Finding Clients: 3 Strategies for Solo Attorneys

by Alexa Drago on October 19, 2017

Finding Clients: 3 Strategies for Solo Attorneys

As an attorney working on your own, there’s no doubt that you’re wearing a number of hats when it comes to managing and growing your solo law practice. And for many solo attorneys, the marketing and sales hat is the most difficult one to don. How are you supposed to find the time to develop and nurture a pipeline of targeted sales leads at the same time you’re practicing law and managing every other aspect of your practice? Which strategies and tactics are most likely to work in actually delivering client leads?

As a trademark attorney who has run my own law firm for the past 9 years, I’ve been in the exact situation described above, and over the years, I’ve learned a few strategies for finding clients that have continued to pay off. Here are three strategies that have worked for me that may work well for you in your own solo or small law firm practice:



By far, search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising have been the most effective of all of the strategies I’ve tried for consistently finding and attracting new clients. In fact, I credit my work with a competent SEO/PPC firm as a major part of the reason I was able to grow my business from zero clients when I opened the doors in 2008 to having worked with over 4,000 clients as of today.

For the best results, I recommend hiring a boutique SEO/PPC firm that will value your budget and will make your business and your results a priority. Plan on using PPC to generate immediate client leads and calls and SEO to create solid returns that continue to pay dividends over time—in my experience, you may need to invest for a full 24 months in SEO before starting to see the payoff, but it’s well worth the investment. Work with your firm to set up clear goals with realistic timelines and then review your data together to ensure you’re moving forward in the right direction.

Finally, make sure to avoid any companies that promise top rankings in a set amount of time, that refuse to actively promote backlinks as part of their SEO strategy or that don’t let you own your own PPC account. All of these are huge red flags that they’re more interested padding their bottom line than providing you with real business results.


Client Referrals

Another of my most powerful tools for finding new clients has been through referrals from existing clients who are happy with the service I’ve provided. The power of providing a great service at a reasonable fee is astounding.  After 9 years in practice almost half of our revenue is derived by repeat and referral business.   In fact, I have been admittedly terrible about following up with our clients  with the usual newsletters and other “touches” that most marketing professional recommend.  Nevertheless, because our clients have received valuable assistance from our firm, we find that they tend to share our name whenever they hear of someone in need of assistance with a trademark.

Of course, I think that sending out a periodic newsletter via e-mail to your client and contact list is a great idea, and something that is on our own shortlist of marketing items to do.  By keeping your name top of mind with your past clients you will be much more likely to obtain a referral when they know of someone in need of services you provide.



LinkedIn can be a valuable resource for generating client leads and closing new clients if you use it right. One of the most useful tools I have found are the “recommendations” that can be provided by clients through the platform. When we have a prospective client that is deciding whether to use our services, I typically recommend that the client connect with me on LinkedIn to get to know me better and look at some of recommendations from other clients. The greater number of thoughtful, stellar recommendations you have from your clients, the more comfortable prospective clients will feel at making the decision to work with you.

Additionally, take advantage of the companies and groups areas of LinkedIn as well to find other LinkedIn members with whom you share a connection or at least a common interest. Answering a question within a group setting or offering an opinion on a poll only takes a moment or two, but may be what makes you stand out to the person asking the question or one of the many group members lurking in the background. Naturally, you need to make sure you do not unintentionally provide legal advice. This is a potential trap for attorneys in today’s world.


Focusing Your Energy Leads to Better Results

Busy solo attorneys don’t have the luxury of time to try every new marketing or sales tactic that comes along; we must go with proven solutions, quickly determining what works lest we waste valuable hours or money. In my experience, strategies that are most effective for solo and small law firms include smart SEO and PPC spending, soliciting client referrals and optimizing your LinkedIn profile. By following these tips and focusing your efforts and energy, you’ll likely have an easier time of finding clients and generating leads.


Joshua Gerben is the founder and principal of Gerben Law Firm, PLLC, a trademark law firm that has secured over 3,500 federal trademark registrations for clients since 2008. Trademark attorney Josh Gerben has been featured in a wide range of local and national news outlets, including NPR, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and more.

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