5 Time-Management Tips for Solo Lawyers
Being a solo lawyer means that you wear many hats. You're not just responsible for your own success, but also the success of your business.
As long as you can handle that pressure, you'll be able to manage your time effectively and efficiently so that it doesn't get in the way of meeting your professional goals. Here are five tips for managing your time as a solo lawyer.
1. Solo Lawyers Should Take Advantage of Technology
Time Tracking Tools – You can create a system that automates routine tasks and schedules your time. There are dozens of software tools that can help you do this, such as Toggl, Harvest, or the free e-clocks built into Google Calendar. These time tracking tools let you know how much time each task takes so that when you bid on new cases, your estimates will be more accurate.
CRM – It’s also helpful to have one central place where clients can log in to view their case documents and correspondence with you. With a client relationship management tool like Clio or Mattermark Professional, you can manage all your client information in one place. These project management tools help ensure that every project gets done on time and within budget, whether it's writing an opinion for court or preparing an application for court fees.
Cloud Storage – Services like Dropbox make sharing files between multiple devices easy. However, if security is important to you then consider using Google Drive instead because it offers stronger encryption than Dropbox does.
2. Freeing Yourself From the Phone for Successful Time Management
You don't have to answer the phone! That's a difficult truth for a lot of solo lawyers who are used to being at their desk, taking every call and answering every email. But if you're working remotely, there is absolutely no reason why you should be chained to your desk during business hours.
You should be able to set your own schedule and work when it's convenient for you. And yes, that can mean weekends off and leaving the office at 5 p.m. even though everyone else is working late.
You can take control of when and how people get in touch with you by setting up call forwarding on your main line so calls go directly to voicemail or an alternative number like a cell phone when they come in.
Do this by simply typing *72 after dialing into your office number. Your phone will ring once for each incoming call but then transfer automatically without ringing again afterwards.
Alternatively, you may want to save time but also give your clients a personal touch. An answering service reduces the number of voicemails left on your phone and also means a human voice is answering calls and taking messages during off hours when you're not available.
You can create a script for the call center reps to read that offers relevant information and promotes your practice. You can also personalize messages by giving callers a reason for why you're unavailable, for instance, letting them know that you're currently in court on another case.
You'll save time, and callers will appreciate being able to talk to a real person making it more likely they convert into paying clients.
3. The Hardest Tip of All – Delegating Tasks as a Time Management Tool
Many solo attorneys think delegating is a dirty word, but it's a key component of time management and often the first step in getting your practice off the ground.
Delegation isn't about just dumping your workload on other people. It's about trusting that those around you are capable of handling tasks independently and giving them the opportunity to do so.
This could include delegating tasks to your staff or hiring virtual assistants to work for you remotely (or a combination of both). The latter option can be especially useful since virtual assistants provide additional support without taking up more time in your hectic schedule.
4. Save Time with Social Media
Social media marketing can help you keep up with the demands of your practice. You'll be able to schedule posts to appear at certain times so babysitting the site is kept to a minimum. You can also post your blog entries to your social media account quickly with just a few clicks.
Social media can also help you save time by avoiding spam filters. If you don't have the time to manage your email lists, you can reach custom audiences based on your existing contacts with Facebook Ads Manager or Google Ads. This allows you to target people who have already expressed interest in your services and avoid spam filters altogether.
5. Direct Mail Marketing Saves Time for Solo Lawyers
You probably made the decision to be a solo lawyer so you can focus on your practice and not on the business side of things. So when it comes to marketing, you need ways to save time without sacrificing quality.
Direct mail marketing can help with that. With direct mail, you only need to spend time creating one piece of marketing material and then send it out to prospective clients.
That means you can use direct mail marketing campaigns to reach a lot of people without spending much time on each individual piece of advertising. You can set up specific mailings to go out at regular intervals with very little effort. And unlike email, you can be sure your marketing message is seen.
The direct mail marketing team at Key Dynamics can prepare your mailing lists and work them regularly. By reaching out to your targets periodically, you'll be able to revise your lists so they cast the perfect net to catch the fish you want with each campaign. Direct mail is an effective time management tool solo lawyers use to make the best use of what little time they have.
Are you ready to take your direct mail marketing to the next level? Reach out and receive a sample of our campaigns, along with an estimated prospect database that your company could expect to reach on a monthly basis. On average, our direct mail campaigns bring a 3-5% call return rate.
At Key Dynamics, we welcome any feedback, advice, or business consultation our clients may have. Our dedicated team is always available to answer any questions you may have. Drop us a line: email@example.com or give us a call today at (888) 855-0402.