INDEPENDENT THINKING: BREAKING OUT-EXPANDING INTO A NEW PRACTICE AREA

September 11, 2012

Small Law Independent Thinking

 

In this series’s first and second posts, we identified your target client and your services.  We also defined client initiation points, created an engagement map, and examined our prospects state-of-mind, buying cycle, and information needs.

This, the final post of the series, helps you use that information to create a plan to get your practice off  and running

Set Goals

Now that you know who your prospects are, what they need, when they need it, and have some idea of where they go to find it, it’s time to define some goals. 

Taking the information gathered thus far, set annualized revenue and new client targets for your practice areaUsing your annualized goals, set targets by month.

Setting monthly targets is not as simple as dividing your annualized figures by 12.  Your practice will evolve in a curve, how steep or how flat that curve is depends upon several factors—the time you have available, the size of your prospect pool, your comfort level with “selling”, and the level of competition.  Chart both your revenue and client goals—hint, your revenue should lag your new client targets.

Ultimately, you’ll end up with something like this:

Charting both clients and revenue will help keep you from getting discouraged—in the early going even though you’re signing up new clients and putting money in a client-trust account, revenue recognition may not immediately occur.

Create an Engagement Plan

The details you noted in the list made at the end of post two should serve as your starting point to create a plan to find and engage your prospects.

In example, in considering potential family law clients, you noted that:

  • Clients with a an immediate family-violence problem have a sense of urgency so turn to the internet to locate an attorney
  • But clients that have the luxury of time to plan for their divorce take the time to field referrals from friends and family.

Use that information to formulate a strategy to get in front of prospects and introduce yourself and your services.  As noted above, you may need to focus on your website content and allocate budget to search-engine optimization.  You may also decide to network with adoption agencies and family counselors, or volunteer to teach single-parent or grandparent adoption rights at local support groups.  Tailor your plan to your budget and add activities as your new practice can support the cost.  Set weekly and monthly goals, and don’t forget to include follow-up activities!

Revisit these goals alongside your revenue and new client targets on a monthly basis.  Adjust your engagement plan based on your results, but don’t throw in the towel on any tactic too soon.

Don’t get discouraged! It takes time—possibly up to two years—to build a steady book of business, especially if you new to the profession.  Believe in yourself and be disciplined in your approach; You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve!

*Image courtsey of adamr/ Freedigitalphotos.net IMAGE TITLE / ID – Business People Handshaking/ 10088852