With the virtualization of business becoming more prevalent in this day and age, NLBM is often asked if it is possible to build a thriving virtual law practice without a consistent brick and mortar location.
The answer is a definite yes. However, there are specific things you will need to do for your virtual law practice to be successful and create the best possible experience for yourself, and for your clients. A number of our member lawyers have built thriving, lucrative virtual law practices and now have the flexibility in their schedule that allows them to pursue their dreams, whether they be starting a family, being a present parent for their children, traveling, writing books, volunteering in their community, or all of the above…
Here are 6 tips from these experienced virtual lawyers that will help you best manage your virtual law practice:
1. Be physically present in your community
Having a virtual law practice does not mean hiding out behind your computer. Instead, it means you want to make your physical presence well known through intentional networking, direct mail, and advertising so the community gets to know you, even though you don’t have an office. With a virtual practice, being present in your community will help you to establish your credibility and build the ‘know, like, and trust’ factor that inspires people to want to do business with you.
2. Make sure your communication skills are on point
To engage people virtually, you need to be even more connected with your prospects and clients than you might otherwise, which means honing your ability to listen, reflect what you hear, and ask a lot of questions. If you do not already have these skills, it’s time to learn them. And, if you do have them, it is time to improve upon them. First-rate communication skills are an essential component to building trust, ensuring that you fully understand your client’s needs, and being able to establish a relationship with your clients that earns you their repeat business, and their enthusiastic referrals.
3. Systems are critical to building an efficient virtual law practice
You’ll need to create comprehensive online systems so that your virtual clients know they can rely on you, even though they are not meeting you in person. For example, NLBM has white labeled a cutting edge software program for our lawyers that automates client intake and gathers all of their clients’ assets online. In addition to being able to serve more clients in less time, the automation of these processes allows clients to go through the process seamlessly, instilling confidence in the services for which they are paying.
4. Make the experience personal
Alongside automating many processes in your law practice, you will still want to provide your prospects and clients with a personal touch, and it’s a great idea to include some in-person time as part of their experience. One possibility to accomplish this is to have a Client Services Director that will meet with prospects in person first and then schedule your meetings with them virtually via video conferencing. Doing this would allow you to be location independent, but still be providing in-person time with your prospects and clients.
5. Have a good network of collaborators and co-counsel
Working primarily online can be isolating! Be sure to have a great online group of peer lawyers available for mentoring and support. Easy access to those who can help you through the challenging times makes all the difference when the going gets tough. NLBM has a solid network of lawyers with virtual practices in the New Law Business Model community forum, in which our lawyer members are able to effortlessly collaborate, support, encourage, and inspire one another as they build and grow their law practices.
6. Hire someone who understands online marketing
To have a truly successful virtual law practice, you’ll likely want to run online webinars to offer your services. And then, of course, follow up, follow up, follow up with automated systems + a weekly email newsletter. Hiring someone who can support you in managing the technical aspects of marketing your legal services will undoubtedly help grow your virtual law practice in a healthy way and ensure you have more time to focus on providing valuable legal services.
It IS possible to build a lucrative virtual law practice that works for you & your clients
Running a virtual law practice can give you maximum flexibility while allowing you to provide your clients with exceptional service — but do not think it means doing less unless you’re willing to invest in creating systems that will support your success.
If you are ready to create the virtual law practice that will give you the freedom and flexibility to live your life on your terms, schedule an appointment to speak with one of our advisors today. We’d love to help you discover how to get from where you are, to everywhere you’d like to go.