Bringing balance back: How small law firms and solo attorneys can keep the scales level

Large law firms have staff dedicated to the sorts of tasks that aren’t practicing law, but are necessary to running a business. Smaller law firms and solo attorneys aren’t so lucky.

If you’re trying to give clients your all and keep your business running smoothly, you’re at very real risk for burnout, to say nothing of stress, anxiety and diminished job fulfillment. None of those things are good for attorney well-being.

In the interest of helping you maintain the delicate balance between practicing law and taking care of business (literally and figuratively), here are four tips to try.

Analytics are the answer

If your law firm has implemented a digital marketing strategy, a monthly performance report should be your best friend. This report should show you things like social media engagement, website visits and instances of visitors using your click-to-call feature. With the first report, you may think “What am I looking at here?” but thereafter, you should be able to quickly come to a sense of which of your tactics are working and which might need to be retooled without having to dig or go into fine-grained detail. 

Your opinion on subjective things like visual appeal matter, of course, and it’s good to check in on what’s happening every once in a while—digital marketing isn’t a “set it and forget it” affair. That being said, using an analytics report in the right way should help make sure your digital marketing strategy consume no more of your time and effort than necessary.

Outsource where appropriate

On the topic of digital marketing, there’s no reason you have to do it all yourself. There are many legal marketing or digital marketing vendors who can handle it on your behalf. This applies to other areas of running a business, too, of course, from accounting to office services to billing. It may be tough to justify the expense, but remember that your time—and your well-being—are very valuable, too. If outsourcing a portion of running your business reduces your stress or helps you focus and do a better job in your practice, it’s worth it.

Set aside time

One thing many attorneys at small law firms or in solo practice struggle with is the feeling that day-to-day matters often interrupt legal work. One strategy to try here is to set aside a certain time each week or month and designate it for handling issues that aren’t related to your practice. It will never work perfectly, because pressing matters that need your immediate attention are inevitable, but it doesn’t need to. If you can mostly corral non-legal work into its own timeframe, that may be good enough.

Put a premium on perspective 

It’s easy to lose sight of an end goal. If you’re starting to feel like you’re burning the candle at both ends, try to clear some mental space and think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Everything you’re doing is important if it’s in service of helping your law firm keep going, but some things are more important than others. Even something as simple as jotting down a to-do list and then re-ordering it by priority might ease your mind, which surely would be welcome.

For more information on navigating the waters of running a small law firm check out some of our latest client reviews. This is a great place to learn how FindLaw’s law firm marketing solutions are helping attorneys grow and thrive.

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