I first came across Joleena Louis through her brilliant blogs over at Law Firm Suites and immediately wanted to find out more about her. She kindly let me ask her five questions about marketing as a solo attorney.

Joleena Louis is a NYC Divorce and Family attorney at Joleena Louis Law, a firm she founded after leaving a boutique firm in Brooklyn. Along blogging about New York Family Law, Joleena also has a weekly blog series on the Law Firm Suites Blog, Things I Wish I Knew… where she explores her thought process and experiences in her transition from small law firm employee to successful solo practice entrepreneur.

Claire Trévien: You’ve written on the challenges of branding as a solo attorney before – the process must be very daunting to anyone used to having a marketing team before. What would you say is the best first step to take when setting out on your own?

Joleena Louis: The best first step is determining who your ideal client is and then figuring out how to appeal to them. Knowing your ideal client from the start will help immensely in your early marketing efforts.

CT: You are an active user of social media, was this the case before you became a solo attorney, or did you become more involved after setting up your own practice?

JL: Before starting my practice I was a moderately active on social media. Mostly Facebook and Instagram. I really didn't get into twitter until I started my practice and I definitely spend more time on social media than I did before.

CT: You use Instagram to promote your business, which is quite unusual for a law firm! Do you find it an effective channel for attracting new customers?

JL: In the beginning, I didn't think Instagram would attract new customers. As a consumer, businesses with a social media presence seem more savvy and appealing to me, so I really started the account to seem more legitimate to people who already heard of and were searching me. And Instagram is really fun to use, so why not?

Recently its been a pretty good source of new customers but it took over a year to build a nice base of followers who now refer there friends and family to me. The leads are not as high quality as those referred by people who know me personally, but I've gotten a few really good cases from it so far.

CT: You also blog regularly, both on your own website and elsewhere. Have you got any tips for busy professionals to make time for this?

JL: When things get really busy for me, I sometimes leave blogging until the last possibly moment. But I've found that it helps to schedule a regular time to do it. For me that means early morning when I have less interruptions. It also helps to write a few at a time so you always have something ready to go.

CT: What do you think is the next challenge professional services firms, such as law firms, will have to face in terms of marketing?

The biggest challenge is finding new and creative ways to stand out from the crowd. Not only do we have to compete with the ever growing number of new law firms, we also have to compete with these cheap DIY legal form companies.

Thanks Joleena!