To get more new personal injury clients, you need to position yourself where people are already searching for your services.
Whether you own, operate, or work for a personal injury law firm, one of your top priorities in the business will always be getting more clients and signing valuable accident cases. If you want to be really good at this you also need to focus on getting the best cases.
The problem is that getting new personal injury clients is tough. In fact one of the most common questions we get asked is: How do personal injury lawyers get clients?
It’s tough to start out marketing and advertising online because the competition is fierce, and you’re usually up against well-established law firms with massive budgets. And you may not know where to start or how to get personal injury cases.
The days of being the first one in a Yellow Pages market are gone and the leads from Yellow Pages themselves have mostly dried up.
Almost all personal injury law firms have some sort of online presence, whether with their website, Google Business Profile, TikTok Ads, Google Ads, email marketing or other internet presence.
You can consistently sign more of the better new cases with the right strategy and execution. But how do you do this practically? This guide will show you how to get more personal injury clients for your law firm.
Before you can expect to sign more of the best cases, you need to start with a strong foundation.
Let’s look at two areas that will have an impact on your results.
1. Consider your brand & positioning
Honestly, ask yourself… are you REALLY different from all of the personal injury attorneys out there? If you’re looking to separate yourself long-term from the other law firms in your market, you need to consider your brand. More specifically, you need a brand that will stand out and stand the test of time.
The #1 biggest mistake I see with practitioners getting into the business of running a business is stealing their competition’s message.
But here’s the thing. If you are advertising your “no fee guarantee” or “99% success rate” and every other firm in town is doing the same thing…what sets you apart?
One method you can use is to narrow your focus.
The more narrow of a focus you can have, the easier it will be to build your brand and become recognized.
- Start by considering a niche. Do you only want several Wrongful Death cases or serious injury cases a year? If so consider niching down. Go as far as you can!
- The benefit of having a small niche like wrongful death is that you will be able to build your brand and become known as the premiere wrongful death firm in your market. This will make you the “only” choice for potential clients looking to hire someone who needs to hire a death attorney. It’s easier because all your marketing will be geared towards becoming the true expert and sharing the most information on this topic.
- You can even align this with your brand name. Instead of the typical law firm name of “Partner & Partner”, consider a descriptive name. Using the example above your firm name could be “Truck Accident Joe”.
- Consider your value proposition. What makes your firm unique? What do you do better than all of the other Personal Injury Law Firms? This can be your unique value proposition.
- Align all of your advertising around your brand. This includes your logos, messaging, and phone numbers. Tie these all together and stick to them long-term.
- [Update]: Give back to the community. Now is the time to help the community that helped your firm grow and build your brand by being a leader in the community. We will discuss specific tactics you can use to do this below.
Starting off with a long-term plan for your brand will multiply the efforts of the tactics and strategies I have outlined below.
Make Sure You Have a System in Place to Respond to Your Leads Quickly and Close Them
A few years ago I was working with a client that was a bit disappointed as he said he wasn’t signing the cases he needed. This made me scratch my head as I could clearly see people were calling, emailing, and live chatting with the firm.
This caused me to do a deep dive and I figured out that the way the firm was contacting potential clients was all wrong.
This particular law firm was slow to respond to inquiries and didn’t even answer their phone all the time. Thus, here are some best practices that can help ensure that your firm has a fighter’s chance of signing the cases you want:
- Respond to email, text and chat inquiries FAST: When a potential client emails or uses your contact form, they could be shopping around. You need to respond to all digital inquiries in minutes.
- Answer Your Phone: Most law firms have this down during business hours, but after hour call must be serviced as well. Sign up for an answering service to ensure that no leads go without response.
- Be Nice To Everyone: People can leave reviews with the push of a button. Being a jerk can get you some seriously bad reviews. On the other hand, being helpful and polite can help you get positive reviews. More on this later.
- Don’t just contact leads once. Sometimes, the inclination is not to “bug” leads. The truth is they contacted you. They thought they needed to talk to you at a very important moment. Don’t let that fade away and lose a great case just due to lack of follow-up.
