It’s hard to believe, but I’m almost to the end of year 3 here at The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill, PC (not to mention having recently passed the 4 year mark at Construction Law Musings). In that three years, I have learned a lot about “the cloud.”
The Cloud, as I see it, is the internet, both good an bad. When I entered solo practice on July 1, 2010, I knew about web 2.0 and the cloud, but only used these web based tools sparingly. My then relatively new blog, some interaction on LinkedIn and a relatively new Twitter account (@constructionlaw if you’re wondering) were my only interface with that great information superhighway.
While I met many folks while practicing my construction law trade and using social media at my old firm, I didn’t have to leverage the cloud for anything aside from what marketing benefits I received from these connections. Since entering solo practice, the cloud has become an integral part of my law firm management and marketing strategies. I have found the mix of tools that work for me, from Clio web based management software to the use of Google apps and a Blackberry Playbook and z10 to keep me in touch when not in the office. Use of these tools allows my one man operation to flourish.
Even more importantly, these virtual, cloud based tools, allow me to have more in person face to face contact with clients, colleagues and other potential business sources. I have said here and other places, a smile and a handshake go a long way toward a happy and long term client. Getting out to speak with clients and potential clients, through trade organizations or a simple cup of coffee, is, for my time and money, the best way to link up with the construction professionals (or other target markets) that I want to represent. Not only is this the best way to gain these potential clients’ trust, but it is the best way to get a good read on them as possible clients.
In short, my construction law practice would not run as smoothly without cloud based marketing and practice management tools. The use of these tools save me time and administrative hassle, streamline billing and document sharing, and keep me from being tied to my desk. Even with these great benefits, the interesting and more important thing (to me at least) is that these same cloud based tools keep me more fully able to keep my feet on the ground and allow me more personal interaction with my clients.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Any of you solo and small firm readers of this blog have any other insights? Just let me know.
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