Law firm growth and success can seem mysterious, with some practices effortlessly attracting new clients and expanding their reach while others struggle to gain traction. While experience and reputation certainly help attract potential clients gradually over time, ambitious law practices are seeking accelerated growth strategies to take their firms to the next level.
Enter Luis Scott, a legal marketing expert who has cracked the code on engineering rapid law firm growth. With his system, known as the Scott Formula, large or small law firms can transform their practices into thriving businesses with more clients, increased revenue, and an established online presence.
As we explore the Scott Formula in this article, we'll delve into the importance of law firm growth strategy and uncover the key factors behind successful growth in the legal industry. But before we continue, we recommend you listen to the podcast video below before you start reading.
Why Law Firms Should Invest in Growth Strategies
Law firms should invest in a growth strategy to avoid being left behind in the competitive legal industry. The pandemic has created new opportunities for growth, and firms that don't adapt will be left behind.
Average law firms invest 5-7% in growth - just enough to tread water. This complacency is a choice rooted in fear, not pragmatism. Average is just another word for left behind.
In such a cut-throat environment, a law firm's growth strategy is imperative to distinguish the firm from rivals and attract new business. Firms need to revisit their strategic planning to tweak or make new plans if necessary. Developing an intentional growth strategy ensures firms are well-positioned to maximize prospective opportunities and achieve sustainable long-term results. Core digital marketing components like SEO are important as they boost online visibility and lead more clients into the sales funnel through elevated search rankings over time.
Furthermore, a successful strategy identifies metrics to drive revenue generation through niche services tailored to client needs.
The Best Business Model: Don't Tell, Show Your Clients that You Care
Every lawyer's website boasts about their commitment to client care, but in a saturated market, it takes more than just words to stand out—the secret lies in going beyond mere statements and proving your dedication through actions.
For instance, Luis exemplified this when his personal injury client was in a car accident in Kansas City - though Luis practices in a different state, he immediately flew out to be there for his client during the difficult time. He ensured his client received the best around-the-clock support during recovery. Luis also took the initiative to contact his client's family to let them know their loved one was well cared for. His prompt, compassionate response during a crisis demonstrated a true commitment to client service.
As you refine your business model for your law firm's strategic plan, keep these four factors in mind:
- How value will be created for clients
- The resources you will need to generate that value
- The methods that will be used to secure financing
- How revenue will be generated
Setting the Right Strategy for Growing Your Law Practice
Luis Scott's success is a testament to the power of having the right strategy for growing a law practice. In just five years, he managed to grow his firm from 3.7 to 8 million dollars, outpacing the average growth for law firms by a significant margin. So, what's his secret? There are some key takeaways from his podcast interview that can help you grow your law practice.
1. Act Proactively and Deliver Premium Service
Luis emphasizes the importance of being proactive in serving clients. He believes constant contact with clients through calling, texting, and email is essential in providing premium service. Doing so can build trust and demonstrate your commitment to their success. If you want to charge premium prices, you must deliver premium service.
2. Hire People Like You
He also stresses the importance of hiring people who share your values and work ethic. Rather than trying to develop people like you, he suggests hiring people who are already like you. This approach allows you to build a strong team to help you achieve your goals more efficiently. Remember, people are the most expensive part of your business, so investing in the right people is crucial.
3. Develop a Scalable Business Model
He shares his eight-figure formula for growing a successful law practice. The first step is to develop a great product, whether a volume-based, flat fee, or billable product. You must clarify the product you want to sell and how it will distinguish you from other law firms.
The second step is to ensure you generate enough cash to support the business. Luis suggests combining smaller and bigger cases to generate cash flow immediately. He also recommends diversifying your practice areas to fund your marketing efforts. For instance, he took on family law, immigration, and criminal defense cases to fund his PI cases. By doing so, he generated $100,000 in revenue in the fifth month of implementing this strategy.
4. Balancing Introversion and Extraversion
Acknowledging that many legal professionals tend to be introverted, Scott recommends cultivating extraversion by giving clients time, attention, and genuine interest. Building strong interpersonal connections can help attorneys connect with clients more deeply and foster trust.