16 Proven Tactics for Generating New Personal Injury Cases, Online and Offline
1. Give back to the community and watch your brand grow
The world is in chaos right now and people need comfort. You can help be a hero during this time by simply doing things on social media and your website that show you care.
Here are some things our clients are doing to give back to their communities and build their brands.
- Bicycle helemet giveaway as a safety campaign
- Free Uber Lyft rides on holidays to prevent drunk driving
- Uber Eats / Food Delivery Giveaways from local restaurants [Facebook Giveaway]
- Partner with a charity for a good cause such as brain injury awareness
These types of things truly show that you care and the media is happy to report on feel-good stories. There are many benefits to these programs in addition to the most important one: Helping others in need.
2. Remind your family and friends what you do for a living
Recently an attorney we work with settled a multi-million dollar personal injury case that he got simply because a friend referred him. According to a recent study, over 25% of people who have hired a lawyer in the past year turned to family and friends as a first step when looking to hire an attorney.
While I don’t believe you should spam or annoy your family and friends by reminding them you’re an attorney, you can use email to do this effectively. Don’t be afraid to send out a monthly email to your friends and family (if you have their permission of course) with a helpful safety tip.
A sample email title: “First Name, here are the 5 things you should do after an auto accident”. You can link to content on your website and remind people about what you do without being obnoxious. You can also ask them to send it to their friends and expand your reach all by helping people with useful content.
Top of mind awareness is key in marketing and it’s generally one of the easiest, yet most overlooked ways to generate more personal injury cases. When this question comes up “how to get personal injury referrals” I always start by making sure attorneys are top of mind with all of their contacts consistently (at least monthly). Keeping them engaged through email or social media contests is a great way to keep leveraging this benefit which will continue to pay dividends.
Share your case results and testimonials on Social Media to help build your brand.
3. Host a Virtual (or in person) Class or Meetup
Personal Injury Lawyers you could hold a presentation that covers the legal implications of businesses hosting in-person events where members get the virus. Here are some other ideas:
– Getting medical treatment when hospitals are full
– Where should you get treatment for an injury when hospitals are full?
– Tips to stay safe when you’re out and about
4. Attend networking events and grow your own network
If you’re looking to grow the scope of your contacts in person, a great way to do this is to attend networking events.
Most cities have a chamber of commerce or other organizations that host business networking events. Making new connections and friends can help you increase your overall visibility fast. And why not ask them to sign up for your email list while you’re at it?
5. Register with local bar associations
In most markets, there are many bar organizations that do their own advertising. You can get business and piggyback off of this just by signing up to work with the local bar associations. When you’re searching for ones that are the best fit you shouldn’t narrow your search to just the state level. There are city bar associations and specific ones like Women’s bar associations.
Another benefit to joining these organizations is you can network at their monthly or annual events. Don’t be afraid to ask other attorneys for work or referrals and be sure to refer any cases you can’t take to them. Stick with it for a year and see how many cases you signed from being an active member.
6. Setup relationships with chiropractors and other medical professionals
Good old-fashioned office visits are still a great way to get new personal injury clients. Building referral relationships with medical professionals is a great way to send business back and forth to each other. Find Doctors you trust and you can send them as much business as they send you which will sweeten the relationship.
7. Expand Your Web Presence (BIGGEST IMPACT)
Recently we ran a study where we interviewed over 30 successful personal injury law firms across the nation. 90% of them reported that the number one channel that was generating the most leads was online marketing and specifically organic SEO for attorneys. Digital marketing is where the volume of your cases will come from if you do it the right way.
Here are a few ways to market online. This is my area of expertise.
8. Build an SEO & Conversion Friendly Website
If you want to control the information online about your firm that potential clients find first, you need a website. If you want to participate in Pay Per Click or SEO you will also need a website that you own and can edit.
The best personal injury websites are fast-loading, mobile-friendly, and optimized for search engines and users. This means that search engines like Google can see your website and users find it visually appealing and they can easily find the information they’re looking for. Your website should also make contacting you on mobile devices easy with just one click (Click to call). Having a great law firm website design may be the difference between a potential client contacting you vs. your competitor.
