In this article we will start with the basics: the definition of a lead and why lead generation for lawyers is imperative, and then move on to explore actionable strategies that your firm can execute.
What is a lead?
First things first. Let’s walk through exactly what a lead is when it comes to business and law firm internet marketing. A lead is any individual, company or group that has an interest in what service you are providing or what you are selling.
Put simply, a lead is an individual who converted on your website, landing page or some other interaction with your firm.
In law firm marketing, leads are critical. They aid the healthy expansion of a firm through contact with interested parties. Leads create prospects for your firm and enable healthy growth when orchestrated correctly via creating the link between an interested party and a paying client.
What is attorney lead generation?
Attorney lead generation is when a law firm consistently cultivates potential clients to grow their practice on a monthly basis.
The kind of lead generation an attorney uses, or how they go about generating leads, is dependent on services they are offering, competitiveness of the market and the law firm’s marketing budget.
Lead generation for attorneys is the process used to draw in prospective clients in need of legal services such as personal injury, estate disputes, crimes committed or family issues. The type of law you practice can alter the kind of lead generation tactics you use.
Attorney lead generation usually involves investing in your firm’s marketing strategy and ensuring that your sales funnel contains high-quality content that drives the potential client to the next stage from becoming a lead to a paying client.
Why do attorneys need lead generation?
Lead generation is important for attorneys as it means they can reach interested parties through specific platforms. They can target the exact prospective client that they need and focus their marketing objectives on individuals who are most likely to require their services and expertise.
A thorough understanding of how to create attorney leads yourself, or having the investment capital to retain legal marketing subject matter experts, is a vital part of gaining clientele.
How can attorney lead generation help your law firm?
When it comes to law firms using lead generation, it can be an excellent way to build brand awareness of your firm within the law circle. Attracting leads is not just about translating an interested person into a paying customer but has the knock-on effect of ensuring there is a conversation happening about your business.
As a law firm it is critical that you are visible not just to clients but to businesses, companies and government organizations that are likely to come into contact with your firm, whether they are recommending you to interested parties, considering partnerships or simply observing the competition.
Of course, lead generation is also critical as a baseline for your law firm in much the same way as it is for individual attorneys. It motivates possible clientele to engage with your firm, whether that is through your social media pages, an online directory or website or via email. Once you have the base point of contact, you can then draw them in to use your services by giving them high-quality content, valuable information and specifically targeted marketing to persuade them to sign with your firm.
It can help if you use separate lead generation tactics for individual parts of your business, especially if the attorneys who work for you have differing specializations. This way you can create marketing plans that work as a network of leads, funneling them directly to specific areas of your business.
When you do this, it works both ways. It makes your business thrive and your clients happy. Your money goes directly to targeting the correct possibilities, and those clients are pleased that they have easily found the exact service they were looking for. It can be laborious and a little complex to set up your lead generation plan, but good lead generation programs work as a well-oiled machine to generate you positive traffic and paying clientele, creating long-term connections and partnerships.
Attorney lead generation strategies
There are multiple attorney lead generation strategies that can be used alone or as a multiple hit strategy to draw in leads across your target market.
When it comes to generating leads, there are two main categories that we can use to break them down: online lead generation, consisting of any leads generated on the internet, and offline, which is your more traditional sales funnel pre-web, but is still very valid today.
Online lead generation
Online lead generation is the process of finding prospective clients for your law firm by using the web. There are many different ways to go about navigating this. Some methods will work better than others for your businesses’ requirements and specializations. It is best to have a comprehensive plan that utilizes many methods of lead generation online, especially if your business wants to grow and continue to access new clients.
In order to attract a client, you should first think like one. First, consider who you want to target; is there a specific clientele that you are looking for? Consider the attributes you’d need if you specialize in family law, bankruptcy or employment and labor. Each target audience will be in a slightly different market when it comes to your online lead generation plan.
Each attribute that a person has will influence your optimum strategy. People use the internet in a vast array of ways depending on who they are, what they are looking for and how they feel at the time.
Your lead generation strategy should reflect this, from the way that you design your website to the questions you put in an online signup sheet. The kind of advertising that you create, both visually and where you place it on the internet, as well as the timing and who it directly targets if you are using a specific targeted advertising tool are all important.
Online lead generation tools and strategies
Here is where we get down to business. Let’s take a look at some online lead generation tools and strategies that will help you generate productive leads for your business.
