How to Get Personal Injury Clients
13 Tactics for Generating New Personal Injury Cases, Online and Off
If you run a personal injury law firm, one of your top priorities in the business will always be getting new clients and signing more cases.
The problem is that getting new personal injury clients is tough and it’s only getting tougher. The days of being the first one in a Yellow Pages market are gone and the Yellow Pages themselves have mostly dried up.
As soon as personal injury attorneys realized this, they turned to the internet to sign cases which in-turn drove costs and competition up.
The good news is that there are still plenty of ways, online & offline to get new personal injury clients. It just takes work, dedication, and competent people to get you going. To find new personal injury clients, you have to be where people are searching for attorneys.
That being said, if you don’t have your ducks in a row it won’t matter how many people contact you.
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Make Sure Your Ducks Are In A Row
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. They were slow to respond to inquiries and didn’t even answer their phone all the time. Thus, here are some best practices which can help ensure that your firm has a fighter’s chance of signing the cases you want:
- Respond to email 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.
With that being said, let’s look at some of the best ways that you can sign more personal injury clients in 2017.
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.
Don’t be afraid to 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?
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.
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.
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. 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:
– Build an SEO & Conversion Friendly Website
If you want to control the information online about your firm that potential clients find first, then you need to have 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 it easy to contact you on mobile devices with just one click (Click to call).
Starting with your own website is a foundational requirement for being successful in online marketing. Once your website is up and running make sure that it’s printed on your offline marketing material and used in email signatures as well. Great websites with strong content can also be used for intake personnel to pass information to clients.
– 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. For Example, if someone searches for “Personal Injury Attorney in Los Angeles” they will get a page that looks like the example below:
The top results you will see are Pay Per Click results also called PPC, we will look at these in the next section. Below that, you have local results, and then organic results.
In our experience, Local & 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
- A Guide to Law Firm Link Building
– Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click is a way of advertising in Google’s search results. The issue with pay per click is that it can get very expensive for personal injury lawyers. 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 take up 2-3 places on the search results page. This is where we have found the highest conversions.
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 My Business and Yelp to “sort” by the highest rated attorney.
People judge based off of 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.
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 doing research on an attorney and sees their website, high Avvo rating, and are listed on other 3rd party websites, they’re going to be more inclined to contact that attorney. Each of these is a potential touch point 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.
Answer commonly asked questions online
This could fall under website marketing as well, but do you get a lot 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, you will genuinely help people, and you will probably get a call out of it.
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.
Just as you create responses to FAQ questions on your own website or another like Avvo, you should repurpose this content to be used on YouTube. These days it’s much easier to produce a high-quality video with just a smartphone and a microphone. Investing in creating FAQ videos and uploading them to YouTube puts you in another place where potential clients are looking for an answer.
Also, as an added bonus, here are four things you should not be doing to get more personal injury 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.
- Billboards: It’s hard to track the ROI on these without tracking phone numbers. Although you can’t really track brand impressions they seem to not be a strong investment for PI attorneys.
- Print Ads: With the exception where mailers are allowed to be sent directly to accident victims, this is no longer an effective strategy.
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