5. The Power of Marketing Investment
He highlights the importance of investing in marketing as it fuels the growth fire. Allocating resources to effective marketing strategies helps attract new clients and expand the firm's reach. Furthermore, track your marketing efforts and measure their effectiveness to ensure you get the desired results.
6. Think of How Many Resources You Need
Resource planning must be considered in all strategies for many law firms. Simply put, you won't be able to accomplish your growth objectives if you lack the necessary resources or fail to understand exactly what you need to achieve long-term growth.
Human resources must also be considered. You need people for both the planning and execution of your legal firm's growth strategy. Some other resources to consider include:
- Law firm business plan: A business plan is essential for strategic planning and includes a budget, marketing/Sales plan, and financial projections. For existing firms, it justifies growth investments.
- Legal hardware and software: Investing in legal tech gives a competitive advantage through automation, efficiency, and data-driven decision-making. Consider your specific challenges and needs, focusing on integrated tools for billing, time tracking, accounting, case management, contracts, collaboration, and device accessibility.
- Hiring extra staff for growth: To determine if extra staff are needed, conduct a SWOT analysis to identify deficits limiting growth goals. Expanding staff leverages networks to attract new lawyers and clients. Revisit goals and resources regularly.
7. Leverage the Power of Digital Marketing and Branding
It isn't enough to have a business. You need a brand. A brand makes your firm memorable and causes your target clients to associate your practice with certain values and traits. As you work to build your brand, it's important to be absolutely consistent.
Visual elements like your law firm logo are key to your brand. When they are consistent, that consistency increases recognition. Messaging is also important. Perhaps you want to be known for a practice that passionately defends people accused of crimes. You need to communicate that positioning at every turn.
Branding and digital marketing go hand in hand. Law firm marketing is one of the tools you use to communicate your brand. When you implement the right marketing strategy, your brand gets in front of your target audience.
Take advantage of:
- Content marketing: This involves creating relevant, discoverable legal content like articles, blogs, and social posts to establish expertise. Include keywords to improve SEO and reach. Authority content increases reputation, visibility, and the chances of people clicking on your content when searching.
- Social media marketing: For social media, research your target audience and competitors to understand where to focus efforts. Make professional social profiles with updated contact info and website links for a personal touch. Engage followers by asking for reviews to build a reputation. Content and feedback help attract more business leads organically.
8. Create a High-Performing Website
Your law firm website is the first point of contact between your legal business and a prospective client. It must provide an engaging, authoritative, and easy-to-use online experience they expect.
Invest in professional website design optimized for mobile. High-quality images and well-organized content keep visitors engaged, whereas poor design leads to bounce.
Ensure your legal services and key information are easy to discover. Intuitive navigation has a bigger impact on conversions than many realize. Maintain a conveniently accessible online presence through an optimized site that enhances your authority and drives new clients.
9. Find New Practice Areas
Expanding into new practice areas is an effective strategy for law firm growth. However, it does require careful planning and resources to do so successfully.
Rather than jumping into new fields haphazardly, firms would be wise to conduct a thorough gap analysis first. This means taking stock of your existing expertise and identifying any gaps - what specialized services are your clients regularly requesting that you don't currently offer? Getting direct client feedback is invaluable for highlighting opportunities.
From there, firms must realistically assess if they have the in-house resources and talent to develop those new practice areas themselves. If not, can those skills be acquired by bringing on lateral hires or partnering with other practices? This people investment is often necessary but shouldn't be underestimated.
To launch new practices smoothly, those pursuing this growth tactic also need to factor in the financial commitment often required for investment in training, systems, supplies, etc.
10. Billable Hours
Growing your attorney billable hours is one of the most important parts of your growth strategy. Whether you can tackle new projects for existing clients or expand your services, increasing your billable hours can greatly impact your bottom line.
Keep in mind that the various niches pay differently for the effort put in. Some forms of law are far more remunerative than others.
You might conclude that you need to get to $400 a billable hour to reach your goal.
How do you do that?
Look at those niches that will get you the most revenue per hour invested.
That's how you have to think when you're a CEO. What is the best and highest use of each hour?