- Impressive Website
Creating an impressive website is crucial for generating attorney leads. Your website should be high functioning, user friendly and visually stunning and have tools and plugins that make it the perfect place for clients looking for your services. Your website is likely to be a place where clients leave their contact details after following a link from elsewhere. This is your key lead generation element.
When you create your website, consider how simple it is for your potential client to click on your call to action (CTA). Ensure your website loads smoothly and that sign-up sheets are optimized visually on all devices. If your website is difficult to use or too crowded, clients are more likely to disengage and go back to searching. Make this process simplistic, calm and enjoyable for prospective clients wherever possible.
If you already have a website, it may be better to redevelop your current site or materially improve the site. If traffic is being directed there and clients are using your services, this can be a great option. There are new tools and plugins available all the time for business use, so it is a good idea to update your website often to ensure you are reaching the optimal number of people and your site is effective.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is crucial for businesses that want to appear in online searches. If your company is extensively and well-optimized, it will appear on potential customers’ searches and rank higher in Google’s search rankings closer to the all-important first page of search results.
When it comes to law firms, there are some specific SEO options available to you that can help with your lead generation:
- Local SEO – Whether you want to outrank local competition or improve the click-through to your website, local SEO is a great place to start. It helps drive more traffic to your site from clients specific to the area.
- Optimize Your Google Profile: Creating a voice around your profile on Google maps can direct more phone calls and website clicks and result in an increase in reviews and check ins.
- Increase Citations: When all your legal citations are updated, your local SEO rankings may improve. It helps your business generate leads when there are links to your website, business name or phone number on hundreds of directories.
- Utilize Local Sponsorships: When a company pays to have advertising and content on a local site, it can be an excellent way to generate traffic to their website and create leads for their business. Law firms often choose to be sponsored on local magazine/directory websites and council sites and at small businesses that are relevant to their specialization.
2. Content Marketing – There are many different content production styles that have high potential when used by a law firm to generate leads. These might be authoritative blog posts that help your site to climb the Google rankings or how-to guides that are available for free download advising and informing potential clients on their next steps. Consider your branding when it comes to SEO; quality optimization is not robotic but comes with a brand voice and style that appeals to your clientele as well as to the internet bots.
3. Link Building – Links or Backlinks have been a top SEO ranking signal since the inception of SEO. They are an excellent way for law firms to create a buzz about their firm and show off their authortivitiness. Links can be added into inner pages, blogs, social media pages — if it’s online, it’s probably possible to add links. They are unobtrusive nudges in the right direction and can create traffic to your business. It will feel to your visitors that they have chosen to be there rather than having fallen victim to a flashy advertisement, which some users would normally choose to avoid.
4. Google Ads
Using Google Ads is a great way of putting your advertising into the hands of the people who are interested in it. You select keywords and phrases for your business that will match up with the ad. It will then appear on Google in a variety of ways dependent on the campaign type you have chosen. Responsive search ads and display campaigns can be great for law firms.
5. Landing Pages
Landing pages are great ways to generate leads. Having driven the potential client to your landing page from an advertisement on Google or social media, they are automatically taken to your landing page where you can place a compelling CTA.
6. Personal Branding
Consider your personal branding when optimizing to generate leads. We spoke briefly about this earlier, as it effectively becomes part of everything you do, both online and offline. Each one of your social accounts should be branded to suit the clientele that you are trying to attract. They should work holistically, and their style and essence should come across as your law firm’s individual brand identity.
Each social media property is different in the way that you use it with your branding and who you are looking to target on each site too. The target for LinkedIn users differs significantly from the users on Instagram or how lawyers can use TikTok; however, the great thing is that all of these platforms can be used effectively to generate leads for attorneys.
7. Big Legal Directories
There are a number of big directories that you can sign up to which will advertise your law firm and generate potential leads. Research the directories that are best for you, as some have specifications on the type of law practiced or the locality of your business. Some of the biggest directories are FindLaw, Justia, lawyers.com, Nolo and Martindale-Avvo and Unbundled Attorney.
8. Pay Per Lead (PPL)
Some firms like to experiment with the PPL model. This is where a firm pays an individual or company for the number of converted leads they bring to the business. This can be excellent if orchestrated by an affiliate that understands the exact leads that you are looking for and has access to them. It can be less useful when they provide leads that are unlikely to turn into prospects. Generally speaking, this is risky business.
Amazing Service and Reviews
A brilliant way to grow your clientele is to build a community around your firm that loves what you do and recommends you to others. This will spread throughout your business presence online and offline in the form of positive, happy clients.
