Written by Jake Frykberg, Senior Sales Executive at LEAP

There is a common misconception that being a good lawyer is all that you need to operate a successful law firm. Surely clients will come to me if I am good at what I do?

The reality is a little different. Now that is not to say that referrals or ‘word of mouth’ isn’t incredibly important, because it is. But if you don’t work on developing a different skill set to accompany your legal expertise, then your business will suffer.

If you are thinking of starting you own law firm this year, or if you are hoping to grow your law firm’s business, revenue and profits, then you should read on.

The following tips are designed to help you grow your business into the successful law firm that you want it to be.

Have a focused business development effort

Let me start by clarifying something for you; your law firm is a business that requires input and effort on your behalf for it to grow.

This article from ALPMA outlines seven marketing and business development musts for law firm prosperity in 2015, and is still every bit as relevant today.

Dedicating time and resources to finding new business is one of the most important—yet under-utilised—aspects of running a successful law firm. Whether you are putting aside funds for your digital marketing budget or investing in software that can help you bring in more work, you need to be actively working on bringing in more leads and converting these into opportunities.

We recently ran a webinar that focused on winning new business for small law firms which you can view here, and I would encourage you to start thinking about developing your plan to start incorporating these efforts into your business.

Differentiate your firm by improving the client experiences

Forbes outlines five key tips that you can use to transform your law firm’s client service, which you can implement as part of your business development strategy. Because it is all well and good to bring in more opportunities, but the key to success lies in how you differentiate your firm from your competition to ensure long-term client relationships.

If your client has a very positive experience when dealing with you over the course of their matter, then they are more likely to refer you to a friend or colleague, as well as return for repeat business. And this is all about developing a relationship with your clients that fosters trust and allows you to deliver a service that will leave them satisfied and wanting to return to your firm when they need further advice.

You can view more tips on improving the client experience at our webinar on demand, featuring Garth Brown, from Brown & Brown Conveyancers.

Convert more leads into business to become more profitable

Once you have your business development plan up and running and you are starting to receive enquiries from digital advertising and referrals, your hard work to date will be for nothing if you cannot turn these leads into actual business that will increase your revenue and profitability.

A practical guide that we often refer to is the Financial Times Guide to Business Development: How to Win Profitable Customers and Clients by Professor Ian Cooper. He is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading advisors specialising in business development and marketing within the legal and professional services sector.