The ebb and flow of your forensic practice can be tough when things slow down. It can feel like it won’t ever get better again. Anxiety is a natural and common reaction. Relax. Life just got better during a slowdown.   Turn your time to tasks that pay dividends.

This is your chance!

  • Review your CV, style it differently, add current experience, presentations, new credentials or professional memberships.  Post the new version everywhere your CV is provided (in directories, on your website.)
  • Add something new to your website: for example, FAQs serve multiple functions. You educate, demonstrate what you know and can do, and discuss med-legal information knowledgeably.
  • Update your photos.
  • The most powerful tool of all, however, is to add more / new writing about what you know. That’s what attorneys are there to find out, and it should be the easiest information to find on your site.  E.g. an article on pain medications and mood change after a traumatic experience such as a motor vehicle accident.  The tie-in with a common (or uncommon) type of lawsuit is a powerful marketing technique. Identifying these tie-in topics between my client (experts) and their client (attorneys) is the cornerstone of my own practice because it is so effective.
  • Review data and respond fluidly.  Is there a correlation between spikes and dips in web traffic and incoming case calls? Where do attorneys tell you they found your name? Time to beef up that source–with an enhanced directory feature, Adwords campaign, or public speaking.

Beef Up Your Credentials and Continuing Education

  • Pursue more education in your field of expertise. Forensic-centric CME/CE offers credits and information.
  • Consider Board-Certification or credential programs in forensic specialties.
  • Catch up on peer-reviewed Journal articles. Staying current is part of your job description.
  • Read up on legal procedure related to expert witnesses.

Industry Outreach to Attorneys.

  • Join professional organizations.
  • Join local attorney groups if non-lawyers are welcome.
  • Attend a conference or regional meetings for any organization that is relevant to your practice.
  • Pursue speaking engagements.

Catch up on Litigation Trends

  • Trends in litigation are real. Watch the news and hear what attorneys are saying about the cases they are getting.  E.g., asbestos cases continue to generate an enormous amount of litigation. Out of control wildfires are turning a focus on lawsuits against utility companies, and Sexual Harassment suits are on the rise as #metoo victims are going to court.  “The Opioid Crisis” is real and when a doctor mis-prescribes, or overprescribes, a med-mal case is born.

In Marketing Refresh 2.0 I address how to handle lagging marketing results. You’ll have time for it when business lightens up! It will fall by the wayside when things get busy, yet you need work in the pipeline.

Don’t forget net vs gross. 

Use this time to assess your business practices.

  • Human interface with your clients is crucial. Are you the only point of contact and, if so, do you want to be?  These considerations require some downtime to address with thought.  Do you need staff, more staff, less staff, to change answering services, voice messages and email practices? Maybe a bookkeeper can handle your billing for you twice a month? Any time you use resources that are human, you make a business decision that will impact your own clients. 
  • Software and hardware. Is it time to upgrade your billing software? Consider software to improve efficiency in handling electronic records, for example. This is a good time to research a higher capacity printer for those thousands of pages of records, master DropBox, get advice about a PDF editing program and how it’s used in med-legal work. Are you and your attorney-client on the same page–literally?

What do the numbers say?

This is a great time to assess how your practice is doing.

  1. Take stock of billable hours and receivables. 
  2. Touch base with the person doing marketing (or yourself) to review analytics (data).
  3. Analyze the online behavior of your potential clients by going incognito. Use Google’s Incognito Mode (Chrome>upper right 3 dots>New Incognito Window) and pretend your an attorney. What do you look for, what do you find?