How To Introduce And Market A New Practice Area

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Congratulations! You are adding a new legal practice area to your law firm! If you are considering expanding your law firm to include a new practice area, you are in a better position than you would be if you were starting from scratch. You already have an established client base and marketing plan. Law Quill can help you leverage your existing resources to help make a new legal practice area a success.  

Reasons Lawyers Start New Practice Areas

There are several reasons why a lawyer might change practice areas or expand their existing practice into new areas. Some common reasons for switching practice areas or adding new ones include: 

Navigating Economic Changes

Sometimes, a change in the economy may motivate a lawyer to switch up practice areas. For example, the mortgage delinquency rate rose to 53% during the housing crisis in the 2000s, according to TransUnion. By the end of 2009, more than 3.9 million foreclosure notices were issued to homeowners. The economic downturn increased the need for foreclosure and bankruptcy lawyers. Adding new practice areas can help recession-proof your business. 

Expanding Services for Existing Clients

You may have noticed that your existing clients may be able to benefit from a complementary practice area. There may be a market for additional services for your client base that you can take advantage of. Selling new services to existing clients may be more economical than trying to find new clients.

Following Your Passions

You may have started your legal career in one field, based on what job opportunities were available at the time, but you may not be passionate about that field any longer. After you have established yourself as a lawyer in the community, you may have reached the point in your career where you can pursue your personal passions through your work. You might find another practice area is more interesting and enjoyable. 

Making More Money

Sometimes expanding practice areas makes financial sense. You might be referring clients out to other lawyers who service other practice areas. By incorporating the practice area into your own firm, you can keep these client dollars yourself. Likewise, you may notice that other practice areas may allow for a higher billable rate or provide more overall compensation than other practice areas you are currently servicing. 

Overcoming Burnout

Lawyers are susceptible to burnout, sometimes at higher rates than other professionals. According to Bloomberg Law’s 2021 Lawyer Satisfaction survey, 52% of surveyed attorneys reported feeling burnout 52% of the time. Attorneys also grappled with a decline in well-being. If you are not happy in your current practice area, switching practice areas or adding a new one may help you avoid burnout or negativity. 

left: lawyer holding folio in front of desk, excited about starting new practice area; right: gavel resting on desk

How To Market a New Practice Area

Law Quill can help you devise a new marketing plan to help you make your new practice area a success. You might consider taking these steps if you are wondering how to change law practices and need to update your marketing plan:

Consider Your Existing Structure 

Because you are expanding your existing practice and not creating a new firm, you can take advantage of your existing structure. Consider your existing strategies and what has worked in the past. Think about how your existing marketing plan can be adapted to match your new targeted audience. You may be able to benefit from strategies related to your website, social media, networking, and advertising. You can also evaluate what competitors in your new practice area are doing, as well as gaps in their marketing plan.  

Create a Marketing Campaign 

Create a marketing campaign for each new law practice area. This marketing campaign should involve targeted audiences and tailored messaging. Just like a new law firm marketing campaign, a campaign for a new practice area may consist of printed materials, online content, and other information, including:

  • Educational materials that discuss the problems potential clients are facing and the solutions you can provide to them 
  • A summary of the services you plan to provide 
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • A list of your competitive advantages
  • Biographical information about you, your education, and your experience
  • Letters of recommendations or testimonials from clients
  • Articles you have written, law review entries, and other publications that have featured you

Implement Your Marketing Campaign 

Once you have a marketing campaign in place, you can begin distributing it through various channels, which may include:

  • Newsletters
  • Your firm’s website 
  • News releases
  • Advertising 
  • Direct mail 
  • Emails
  • Seminars

Strengthen Your Online Presence 

Along with any print publications you use to spread awareness of your new practice area, you will want to strengthen the information you have on your website to showcase the change of practice areas in which you provide services.

Steps for law firm online marketing for new practice areas may include:

1. Create a New Practice Area Page 

Create a new landing page that focuses on the new practice area. You might consider adding the following features to the page:

  • Relevant keywords
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about the practice area
  • An explanation for why you are qualified to handle these types of cases
  • Plain language that lay readers can understand 
  • Internal links to other pages on your website 
  • A tone that is matched to the specific practice area 
  • Title tags and meta tags that reflect your new practice area 

2. Update Your Google Business Profile

Update your Google Business profile to reflect your new practice area.

3. Update Your Social Media 

Update your social media channels to reflect your new practice area, including:

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

4. Make New Videos

Add new videos to your website and YouTube channel where you discuss topics involving the new practice area. 

5. Update Other Parts of Your Website

Your website should include the new practice area in other locations besides just its designated practice area page. Be sure other parts of the website, such as the About Us page, landing pages for similar practice areas, and your general practice areas page, reflect the new practice area. 

6. Add Your Name to Legal Directories 

Add a listing to legal directories about your new practice area. Because Google penalizes sites with duplicate information, make your listing more relevant by using a unique description of your practice area for each listing.

7. Create New Blog Entries

If you have an existing blog, add new pieces in which you discuss matters relevant to the new practice area. If you do not already have a blog, consider adding one, or working with a digital marketing agency that specializes in serving law firms. Blogs give you an opportunity to discuss relevant topics and regularly update your website so that Google recognizes you as an authority in the area. 

8. Ask for Testimonials

Ask satisfied clients in your existing practice area(s) to provide a review of your services. Potential clients will feel that you are more trustworthy when you have positive reviews. On the other hand, business listings with no reviews might be passed over. Getting positive reviews for your law firm can enhance not just your online visibility, but the relative confidence with which potential clients regard your services.

Announce Your New Practice Area

Make an official announcement about your new practice area. You can send out an email to existing clients and people on your newsletter list. You can also create a blog post about the new practice area and/or add a banner to the top of your website homepage. 

Network In Person

Whether you are switching practice areas in law or simply adding to your existing repertoire, you will want to start by updating your online footprint so that people who search for you can find you easily … and then proceed to networking for your law firm in person. You may be able to start by connecting with existing clients to whom you have provided complementary services. You can also network to the legal community, such as speaking at a CLE or conference for certain professionals. Attend events specific to your new practice area through your local bar association. You can also talk to other professionals in the industry, such as businesses if you are targeting an aspect of business law, realtors for real estate law, or doctors for disability law. Other lawyers in your new practice area may be able to give you tips, including details on opposing counsel or judges. 

Ask for Referrals

As part of your networking efforts, you can ask other lawyers to refer clients to you for services in your new practice area. You could also consider entering into a reciprocal referral agreement in which you refer clients to them in exchange for them referring clients to you. Be aware of Rules of Professional Conduct regarding disclosure of such arrangements and your duties when referring clients to others.

Cross-Market Your Services

Consider cross-marketing legal services within your own firm. For example, if another lawyer handles family law cases, they may refer clients to your real estate law practice if the clients are interested in purchasing a home after the divorce. You can also mention your new practice area to clients who mention they have another legal need than the one for which you have already provided services. If you recommend another attorney in your firm who handles a different practice area, that attorney might later return the favor. 

Find a Mentor 

A professional mentor in law may be able to provide additional insight into the specific practice area. A legal mentor can potentially give you advice about conducting business in the practice area. A trusted mentor can guide you through unique challenges you encounter. 

Make Your New Practice Area a Success With Law Quill

If you are considering entering a new practice area, let Law Quill assist you with developing a new marketing and SEO strategy. We can help develop a strategy that is designed for your particular practice area and situation, and that takes into account the personal goals and career ambitions that led you to add a new practice area in law. Consider scheduling a regular phone call or Zoom call at a time that is convenient for you or email us at support@lawquill.com to set up a free consultation. 

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