Generating and Securing New Clients

apps-ga1d3c25ac_1920The success of any business is dependent on a consistent customer flow. For a business to thrive, there must be a constant influx of new customers. Your law firm is a business! To increase revenue, lawyers must consistently find ways to generate new leads and regularly secure more clients. To increase their client base and, in turn, their revenue, successful law firms utilize a variety of proactive business tactics.

One of the secrets to bringing in lucrative new business is knowing how clients choose law firms. Questions must include: What are clients looking for in a lawyer? How can our law firm implement effective methods, so clients choose our firm over other firms? These are some of the questions we ask and answer to provide the best business solutions for our law firm clients.

How Do Potential Clients Find Lawyers?
Not too long ago, a referral from a friend or family member or a quick look in the yellow pages was the best and only way to find a lawyer. Today, clients have many more options available to help them find a reputable and dependable attorney. Google and online referral services continue to grow and evolve, making it easier for consumers to find what they need when they need it.

Law firms must continuously monitor and adapt their marketing strategies to accommodate the needs and wants of consumers. Luckily, tracking data regarding legal trends can help firms gauge how people find lawyers. Then, the firms can use this information to modify their marketing strategies and generate more leads. Legal trends illustrate that most people who are looking to hire lawyers find law firms in one of two ways.

Referrals
Referrals remain a key source for finding a reputable attorney. Prospective clients want to trust the person they hire to defend their interests. Potential clients will likely hire someone who successfully helped a friend or family member with their legal issues because they trust they will do the same for them. If a law firm wants its practice to flourish, it will work to improve its referral marketing.

A 2019 Legal Trends Report found that 59% of potential clients sought some kind of referral when looking for a lawyer.

Three common sources of referrals include:

  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Other attorneys
  • Non-legal professionals, like real estate agents and accountants whose business overlaps with legal issues.

Growing law firms understand the importance of fostering professional relationships, as these referrals will help to grow their business.

Online Searches
We no longer need to rifle through the yellow pages to find any type of business. Finding a lawyer to hire is quite simple, and most prospective clients will find legal counsel through online search methods. 57% of potential clients searched on their own for an attorney, according to that same Legal Trends Report. Consumers used varied online approaches to find the perfect lawyers. Some approaches they used included social media, lawyer websites, online lawyer reviews, lawyer directories, online search engines, law firm blogs, articles, and videos.

Google is where most people begin any online search, including the search for a lawyer.

Trends indicate that potential customers will look at Google Business profiles, reviews, and law firm websites first, then narrow their search to the best candidates. At that point, potential clients will research law firms using social media and look more closely at specific law firm websites.

Trends have also pointed to a difference in how younger and older clients search for lawyers. Older clients tend to put more stock in referrals and reviews of potential attorneys, while younger clients value the law firm’s website and brand. Catering to a younger audience is a great way for growing law firms to ensure and secure ongoing referrals and repeat business for the future.

How to Generate Leads and Secure New Clients
Knowing how prospective clients locate and hire lawyers is essential to generating leads and securing new clients. Law firms must diversify their marketing strategies to entice new customers and generate leads for their firms. Referrals will always be a key factor for generating new business, but a law firm’s online presence is more relevant and important as most things have become digital. Creating and upkeeping a positive, informative online presence is a key contributor to generating and securing new clients, increasing revenue, and providing a successful future.

Here are five ways to create a successful online presence that will help firms increase their revenue:

Establish a High-Performing Website
Law firms that want to generate more business and income must create a professional and high-performing website. Design and content must be meticulous and engaging to recruit new clients. Your website could have a major impact on the number of leads that become actual clients and your firm’s success.

Many new clients use the law firm’s website to help them decide whether or not to hire a potential lawyer. A law firm’s website must allow users to quickly navigate and find answers to pertinent legal questions. It must be well-designed and pleasing to the eye. It should be clear, concise, and include relevant information. User experience must be quick and easy for the average consumer. A mobile-friendly application is something to consider making your website accessible to all. These factors may turn potential clients into paying clients.

Use Search Engine Optimization for Substantial Traffic
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of any marketing strategy in the 21st century. SEO will set your law firm apart from others and help you secure more clients. Your content must rank highly on search engines so potential clients will see it. Research has shown that potential clients do not usually look past the second page of search results. A user-friendly site, keywords, website design, and intelligent linking strategies will attract users. Developing an effective SEO strategy will provide a law firm with a way to grow and sustain a successful practice year after year.

Social Media and Email
Marketing via social media and email will build relationships with clients and bring people to your website. Competitors are using social media to win clients, so maximizing your social media presence and using these platforms will boost your competitive edge. Videos, infographics, blogs, reviews, and other engaging visual content can help you win over potential customers. Using these platforms to entice future clients will increase your lead generation and your future client growth.

Provide Pertinent Information to Consumers
Quite often, people will search online for answers to questions regarding legal issues they are facing. They will watch YouTube videos and read blogs and informational articles to help them navigate their legal problems. If potential clients read information or watch a video on your website that provides help with their legal issues, they will be more likely to trust that your law firm can win their case. As stated earlier, clients tend to choose law firms due to trust in the firms’ capabilities. You will win their trust if the informational content is valid and helpful.

Written content in blogs or articles will establish your credibility and reputation and increase the traffic to your website, which will, in turn, increase your client base and your revenue.

This informational content must be done consistently to ensure credibility and reliability. Consider hiring a digital marketing agency that understands both SEO and the law if you want to outsource this task.

Reviews and Ratings
Many people read Google reviews and ratings to determine which law firm they will employ to help with their legal issues. A potential client will not hire a firm if reviews are not satisfactory and ratings are low. Every positive review and high rating will establish a law firm’s credibility and convince potential customers to trust and hire you. Most clients will not hire law firms with low ratings and/or bad reviews. Additionally, the number of reviews is important as well. Clients tend to question the credibility of law firms with high ratings from a small number of people as opposed to law firms with high ratings from hundreds of former clients.

There is no policy about asking for reviews from customers, and helpful reviews can make or break a growing law firm. It may be advantageous to ask former clients to provide a rating for your firm. Provide easy-to-follow directions on leaving reviews for your clients. They will be more apt to leave a review if it is a straightforward process.

Digital Marketing Next Steps
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when faced with all of these challenges. Growing your business is a difficult task, and it is important to consider outsourcing some of the components if your digital marketing budget allows for it. If you are going to DIY your marketing to generate and secure new clients, first start with branding, then create an amazing website, post consistent content, and then drive traffic to your website. With some effort and time, you can see your law firm at the top of Google.


Annette Choti, Esq. graduated from law school 20 years ago, and is the Founder of Law Quill, a legal digital marketing agency focused on small and solo law firms. Annette wrote the bestselling book Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide For Law Firms, and hosts the podcast Legal Marketing Lounge. She is a sought-after keynote and CLE speaker throughout the United States and Canada. Annette used to do theatre and professional comedy, which is not so different from the legal field if we are all being honest. Annette can be found on LinkedIn or at annette@lawquill.com.

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