How long did it take you to get your firms off the ground? I want to leave my current firm, I made a website and am doing SEO. I want to get the website ranking higher and getting leads before I leave. Is there anything else I should be doing?

ps: my name is purposely not on the site yet to avoid my current firm from finding out.

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Posting as :
works at
You are currently posting as works at

Hopefully you have a book of clients who will follow you. Your website is really important, so make sure all your SEO is good. Join the local bar association. Join the local Rotary club. Network, network, network. I hit the ground running thanks to clients who liked me. I have never looked back.

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I had 6-8 months of basic necessity income saved up. I’m married so I was able to shift mortgage and some other expenses to my wife for 4 years while I built my practice. I did a lot of referral work as clients seem to always know someone that needs legal work. Now I have about 10% from “marketing” efforts and 90% from referrals and am doing very well.

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Social media = virtual real estate 🏡

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Same name as your firm / website

helpful

I thankfully had referrals come in as soon as I made the announcement on LinkedIn. But, I still had to network, network after that. I still spend more time networking than doing actual work, but I am getting more calls in from professionals who want to connect rather than me always reaching out.

I was a BNI member (networking group) previously and several from that group reached out and asked how they could help - even though I wasn’t a member anymore. That helped a lot. I was invited to two COI (Center of Influence) groups as well.

I reached out to attorneys I had worked across the table with in court many years ago in my first legal position.

Reach out to small firm owners if you can. They all started their firms from the ground up and know how hard it is to get started. Reach out to business owners in other areas (Financial advisors, CPAs, HVAC, whatever) as well to the extent you can for the same reason. You will need some of their services at some point anyway, so start to get to know them early.

Check your rules of professional conduct and employer law regarding whether you can have a live website for yourself while you are still employed. I created my website before my last day but it didn’t go live until the day after my last day at my firm. Pushing the “go live” icon was the most satisfying feeling I had had in a long time.

Also, I purchased two domain names: the one I use and a backup that is actually a shortened form of my firm name. That way, if one domain goes down for some reason, I still have a back-up to switch everything to. I only have one site up, but at least I know no one can take the other site.

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I started my solo about 8 months ago, really 6 because no one wanted to do anything in immigration prior to January, and I'm breaking even now on my investment. My accountant tells me this is amazing because it typically takes a year or more to get back your money. I don't know if he's just being nice but I've heard it from a few others as well.

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That is what I was told from other attorneys as well. I haven’t yet finished out my first year solo, but I am in the black as well - not every month, but the higher months are paying the bills for the lower months. So, it is still working out ok. We are currently living off of my husband’s pay as a customer service rep at $32,000 per year (in the affordable Midwest in a small two bedroom home) and it is somehow still working for us (thanks to student loan deferrals, stimulus checks, and public school for my son). I am WAY happier and WAY less busy now (although I am still busy, I am not 15 hour days busy).

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