Starting with your own website is a foundational requirement for being successful in online marketing. Once your website is up and running, make sure it’s printed on your offline marketing material and used in email signatures. Great websites with strong content can also be used for intake personnel to pass information to clients.
9. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Sadly the old phrase “if you build it, they will come” is not true with online marketing in general. There is so much stiff competition out there with personal injury firms investing massive resources into online marketing that you really do need to be the best to be seen. The good news is that you can do that through law firm SEO.
Organic SEO represents the free traffic you get by ranking in Google’s search results for a particular search in the top 10 traditional blue links. We also help attorneys with Local SEO and focus on the top-ranking factors which display local results.
For Example, if someone searches for “18-wheeler accident lawyers dallas tx” they will get a page that looks like the example below:
The top results you will see are Local Service Ads, which Google began offering to law firms in 2020. Pay-per-click results (also called PPC) are next. We will look at these in the next section. Below that, you have local (map pack) results and then traditional organic results. Neither the map pack results nor the traditional organic results are ads. Ie. you cannot pay Google to have your firm show up in these results.
In our experience, Local and organic are the best-performing channels for getting new personal injury clients. Learn more about SEO at the Juris Digital Library. Here are some of the most popular SEO articles for free:
- How to choose your law firm domain name
- How to start a law blog
- Creating evergreen content for law firms
- Local Optimization for Law Firms
- A Guide to Law Firm Link Building
10. Pay Per Click like Google Ads
Pay Per Click is a way of advertising in Google’s search results. The issue with pay-per-click is that personal injury lawyers can get very expensive. For example, car accident-related keywords can run over $100 per click.
You pay each time someone clicks that ad and visits your website. Once they click on your website you still have to get them to contact you and you still have to figure out if it’s a case worth signing.
PPC can be very effective when combined with an organic campaign where you already take up 2-3 places on the search results page. This is where we have found the highest conversions.
11. Local Services Ads
Google now offers Local Services Ads for attorneys as well on a pay-per-lead model. Learn more about local services ads here.
12. Build your reputation online through reviews
Do you turn to Yelp to check restaurant reviews online? Just like consumers like to read reviews online for restaurants, some are also looking at reviews for lawyers.
The sad part is that it doesn’t really matter if you’re a great attorney with great results if your online reputation is bad. People can also use popular review platforms like Google Business Profile and Yelp to “sort” by the highest-rated attorney.
People judge based on arbitrary scores and star ratings. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important to maintain a strong reputation online. Getting a 10.0+ Superb score on Avvo will increase your ranting on Avvo.com and open you up to more potential clients. Increasing the number and ratings of your Google My Business reviews and Yelp will also help attract new clients.
That being said I do recommend you avoid Yelp Paid Advertising services.
13. Get listed on popular legal directories (FREE)
Typically if you’re looking for an attorney on a search engine and you type something like “Personal Injury Attorney” you will see local attorney websites along with listings on websites like Findlaw.com, Avvo.com, and other legal directories.
When consumers click on these directory listings, do you show up? If not you’re likely missing an opportunity and you’re missing out on a brand impression. If someone is researching an attorney and sees their website, high Avvo rating, and are listed on other 3rd party websites, they will be more inclined to contact that attorney. Each of these is a potential touchpoint for your brand.
In most cases, I recommend opting for the free directory listings. The paid directory listings will offer increased visibility but they are rarely worth it.
Check out our list of the top legal directories for law firms here. Note: Keep an eye on this! As generative AI pulls data from more sources, it will be more important than ever to get listed in important places!
14. Answer commonly asked questions online
This could also fall under website marketing strategies, but do you get many of the same questions from clients? If so, this could be your lead generation gold mine.
Although many potential clients are searching for head keywords like “car accident lawyer”, the vast majority are entering through a variety of long-tail or informational keywords.
Think about how many people have smartphones and use personal assistants. If they were just in an accident, they may have questions like:
- “Should I talk to the insurance company after an accident”
- “I’m not in pain after my accident, should I see a doctor”
- “My Uber driver got in an accident, what should I do?”
