leads to allow growth or scaling. By giving personal attention to each potential client, it’s possible to stop lead loss entirely. However, small law firms usually don’t have enough time to arrange proper client intake. They can optimize the intake process by outsourcing it to a legal call center.

5. Scale Client Intake

To grow your firm, you need to maximize your client base. By scaling client intake, you can scale conversions.

The most cost-effective way to scale client intake is to start working with a legal call center. By doing so, you can outsource the task to numerous intake specialists instead of hiring an in-house intake team.

Other ways law firms can scale client intake include investing in the right technologies and collaborating with other firms (for mass torts or class actions).

Take the Right Approach to Law Firm Growth in 2021

Growing your law firm in 2021 involves taking the right approach to business development, scaling client intake, optimizing marketing efforts, minimizing lead loss, and integrating new technologies.

None of these methods require a substantial investment. However, all of them are interdependent and need a consistent approach.