The Digital Age has ushered in dramatic shifts in how law firms conduct business. There is now an abundance of marketing tools and resources that have made the legal profession more competitive than ever, and attorneys no longer rely on reaching clients solely through traditional television and radio advertisements or the Yellow Pages.
Most individuals searching for legal representation now turn to the internet or to friends and family for recommendations, and law firms that have not adequately invested in digital and referral marketing are quickly being outpaced by their competitors.
The following are five ways your law firm can better appeal to prospective clients through online and referral marketing strategies.
Work Within Your Network
Lawyers often become so focused on reaching potential clients through advertising that they forget to capitalize on their own existing network. One of the most cost-effective ways to bring in new business is through referrals, so make sure your firm is continually reaching out to satisfied clients and fellow lawyers to remind them of the value you offer.
Some of the most common methods for referral outreach include sending mailers, emails, or text messages, as well as connecting on social media and hosting special events.
In order to keep benefiting from your network, you must continue to nurture it.
If you have not done so, become an active member of a bar association or other professional organization. These groups can provide you with numerous opportunities to establish yourself as a thought leader, which in turn will help you burnish your reputation within the industry and gain greater notice among your peers.
Perhaps even more important, though, is cultivating a network within your local community. If you make it among your top priorities to join civic organizations, attend local events, develop relationships, and engage in speaking opportunities, you’ll garner even greater trust and respect from your fellow residents, many of whom will then turn to you when they need a legal advocate.
Practice What You Preach
It’s easy to find attorney websites that guarantee pie-in-the-sky results and client-focused services; it is much rarer, however, to find a lawyer who actually lives up to those promises.
While it is important for your website to highlight what distinguishes you from your competition, it should only set expectations you intend to meet. For example, if your site pledges to respond to a form submission within 24 hours, you must honor that claim and promptly respond to your potential client. There’s perhaps no easier way to lose prospective business than by failing to deliver on your promises from the outset.
If You Can’t Measure It, Don’t Do It
With limited budgets and a vast array of marketing options available, many attorneys find it difficult to decide where to spend their dollars for the greatest return on investment. Fortunately, analytics enable a practice to measure the effectiveness of a strategy with remarkable precision, making them an important component to almost any marketing campaign.
Whether your firm is focused on search engine optimization, Pay Per Click, email campaigns, social media, or other marketing strategies, one of its primary goals should be quantifying ROI through analytics to determine if time and resources are being successfully used or if they could be better spent on a different strategy.
If your practice is available to clients only during office hours, it’s losing a considerable amount of business to competitors. As many as 30 percent of potential clients initially contact a law office at night or on weekends, and law firms that offer all-hours access are increasingly becoming the rule rather than the exception.
Instead of just putting your after-hours calls through to voicemail, your firm can connect with potential clients at any time by hiring a call center or intake service to field phone calls and installing a live chat system on its website.
At Client Chat Live, we help law firms turn website visitors into clients by offering live chat operators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To find out more, contact our team at (808) 495-0231 or send us an email.