“I don’t want more business”. Congrats on being flush with work! But this doesn’t exempt you from the need for a strong online presence. There are smarter ways to limit and redirect new inquiries than keeping a subpar website to discourage people from reaching out.
Here’s the reality: Every single law firm must have a website. The website must be a good one.
You may not want more business now. But what about in the future? How will you earn referrals if your existing website is unimpressive (or non-existent) to the degree that current clients don’t feel comfortable recommending you? We’ve worked with so many attorneys who get caught up in this myth, to the detriment of their firm’s growth and reputation.
Today, we’re unraveling the harmful myth behind the belief that a firm doesn’t need a website if it doesn’t want more business—and explaining how to publish a great website quickly and affordably.
The myth of “I don’t want more business”
Let’s start with the appeal of this myth.
A lawyer who is already swamped with work might be tempted to simply neglect their web presence as an easy way to lower the number of new inquiries and save time or money on marketing. We get it!
Here are some of the concepts you might also believe:
Myth: The purpose of a website is to attract more business.
Myth: My firm doesn’t have the resources to handle more work or redirect inquiries.
Myth: I won’t have to field new inquiries if I don’t have a website.
Myth: Because I don’t need more work now, I can afford to ignore the future.
At the core of all these myths, we usually find a lawyer who is overwhelmed with the amount of work on their plate, concerned about finances and/or managing a team that is lacking somewhat in capacity, such as people power or technological skills.
Ultimately, a website can do a lot more than simply attract new leads. A website can actually simplify your workflow and create a stable foundation for the future by building a strong reputation. Not convinced? When was the last time you bought something from a company with a three-star review and a bad website?
Your online reputation is always under scrutiny
Think of your website as a virtual storefront, and imagine potential and current clients peeking through the window.
A shabby, outdated website is like a decrepit building with a “Closed for Business” sign hanging askew. No website at all? Does your business even exist? Please, leave the mysterious web presence approach to that amazing taco truck that you heard about from a friend of a friend that only pops up on Thursdays.
A lackluster or non-existent website will negatively affect your firm’s reputation—even if you get most referrals through word-of-mouth or you benefit from long-term retainers.
Your website is often the first point of contact for potential clients, and it’s where referrals go to learn more about you. Remember, you can’t shake hands with everyone in person. The majority of people who are encountering your brand for the first time will be looking at your online presence.
You are always under scrutiny online, whether you acknowledge it or not.
In a world where first impressions are often made online, a poorly maintained website can be as damaging as a leaky pen during a crucial deposition. It’s not just about attracting new business; it’s also about maintaining your professional image.
Get the perks of a well-maintained website—even a simple one
Have we shocked you? Good. Here’s the flip side—everything you can look forward to after establishing a simple website for your law firm.
Your reputation and your legacy
Your website isn’t just about drumming up new business. It’s your legacy.
A professional and up-to-date website showcases your commitment to your profession and demonstrates your expertise. If you ever plan to grow your firm, increase your revenue, get speaking gigs, write a book or get published in your alma mater’s magazine…well, you’ll need a website.
Control the narrative
Even if you don’t want to play the digital game, you have to face the fact that your competitors are forming the future of the industry online. They could even be shaping the narrative about you and your firm, and you could be none the wiser. For instance, do you rank first for your name on Google? Is your competitor buying ads for your name to get in front of your clients or referrals?
By maintaining a strong online presence, you can control the narrative about your practice. Share your success stories, your values and your dedication to your clients. This is your opportunity to shape the perception of your legal expertise. It’s risk management. If you don’t control the narrative, others certainly will.
Referrals and collaborations
Even if you’re not actively seeking new clients, your website can serve as a platform for networking, collaborations, and referrals. Colleagues may visit your site to learn more about your specialization, and it can lead to partnerships and collaborative opportunities that you may not have considered otherwise. Why limit yourself? You never know what possibilities will land in your lap.
A website that’s informative, user-friendly, and visually appealing can set you apart from competitors. It’s like having a well-tailored suit in a courtroom—it helps you put your best foot forward from the moment a jury sees you for the first time.
Sure, your client list may be full now, but what’s stopping someone from choosing your competitor over you in the future? Providing great legal support is only half the battle. Today, people want more than good service. They want someone who has a good reputation and provides a seamless client experience.
The cost of a law firm website might be cheaper than you think.
Don’t want new clients? Here’s what you need to do
Let’s say you genuinely don’t want new business. Perhaps you’re at full capacity, and taking on more clients is simply impossible. You need to delicately communicate your unavailability without coming off as a digital Scrooge.
1. Limit the Forms on Your Website
One clever solution is to limit the forms on your website. Reduce the opportunities for prospective clients to reach out. Remove the “Contact Us” forms and streamline your web content. By doing this, you’re effectively telling visitors, “I’m not actively seeking new cases.”
2. Add a Clear Message
Another straightforward approach is to add a note to your website, stating that you’re not currently accepting new clients. Make it clear and concise, so there’s no room for misunderstandings.
3. Collect Data and Refer
Consider collecting visitor data who inquire about your services. Then, offer to refer them to colleagues who may have availability. This way, you’re not turning potential clients away without offering assistance and building your firm’s reputation. It’s akin to a restaurant being fully booked but providing recommendations to nearby eateries.
Your website is an extension of your professional identity, and it plays a significant role in maintaining your reputation, even if you’re not actively seeking new clients.
Limit forms, add clear messages and consider your site as a versatile tool for networking and referrals. With a little attention and care, your website can be as invaluable as a trusted marketing assistant—and probably cheaper!
So, forgo the misconception and make your online presence a testament to your professional prowess. Pick from our tested templates or check out our complete guide to website design for lawyers. Don’t let a myth distract you from the legend you could become.