A Comprehensive Guide to Starting a Law Firm That Specializes in Estate Planning
As more than 60% of Americans still haven't worked out the details of their will, the market for estate planning is massive. The only major challenge to starting a law firm is then to convince clients of the value of your services. If you're looking to start a firm specializing in estate planning, you're in for an exciting career ahead of you.
Here are five steps to starting a firm that specializes in estate planning.
1. Find Experienced Talent
While there's an art to getting clients through the door, your efforts could be for nothing if you don't have anything to offer clients once they're there. You need talent to help walk clients through the process of planning their estate and trusting that the work that you're doing is in their interest. Talent doesn't grow on trees so you'll have to develop your talent.
Nothing is better than learning from people who have been practicing estate planning for over 2 decades. In the Beyond Counsel Expert series you will be learning from the attorneys who understand what is required to help your clients.
2. Assess Your Market
Any small business operates within the context of a localized economy and you're no different. if you're in an affluent neighborhood, you might have a lot of opportunity for finding clients but might also be competing with lots of other firms. If you're located in a smaller working-class suburb, you could find yourself having to charge less but have a wide open market.
Getting to know your neighbors is a way to also promote your business. As you get out and meet people at community events, carry some of your business cards with you.
You should team up with other financial services experts in your area. Planning for what to do with a valuable estate is part of planning for the retirement or planning for the future. Finding some local financial services firms to team up with could allow you to help refer clients to one another.
If you're in a competitive market, this could give you a major leg up.
3. Create a Blog
As mobile browsing has wildly surpassed desktop browsing, many of your potential clients will find out about your firm while browsing from their phone. They might start their search for an estate planning attorney with a few questions typed into a search engine. They might ask simple questions like "do I need an estate planning attorney?"
They need someone to guide them and you could be that someone. Building up your presence online is a big part of starting a firm in this interconnected era.
When people search online, they're either looking for a specific service or the answer to a question. When you start a blog, you can serve both needs, answering questions that your clients have with your own services as the solution.
Starting an estate planning law firm might seem like a niche until you start to see how many legal blogs about this issue are online. To ensure you capture your local market, add terms referring to your city, your neighborhood, or nearby landmarks. That way you'll come up when questions originate from in your neck of the woods.
4. Create An Online Business Profile
Another part of starting a law firm now is to build up your online business profile. Whether you're on social media, business directories, or buying ad space on local websites, you need to appear in local search results.
If you've already served some clients, you could have results pop up in business directories already. If people have reviewed you, they might have spelled your name wrong, entered your phone number incorrectly, or mischaracterized your services.
You need to claim your business profiles so that you can ensure that reviews for "Smith and Associates" don't get misdirected to "Schmitt and Associates." Small spelling errors can result in serious online review fumbles and as more than 80% of people trust online reviews more than friends, it matters a lot.
Engage with your audience on social media but be sure to respect their boundaries. Share stories of estate planning success or failure so that people can understand the value of the work you do.
5. Promote Nonstop
Once you're up and running, you need to promote your business nonstop. Use social media to describe why people need to plan their estate. Buy ads on local news stories relevant to the services you offer.
Whether you're buying ads or networking with groups, your name needs to be out there. You need to tell people what you offer, why it matters, and how it can benefit their life.
Starting a law firm, opening an office, hiring the right people, and making yourself available online is important, but you can't forget about the promotion ahead.
Starting a Law Firm is An Exciting Challenge
If you're interested in starting a law firm specializing in estate planning, you're in for an exciting career ahead. Estate planning is an important and underutilized element of financial planning that most people can use. Once you've started a law firm, you can hunt for clients to ensure that you can serve your community with something they desperately need.
To ensure you're meeting your clients' expectations, follow our guide for proper estate planning.