4 pitfalls to avoid when marketing your solo law firm

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Pitfalls — the word may conjure up hidden traps like Indiana Jones falling into a well of snakes. Marketing pitfalls for your solo law firm may not be as cinematic, but they can be equally venomous to your business success. The real danger of pitfalls is that they are unseen. But by facing these challenges head-on, you can turn them into opportunities to grow your client base.

Here are some common marketing hazards solo law firms face and what you can do to avoid them.

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1. Low-effort website design

2. Overlooking the importance of reviews

3. Poor lead tracking

4. Trying to do it all yourself


1. Low-effort website design

Your web presence is more than just the look and feel of your homepage. The entire design of your website can have a substantial impact on a user’s impression of your firm. The colors, fonts, and images you choose can either attract or deter potential legal clients, so make sure they align with your firm’s unique identity and resonate with your target audience.

In addition, you want to optimize your website to be mobile-friendly. Your website must automatically scale to a smaller screen, have design elements that work regardless of the platform, and have features like a click-to-call function. A well-designed, mobile-friendly website can:

A mobile-friendly website is no longer a nice-to-have feature — it’s a must-have for successful firms.

2. Overlooking the importance of reviews

When engaging with an attorney, people want to know they’re working with someone who has handled their kind of case before, with expertise and compassion. Online reviews show a potential client what it’s been like for other people to work with you.

Some attorneys are wary of publishing reviews because they can feel beyond the firm’s control. But studies have found that 97% of people read online reviews as part of their buying process. You may think only 5-star reviews are good for your reputation, but 4- and 3-star reviews can be just as helpful (and more believable.) And a poor review? They’re uncommon, but negative reviews can create powerful opportunities to demonstrate how you take care of a disgruntled client and go out of your way to be fair in accommodating a complaint. It’s even better when that client adds a follow-up comment to show your efforts to work through their issue.

The best way to get a good review? Ask for it. For the most meaningful results and to guard your firm’s integrity, asking for a review the right way is important.

3. Poor lead tracking

According to FindLaw’s 2023 U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey, nearly 50% of survey respondents stated not being able to reach an attorney on the first try or not hearing back quickly enough as reasons why they contacted more than one attorney. That’s lost business.

But you’re only one person, and response time can be tricky. Consider auto-replies to phone calls or emails to let potential clients know when you’ll get back to them. Your message can be as simple as, “Thank you for your inquiry. I return all contacts within 24 hours. Please respond with the best times and method (email, text, phone call) to contact you.”

By giving inquiries a window of time (24 hours or whatever suits your firm), you’re relieving their anxiety and lessening the likelihood that they’ll look to another firm before that time expires. By requesting their best contact method, you’re meeting them on their terms, a move that says you care about their schedules and preferences.

Then it’s all about follow-through. If keeping your auto-reply promise proves difficult, consider web chat and call-answering services. These always-on, personalized services can convert opportunities you’d otherwise never see. Remember that legal consumers often select the first law firm they speak with. By not responding quickly enough, you could be costing yourself clients.

4. Trying to do it all yourself

Solo attorneys are fine-tuned to accomplish a variety of responsibilities with limited resources. But no matter how much talent and skill you have, there’s one thing that you can’t do: make more hours available in a 24-hour day. There are, however, some parts of running your solo law firm that you can delegate, allowing you to focus on more important aspects of your business.

Integrated marketing may not be your forte, so you could work with one of FindLaw’s experienced digital legal marketing experts to handle the heavy work. With an extra set of hands, you can focus your attention on legal matters (and maybe extra time at home).

As your one-stop provider to market your law firm, FindLaw is here to help deliver more of what matters to you. Request your free quote today and learn how we can help your firm grow.

Solo attorney guide: How to get more of the right clients

Seasoned FindLaw consultant Mike Brown offers advice on how solo attorneys can win more business.

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