Is anyone out there running a truly virtual practice? I mean, no contact with clients, ever?
If so, and if you’re not getting the traction you’d like, you might wanna take look at a couple of online retailers. Warby Parker, selling eyeglasses, and Bonobos, selling diaper-butt-proof khakis, both excel at selling something that’s hard to sell virtually, kinda no different than legal services. What they’ve created is a bridge to encourage customer adoption, a physical location for you to try on their wares.
Case in point: last week I stopped by the Bonobos headquarters in New York city, where I spent about 30 minutes trying on clothes. A Bonobos guide named Emmy helped me out. She put the order in for me, and handled a return. So even though I was dealing with an online clothing company, I was able to touch the fabrics and get help with the fit as well as deal with a live human.
Warby Parker has a similar bridge: they have actual locations, if you happen to be near one. But you can also try on five eyeglass frames at a time. They ship them to your house, you try them on, and slap the enclosed label back on the box for the round trip.
So how can this concept of a bridge be extended to a virtual law office? Well, there’s only one you, and you can’t be sent via UPS (or returned for that matter).
But the moral of the Warby Parker/Bonobos story is that some people do want the initial fitting in person, so the first time you may need to meet in person, then from there you might not ever need to see them in person again.
For starters, you might want to think about joining an executive suite like Regis, which, for the monthly membership, allows you to sit in an office at any of their locations. And opportunities to travel should not pass by without meeting with prospective clients in hotel lobbies, coffee shops, or lunch.