For law firms, signing new cases is essential to the success of the growth of your law firm.
Without new cases coming in your company may experience cash flow issues leading to other business operational issues.
However, one issue with finding new clients is knowing where to focus your attention to get the best results.
Many attorneys who have been practicing for 20+ years have seen major shifts over the years in the ways they acquire new business. From yellow pages to the Tik Tok it’s been a turbulent journey.
Let’s Start With A Story
Not long ago in the late 2010’s, I was working with a personal injury attorney who was spending over a MILLION dollars a year on Yellow Page ads. They did recognize that they were not performing as well and started to pull out of the advertising method.
Luckily this firm was great at tracking their leads and determining their average cost per case. In California, they were paying $500 – $1,000 for serious injury cases on average through their Yellow Page advertising. By the time they left the Yellow Pages they weren’t getting any business at all.
We were able to shift a fraction of that budget to digital marketing channels primarily focused on Organic & Local SEO and achieve these results for around $300 a case.
Knowing where to focus your efforts will help your firm sign more cases and focus on marketing campaigns that work. Here are the areas where our clients are getting most of their cases.
Here Are The Top Ways Our Clients Are Signing New Cases
1. Online Search (Organic & Local) Search Engine Optimization
Online search is still an area surprisingly that some attorneys just ignore altogether. Maybe they don’t want to get involved or think it’s too expensive or too late to start but that’s never the case. Even though showing up in Organic and Local search will take some time you can always start low and slow.
The majority of the cases our clients sign through Online Search are local results and organic results.
Local results (as shown below) typically appear when your potential clients are searching Google, Yahoo, or Bing with searches like: “Personal Injury Lawyer”, “Bankruptcy Attorney Near Me”, or “Lawyer Nearby”.
These results drive a lot of traffic and solid conversions. However, this strategy is limited as it’s strictly geared towards where you have a physical presence. If you don’t have an office in a city you want to rank in, it’s going to be a huge uphill battle.
The good news is that there are other “Free” clicks you can get from Google through standard Organic Results. These listings are seen underneath the local results and are usually at the top of the page underneath ads for nonlocalized searches. Take a look at the example below for a search I did: “Do I need a divorce lawyer?”“. This example seems to answer that question so I’m likely to click on it.
Ranking in organic results presents a lot of opportunities. As a full disclaimer, my clients who are doing so well with organic search have typically invested in the resources necessary including a lot of content creation. However, this has created a lot of solid and relevant traffic from those interested in finding a lawyer.
You have to do a lot of things right to capture organic traffic and rank well enough to get the business but the work is worth the rewards and can have a strong ROI. If your business is focused on local business check out this article with tactical tips and strategies.
2. Online Search (Paid), Google Ads, LSA’s and More
Ranking in at number two we have online search again but this time we’re talking about pay per click advertising. There are advantages and disadvantages to both SEO and SEM but if you do things the right way you’re going to see strong returns on your investment.
The firms who typically perform best in pay per click also rank organically or locally and command several positions in the search results.
Pay Per Click ads through Google or Bing’s ad networks can get pricey for lawyers. If you decide to take on pay per click make sure to get the right advice and pay close attention to your campaign. If you start and keep getting a lot of irrelevant clicks due to bad keywords you need to make some changes right away. Sometimes people ignore their keyword lists and negative keywords which can create a lot of room for error and mismanagement.
Below is an example of a Google Ad with the new green ad box outline.
One of the strong benefits to pay per click is that you can turn on the campaign right away and start generating leads if your website is up to snuff.
Google also offers a pay per lead service called Local Services Ad’s. These are a great way to get started and there are plenty of things you can do to enhance your performance here. Talk to a LSA specialist at Juris Digital if your ads are not performing as expected.
Referrals are not dead. Sometimes when you’re running an online marketing campaign you get too focused and ignore offline advertising and human interactions.
Many of our clients have developed strong referral relationships over the years with attorneys and relevant businesses to their practice areas. One of the biggest reasons people don’t get referral business is they don’t don’t ask. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or ask for business from other potential referral partners.
Another thing to remember when we’re talking about referral business is your brand. You are your own brand. That means every time you go out in public you’re representing your own brand. Make sure to think about the way you present yourself when meeting with potential partners, going to networking events, or other functions.
Building a solid brand and reputation means optimizing every experience potential clients and partners have with your business to be a positive and memorable one.
One of the keys to getting consistent referrals is to stay top of mind of your clients.
