It’s no secret that January is the beginning of “divorce season.” While this isn’t the happiest topic for most, if you’re a divorce or family law lawyer, it’s the start of your busy season. Entering the first quarter – which starts with couples contacting lawyers to start researching in January, and ends with the peak of actual filings in March – will likely make or break your ability to meet financial goals in 2017. If you’re still feeling unprepared, here’s how to get ready, fast:
Make Sure Your Staff Is Ready
As with any industry that has seasons, it’s important that not only are you ready, but your staff is as well.
From schedules and roles among your staff so that everyone knows what happens if someone calls in sick or needs guidance. Have a paralegal who is especially knowledgeable? Have them serve as your right hand, and provide answers to other support staff when you’re overwhelmed. Make sure your legal secretaries and investigators are clear on expectations, and that those expectations are realistic. Not sure how to get all of your needs fulfilled without burning out your staff? If you’re working on a skeleton crew, consider expanding – or hiring temporary help. Exhausted workers will be prone to errors, or even snapping at clients’ requests.
Amp Up Your Marketing
The first step is to make sure that potential clients can find you easily. By definitely, they’re distracted and emotional – which means they’re unlikely to spend a lot of time searching. Make it easy for them!
Because of the emotional nature of their need, it’s likely that your clients will want to meet with you in person. Focus on your immediate and surrounding locations for the bulk of your marketing effort. However, don’t shy away completely from advertising remote or virtual services – many, especially younger clients or those who are looking for the lowest rates, will be willing to discuss their issues over video conferencing services.
Lastly, make sure your marketing is direct. Your leads are not only distraught, but likely at least somewhat embarrassed or ashamed. Don’t make them do any more work than absolutely necessary to understand what services you offer. This means using headlines like “Life is too short to be stuck in a bad marriage” and “Divorce Attorney Serving the Los Angeles Area.”
Condense Your Intake Forms
Divorce clients just want to get everything over with – so let them. Condense your intake forms by getting rid of any information that isn’t required to start the process (work it into paperwork they fill out later) and make sure your contact information is prominently displayed on your website.
The general idea is to make the entire situation as easy as possible for the client, which means they’ll be the most likely to follow through instead of balk just at the signup process.
If you’re a family law or divorce lawyer, January is only the beginning of your busy season – make sure you keep tabs on how your teammates are doing, or risk having details fall through the cracks.