The great thing about a new year is that it feels like a fresh start and a brand new opportunity to put into place all of the habits and practices that will get you to where you want to be. When most people think of New Year’s resolutions, they think of personal goals such as going to the gym every day, cutting back on junk food, etc. While personal goals are great, as legal professionals, it’s just as important to use the New Year as a time to assess what goals you can be implementing to take your practice to the next level. So without further ado, here are 7 goals you should be making to have the biggest impact on your practice.
Put Yourself First
As you can see I started with a personal goal, but this is really the most important goal you should be making because if you do not commit to your own self-care, you are no good to your clients or your partners. Begin by implementing a morning routine to set the tone for your day. Take quiet time to pray and/or meditate, write in a journal about what you’re grateful for, do some form of exercise to get the blood and oxygen flowing through your body and eat a healthy breakfast. During the day, be sure to stay hydrated and keep healthy snacks by your desk. In the evening, unwind with a good book or whatever helps you relax and try to get at least 7 hours of sleep to get optimal rest.
Improve Your Online Presence
Lawyers are notoriously slow at adapting to new trends and this trend of becoming more social online is of no exception. Nevertheless, the social and digital age is not going anywhere soon, so it is really in your best interest to bite the bullet and adapt with the times. One of the first places to start is by revamping your website if it is outdated and if you do not have a website, by all means get it done ASAP. Secondly, update your LinkedIn profile and start connecting with others on there. You should also get a Facebook business page and Twitter page for your practice. Keep in mind that the goal isn’t to just set it up and then never post anything. Keep your followers engaged by sharing valuable content that is relevant to them and actually commenting on what they post. It’s not called “social” for nothing.
Learn to Delegate
Trying to be “Superwoman” or “Superman” and handling everything yourself is only holding you back from bringing in more revenue. You can only reasonably do so much in a day and can only be one place at a time. Take a good look at your practice to see where you can afford to give up some control to make your life a bit easier. Perhaps it’s getting a virtual or part-time assistant to cover the phones or do some administrative work. You could get a paralegal to make court-runs and do client intake for you. You could also get a freelance attorney to cover routine court appearances or assist you with a case to free up your time to tend to other revenue-generating matters.
Commit to Sending a Monthly E-Newsletter
Marketing is all about being top of mind. Stay top of mind of your former clients, potential referral sources and subscribers by sending a monthly e-newsletter. Newsletters also help you build trust and loyalty among your followers. You can share your thoughts and insights on a recent case development or a relevant topic that would be of interest. You can also use the newsletter to promote cases you’ve won, articles you’ve written and other updates about your practice.
Make Time to Network
Too many times, lawyers get bogged down with the day-to-day minutia of practicing law that they do not make time to connect with other lawyers and people in their target market. Networking isn’t only about going to the latest happy hour and bar association event, although it is a great idea to attend those as well. Networking is also about reaching out to former classmates and colleagues and keeping up with what’s going on with them. You can also commit to going to lunch or coffee with a new person you’ve met every week to expand your network.
Seek Out Speaking Engagements
One of the best ways to increase your visibility and promote your brand is to seek out speaking engagements on a topic that you’re knowledgeable and proficient in. You can pitch an idea as a seminar for a bar association or offer to speak at a conference for an audience that would be interested in your topic. Start thinking of different topics you could possibly speak on and begin developing the content for it. To take it a step further, create a speaker sheet, which is essentially a one-page sheet that outlines who you are, what topics you speak on and your credentials for doing so.
Blogging incorporates quite a few of the same benefits as the resolutions mentioned above. Having a blog on that newly revamped website you will be creating is a great way to demonstrate thought leadership and build trust with those that visit your site. You can also send your blog posts in that monthly newsletter to your subscribers to stay top of mind. Another benefit of blogging is that it helps build your brand because it is a great way to go viral and have your thoughts and opinions shared amongst the masses.
These are the 7 Resolutions you SHOULD be making to have the biggest impact on your practice. Have you already been implementing any of these? Can you think of anymore?