Out of office, not out of luck: How to keep your law firm running smoothly while you’re away

A lawyer wearing a suit and holding his phone and laptop while swimming in a pool

Many solo attorneys and lawyers at small law firms care deeply about their practices and their clients, and so tend to give much of themselves to their work. It’s easy to feel guilty about taking time away because they don’t think their practice can continue without them, even temporarily. You could miss a lucrative new client or an urgent matter.

It’s easy to see how it happens, but it doesn’t have to happen.

The general consensus is that taking some time off work is good for your well-being — a critical consideration lawyers are guilty of neglecting — and there are many digital legal marketing solutions that can help keep your practice running while you’re getting some much-needed R&R.

As we reach the waning days of summer, now’s a great time to look into a short getaway – and to consider the tools that can keep your practice humming while your out-of-office notice is on.

Call-answering and web chat services

The internet has made information available 24 hours a day, and that has proven to be a mixed blessing for small law firms and solo attorneys. On the one hand, it can be easier for a client to find you when their hiring need is urgent; on the other, it is unrealistic and unfair to think anyone can be available at any time of day or night.

The beauty of call-answering and web chat solutions is they make the prospective client feel responded to (which FindLaw surveys have shown is vital) and don’t require you to be available immediately. FindLaw’s call-answering and web-chat services are available in both English and Spanish, adding an extra layer of assurance that no matter who your client is or when he or she wants to get in touch with you, someone will be working on your behalf even when you’re not available.

Content marketing services

The best tools are those that do the work for you. Content marketing plans earn their results by generating appealing, informative copy and strategically placing it online where the kind of consumer you want is likely to find it, engage with it and reach out to you. Depending on which plan and vendor you choose, your individualized content marketing plan can do what it does best with only modest input from you at the outset. This could include blog entries about local law changes, events put on or sponsored by your firm, or any other updates you think are important. After that, you’re free to turn your attention to other things, like which cabin at a resort you should pick, while your content marketing plan comes to fruition on its own.

Pay-per-click campaign management

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is an attractive option for many law firms that are newer to digital legal marketing or have a limited budget because you only pay for the times when a user clicks on your ad, not the times a viewer sees it but takes no action. If your chosen vendor knows how to run a good PPC campaign, that campaign will do its work regardless of whether you’re online yourself. No lawyer wants to worry about the finer points of PPC, especially when it’s vacation time. The smart thing to do may be to hire someone to construct and execute a PPC plan for you so you can go on that road trip you’ve been thinking about.

Social media management

Online brand-building takes a long time, but the silver lining is you don’t have to be hands-on for all of it. Think of social media as building brick by brick. If you hire a vendor to manage your social media presence for you, that gradual elevation of your brand can expand and continue even at times when you aren’t actively participating. You shouldn’t disengage entirely, of course, but it’s absolutely fine to go on a phone-free long weekend without worrying your social media campaign will go off the rails without you.

If there’s one thing you should take from this post, it’s that you can – and should – take some time away from your desk. You’ll be a better lawyer, business professional, and person after some time to recharge, and you can trust digital legal marketing tools to drive the bus for a little bit while you’re out. If you’re planning a big trip, and want to make sure you’ve got everything you need, contact one of our local representatives today.

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