Independent Thinking: Tips for Balancing the Practice of Law Along with Marketing Your Firm

July 24, 2014

Independent Thinking 2Lately you may have felt like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Practicing law and marketing your firm seem to be two full-time jobs in themselves; juggling both tasks has made you realize how very important it is that you spend your time wisely. Marketing your firm in today’s legal market is essential; according to a FindLaw survey, the Internet is now the dominant source of information that consumers use to seek out legal help and expertise. You  may be feeling torn when it comes to spending time on the practice of law or dedicating time to marketing your firm. Here are a few tips to help you better manage your time and help you discover a happy medium.

1. Establish your priorities and goals. According to Success Magazine, “The most successful people are those who carefully identify their priorities and use them as a basis for making decisions, preventing problems, facing and resolving challenges, and planning the day’s activities.” Narrowing down your primary objectives will make it easier for you to set goals and imagine where you want to be in five years.

Is having a strong online presence important to your practice? Make it a goal to post X number of blog posts and X number of posts on various social media platforms within X amount of time.

2. Allocate your time. As a lawyer, you know how crucial it is to have good time management skills. Once you establish what your goals are, figure out how and where you should be spending your time. You may find that you want to spend less time on certain tasks if they don’t play a significant role in helping you attain your goals. On the other hand, if a task like marketing your firm is something you enjoy and it contributes to your long-term plan, dedicate a fairly large percentage of your time doing so. You should spend the most time on the tasks that support your long-term plans and maximize the return on investment (ROI).

3. Set and meet deadlines. More often than not, you tend to be productive when you’re on a time table.  Creating deadlines for yourself gives you a sense of how much time you have to complete a certain task and more importantly, steers you away from procrastinating. Make sure to set realistic, attainable deadlines to stay motivated and so you can reward yourself when you meet them.

4. Be open to change: utilize and embrace technology. Of the tasks you do, which should you spend less time on? As the legal market continues to evolve, technology does as well. Improvement can be possible through practice technology- which allows you to accomplish tasks in a shorter amount of time. Practice technology can, for example, help you spend less time drafting legal documents which leaves you more time for strategizing. You may find you have much more time to focus on what you really want to do- whether that be updating your blog or communicating and answering questions for clients.

5. Where should you bring in a complementary professional? IT support, accounting, and marketing are common- and often smart- areas for working with an outside person or company that can get to know your business. Let’s consider marketing: a benefit of working with a marketing professional may be that it would allow you to dedicate more time to the practice of law. On the flip side, if marketing your firm or brand is something you truly enjoy, you may be able to leverage the marketing professional’s expertise in areas such as social engagement, integrated marketing and Search Engine Optimization. Regardless, a professional could help you remain competitive and relevant in the changing legal market.