This may not come naturally. As an attorney, you're probably used to thinking about your cases and your interest in a practice area, not necessarily the cost of delivering the service and how it impacts the bottom line.
You must get accustomed to being a CEO, not a lawyer, to build a business of law (hard and highly rewarding) rather than a practice of law (easy, but more of a job than business ownership).
11. Think of Outsourcing Legal Work
There may be circumstances where your practice needs professional assistance, but hiring a new employee is not the best approach. When this happens, legal work outsourcing is an ideal option.
This approach will allow you to contract assistance with administrative tasks that may be tedious, time-consuming, or not within your core area of expertise. The individual or agency you work with will be an extension of your practice. They will allow you to decrease the time you spend working on tasks that aren't productive and spend more time on high-value tasks.
When you outsource, your team members can better work to their talents. This setup increases efficiency and generates leads for positive business development outcomes.
12. Maintain Good Relationships with Your Clients
Luis Scott places immense value on building deep, long-lasting client relationships. Clients are not just individual cases but also people to support through litigation and life events. This personalized focus starts from the moment a potential client makes first contact. Ensure every inquiry, large or small, receives an immediate attentive response within 24 hours. No issue is too trivial when practicing law if it concerns the client.
Once retained, make yourself directly and easily accessible. Get to know your clients personally- learning about their families, passion, and work to understand motivations beyond the matter at hand. Clients feel truly heard and cared for as people.
Constant communication should be the norm as you proactively inform clients at each step of even the most complex cases. Furthermore, updates are not just reporting obligations but opportunities to provide reassurance and address concerns early.
When resolutions are reached, the relationship continues as you stay top-of-mind for clients' evolving needs. This longevity creates a cycle wherein satisfied clients feel empowered to refer new business to your law firm, strengthening your reputation network over decades in practice.
This client-first philosophy shows that prioritizing human connections on a deeper level feeds both prosperity and purpose in law. The approach keeps clients engaged as long-term partners and advocates.
Measuring Your Results
Many attorneys struggle to correctly calculate the return they receive when they invest in various business development activities. Thus, it's difficult for them to determine whether they are getting good results in the first place. If they are, they may be unable to align those positive returns with a specific activity.
Lawyers must adopt methods for measuring return on investment (ROI) that use money as a metric. This setup makes it much clearer as you try to discern what is paying off and what is not. When you can connect business development actions with revenue, you can focus on the efforts that are paying off and back away from the ones that are not.
When you can track your ROI figures as accurately as possible, you can increase your returns even further. Your firm will be at a great advantage compared to law offices that do not track these numbers. That's key to your business development success.
Use this approach to calculate ROI:
- Begin by adding the total investment (expense = cash outlay + cost to implement)
- Determine net savings (savings = savings - expense)
- Get your ROI (ROI = savings / investment)
This calculation can be applied to any action and over any period.
When Can You Outsource Law Firm Strategy?
The process of creating strategies for law offices is time-consuming and intense. It's also a necessary part of being able to make business decisions that allow you to grow your practice. If you operate a solo practice or have a small law firm, you may be unable to develop a strategy while serving your existing clients.
You may also feel you are struggling with the process if you don't have expert guidance. If this is the case, you may want to do what dozens of other lawyers have done and contract the services of an expert specializing in strategy development for people in the legal profession.
Think Big to Grow Big: Why Major Investment Is Key for Massive Law Firm Growth
Thinking small will only yield small results. As Luis Scott has proven, those seeking massive law firm growth must take a bold, investment-minded approach. Luis understood early that complacency was not an option in an evolving legal landscape of intensifying competition. Growth demands clear strategic planning and allocating funds judiciously to legal technology, marketing initiatives, and personnel.
If scaling your law firm at the caliber of Luis Scott intrigues you, partner with a professional agency like Grow Law Firm. Our integrated growth solutions, including PPC, SEO, and web design, provide the boost practices need to skyrocket. The choice is clear - aspire to more than "average" by strategizing and resourcing for greatness.
Or get a free copy by emailing Luis@eightfigurefirm.com and mention that you heard him on the Grow Law Firm podcast.