If you start ranking for these keywords, you’re going to get a lot of new visibility. There are several ways you can go about answering questions like this. If you’re interested in the long term SEO benefit you should answer them thoroughly on your own website and create one topic per page.
If you’re looking to get in front of more eyeballs quicker, you may consider replying to the Avvo Q&A or reviewing Quora.com for questions people are asking questions related to personal injury. By providing a GREAT answer, you will come across as the expert, genuinely help people, and probably get a call out of it.
15. Aim for awards and recognition
Another underutilized source to get new business is taking advantage of awards and recognition. Superlawyers.com, for example, has one of the best processes for validating good lawyers out there when compared to organizations like Avvo. These also represent PR opportunities that will allow you or your firm to be recognized in local publications once you get the award.
16. Video Marketing
Creating and repurposing content for YouTube is a powerful way to increase your visibility, especially considering it is the world’s second most popular search engine. However, in today’s digital era, extending your reach beyond just one platform is crucial. Leveraging platforms like TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram is equally important.
Transform FAQ responses from your website or other platforms such as Avvo into engaging video content. Today’s technology makes producing high-quality videos easy using a smartphone and a microphone. By investing time in creating FAQ videos and uploading them to YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram, you are expanding your presence across multiple platforms where potential clients may be seeking answers.
Working from home doesn’t have to limit your client engagement. In fact, it’s an excellent opportunity to connect with potential clients through these digital channels. By creating informative and engaging videos, you can effectively get in front of potential clients, answer their questions, and establish your credibility in your field.
17. Get personal injury referrals
You may be asking yourself, how can I get personal injury referrals? Acquiring personal injury referrals requires exceptional service, relationship building, and effective online marketing.
You encourage existing clients to recommend your practice to others by delivering outstanding service. Networking with other lawyers and medical professionals can lead to referrals when your expertise matches their clients’ needs.
Enhance your online presence through a professional website, active social media engagement, and regular, informative blog posts. Consider offering a referral program that rewards those who bring new clients to your firm and maintain connections with past clients to stay top of mind. Lastly, seek reviews and testimonials from satisfied clients to bolster trust in your services. Patience and consistent value delivery are essential in growing your referral network.
Getting Personal Injury Leads Needs to be Part of Your Business. Not a Singular Tactic
When law firms approach us and ask “How to get personal injury leads?”, they are asking: How do I sign high-value cases regularly and make more money? At the end of the day a law firm is a business and your business needs to thrive. You can use the tactics in this guide to get started and after you find out what works for you it’s important to really think about your USP and put in processes that constantly attract more of the best cases.
I’m saying that you can use tactics to get cases, but they must be part of a bigger on-going strategy.
Things You Should Not Be Doing
There are several ways in which personal injury attorneys should not advertise their services. For example, they should not make false or misleading statements in their ads, as this can be illegal and could damage their reputation. They should also avoid using language that could be considered aggressive or overly salesy, as this can turn potential clients off.
Additionally, personal injury attorneys should not make specific promises or guarantees about the outcome of a case in their ads, as this can be difficult to uphold and may lead to legal trouble. Finally, personal injury attorneys should avoid using images or language that could be seen as insensitive or offensive to their potential clients.
- Paying for the Yellowpages: There are very few markets where these are providing an acceptable return on investment. Most of these areas are rural and it’s unpredictable.
- Lead Generation Services: Companies selling leads are typically low quality. We have heard horror stories from Westlaw, Nolo, Avvo, and others just to name a few. If you do decide to “try” one of these services, make sure the leads are exclusive, tracked, and that you contact each lead at least 10 times before giving up.
- Yellow Pages: Unless you’re in an exclusively rural market, this probably won’t work.
- Print Ads: With the exception where mailers are allowed to be sent directly to accident victims, this is no longer an effective strategy.
- Not tracking ROI. Sorry for the double negative. Many firms do not track calls, form fills, live chat’s or text’s. If you’re not tracking, you will have no idea what’s working.