With so much business being conducted virtually these days, we are often asked if it is possible to open up a law practice without a consistent brick and mortar location.
The answer is a definite yes. However, there are certain steps required in order for your virtual practice to be successful.
A number of our member lawyers have opened up virtual law practices. Here are some helpful tips from them to ensure you succeed in this endeavor:
1) Be physically present in your community
Having a virtual practice does not mean hiding out behind your computer. Instead, it means you want to make your physical presence extremely well known through intentional networking, and even using direct mail + advertising so the community gets to know you, even though you don’t have an office. With a virtual practice, you want to use the ‘know, like, and trust’ factor even more to establish your credibility.
2) Is your personality type well suited to engaging people virtually?
To engage people virtually, you need to be even more connected with your prospects and clients, which means honing your ability to listen, reflect back what you hear, and ask a lot of questions. If you do not already have these skills, it’s time to learn them. And, if you do have them, it’s time to improve upon them.
And, you’ll need to create really great online systems so that your virtual clients know they can rely on you, even though they are not meeting you in person. For example, we just white labeled a cutting-edge software program for our lawyers that will automate all client intake, and gather all of their clients’ assets online. This will show their clients that virtual is better, not worse.
3) Have your Client Services Director meet with prospects in person
Another option to consider is to have your Client Services Director meet with prospects in person first and then schedule your own meetings with them virtually. This is an option that allows you to be location independent, but still have someone providing personal face time with prospects coming into the office in person.
4) Have a good network of collaborators and co-counsel
Working primarily online can be isolating! Be sure to have a great online group of peer lawyers available for mentoring and support. Easy access to those who can help us through the challenging times makes all the difference when the going gets tough. We have a virtual practice group forming as part of New Law Business Model.
5) Hire someone who understands online marketing
To have a truly successful virtual practice, you’ll likely want to run online webinars to offer your services. And then, of course, follow up, follow up, follow up with automated systems + a weekly email newsletter.
In today’s day and age, a virtual practice can give you maximum flexibility while allowing you to serve your clients at an even higher level but do not think it means doing less unless you’re willing to make the investment in creating systems to support you.