4. Offline Advertising
Did my Yellow Page Story scare you away? Although the volume is lower than it had been, I have worked with many attorneys who still use offline advertising effectively. Here are a couple commonly used methods that work:
Have A Local Operator Deliver Marketing Materials and Donuts
What? Really? Donuts? Yep, that’s right! We know a law firm that is very effective at building their referral network when they do this the right way. Have someone from your office act as a good will representative and visit corresponding offices delivering your marketing materials, books, and most importantly donuts.
If you’re interested in some other ways offline advertising can help your firm check out this article: Offline Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients
5. Email Newsletters (Remind people you exist, ask for business, don’t ignore relatives)
Email newsletters can be very effective but you do have to start off with a list. If you don’t yet have an email list you should work on building one. You can do this easily through your website by making newsletter sign up calls to action. You can also ask former clients if you can email them. If you’re looking to build your list you should start blogging useful content and take advantage of the WordPress plugin SumoMe.
Not long ago we had a client send out an email to his very small email list of under 100 subscribers. That email in turn generated a case that resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement.
Sending out email newsletters seem to have several strong benefits. They help people remember you and what you do. This opens the possibility of referrals.
6. Sponsored Listings
Going back to online marketing again, sponsored listings can provide some strong benefits if you do your research. There are hundreds of legal websites out there like Findlaw, Avvo, and others where you can pay for a premium listing. The key to this strategy being effective is ensuring you’re only engaging in opportunities where there is actually relevant traffic and visibility.
To start you should conduct some searches for popular keywords you want to rank for and see who shows up beside local law firms. Do you see Findlaw or Yelp? If so you should evaluate those opportunities. Yelp has typically been a poor performer with ads in our experience unless you have the best review numbers and score.
I wrote this entire article on Avvo paid advertising and if it’s worth it that you should check out. We have not had much success with it.
Findlaw, on the other hand has produced a few leads for our clients although those listings tend to be more expensive.
Even though these directories do produce leads they’re typically never the top performers and inconsistent performers.
Social media is one of the most interesting parts of legal marketing. Some firms do it well and most firms do it well… not great.
Firms that put in the effort with an actual strategy and deliver high quality content that connects with their audience tend to see this as a strong lead source. This also of course depends on the type of firm you have as some will perform better than others.
The firms we have seen have the most success with this develop a strong strategy on how they can attract and stay top of mind with their IDEAL clients. They roll out the strategy and are consistent with it over time until they build the traction they desire.
In 2022 and 2023 one of the new channels we have seen some attorneys have great success with is Tik Tok.
Here are a few TikTok marketing tips:
- Use relevant hashtags: Hashtags are an important way to make your content discoverable on TikTok. Use relevant hashtags that are popular in your industry or niche to increase the visibility of your content.
- Collaborate with influencers: Collaborating with influencers on TikTok can help you reach a wider audience and build credibility for your brand.
- Create engaging and creative content: TikTok is all about creating fun, engaging, and creative content. Use the platform’s unique features, such as music and effects, to create videos that stand out and capture the attention of your audience.
- Use TikTok ads: TikTok offers a range of advertising options, including in-feed ads and branded hashtag challenges. These can be effective ways to promote your brand and reach a larger audience on the platform.
- Engage with your audience: TikTok is a social platform, so it’s important to engage with your audience by responding to comments, liking and commenting on other users’ posts, and participating in trend challenges. This will help you build a community around your brand and increase engagement with your content.
Other Areas That Perform
There are a number of other sources attorneys are getting solid cases from. These range from Social Media to Lead Generation services. No matter what service you decide to participate in to find more clients for your firm you should make sure your firm is equipped to track the leads effectively to focus on the ROI of each channel.
Here are some other offline marketing tips to consider
- Network at events: Attend local events, such as business meetings, conferences, and networking events, to meet potential clients and build your network.
- Advertise in local publications: Consider placing ads in local newspapers, magazines, and other publications to reach potential clients in your area.
- Use direct mail: Send targeted direct mail campaigns to potential clients in your area.
- Partner with local businesses: Partner with local businesses or organizations to co-brand marketing materials or to offer discounts or promotions to their customers.
- Sponsor local events: Sponsoring local events, such as sports teams or community events, can be a good way to get your name in front of potential clients.
- Use word-of-mouth marketing: Encourage your satisfied clients to recommend your services to their friends and family. This can be a very effective way to get new business.
How does your firm get the most cases? I’m interested to hear what’s working for you and your firm. Please let me know in the comments below.