You can supplement marketing efforts by providing an amazing service, ensuring that you respond quickly to client questions and concerns. If a client asks a question, answer it in full and be as helpful as possible. If you can, it’s a great idea to have a customer service representative or advisor who is only a call or click away. Automated help services and FAQ forums can turn potential clients away rapidly.
Create a process of asking delighted clients to leave reviews on online platforms, like Google Profile Manager. If you have excellent reviews across all platforms and high star ratings, you’ll become more visible through algorithms which, in turn, create a predictable lead stream.
Furthermore, it gives a firm grounding for potential clients to feel trust in the services you offer. Even a bad review can be good, as it highlights how you provide excellent customer service when you advise and offer recourse to fix any issues.
As we mentioned, referrals can be an excellent way to get leads that are more than likely going to use your services or at least intend on doing so. You can optimize this process by asking current clients on your email list to help generate referrals for you.
Building relationships with other attorneys and law firms can be an excellent way to collaborate and add to your clientele. They can refer business your way in exchange for you doing the same or for a paid agreement. This can be helpful when you get potential leads that do not fit your specialties as a law firm, if you have somewhere reputable to send them, it is good for business all round and can even lead to client recommendations as well.
Offline lead generation
Offline lead generation is effectively the same as online, but without the internet —think more traditional marketing tactics. Law firms can use offline marketing effectively to generate leads; especially potential clients that are local to them.
When generating leads offline, it can be helpful to know your local area and consider where the maximum foot traffic is, the areas that your target audience might be likely to attend and how you can ensure your lead generation tactics stand out to potential leads.
Offline lead generation tools and strategies:
These are some great offline lead generation tools and strategies that you can implement into the advertising and marketing of your law firm:
Networking has always been a great tool in any business. As the saying goes, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and marketing is no different. If you can network with big clients and firms, you are on the track to success. This is where offline marketing comes into its own: You are no longer a piece of text on a computer screen; you are a person. When you network offline, you become a tangible asset to yourself.
- Hosting events
Hosting events is a great way to involve yourself in the community and give something back to the people around you. When someone attends an event in your premises and has a good time, they are likely to remember where and when that happened, creating a strong link between that prospective customer and you.
- Attending functions
Attending functions can be great for attorneys within your firm to reach out and become a true part of the community surrounding your business. Getting to know your neighbors and giving them an introduction they remember creates a positive channel that they can use in the future if they want to contact you.
- Business cards
Handing out business cards when you are at a function or when a client visits your premises is a brilliant way to network. It opens the gateway to conversation, and you can put whatever contact information you like on them.
Investing in textured and visually attractive cards will impart the feeling of luxury to a potential lead, which can be great for business if they have not yet seen your website or premises.
Advertising your business offline is a great way to broaden your visibility in the local community and create a conversation about your business. If creative and stimulating adverts appear across the town, it is likely that people will chat about them and wonder about your business.
When you advertise your business locally there are many options, including posters and billboard advertisements, stickers and shop-front adverts and leafleting either in the street or door-to-door.
It may be that you want to pay a sponsor to advertise your business. It can be a great way to affiliate your law firm with positive businesses in the area — perhaps in a sports stadium or hall or inside a business.
Local magazines are a great way to generate attorney leads locally. They are often posted through the doors of homeowners across towns. If you pay for a good advert in a local magazine, you often reach an older target demographic that might be less plentiful in an online environment.
- QR Codes
Adding a QR code to your advertisement or business card or in a local magazine gives a quick and simplistic entrance for your interested party to become a lead. QR codes are becoming ever more popular, and smartphones can easily scan them without the need for extra apps.
Offering a QR code link means that clients can access a landing page within seconds of finding out about your business, creating a seamless transition from offline to online and continuing your marketing web efficiently.
Lead generation companies
Lead generation companies collect consumer and business data and sell the information to other businesses. Some well-known attorney lead generators that offer services to attorneys and law firms are: conversionlegends, leadsforlawyers, and leadpronto.
Why choose a lead generation company?
Lead generation companies have access to data that you would have to spend a lot of time and money searching for. If you have the money to go with a lead generation company, it can be a great boost for your business. You can use their services to track prospective clients for you and generate leads that are refined sources of leads. Lead generation companies have experts that research the leads that your business needs. You can find attorney and law-firm-specific packages.
Pros and cons of a lead generation company
- Expert lead generation companies have comprehensive and organized lead directories.
- Increase online visibility.
- Increase traffic in downtime.
- If the company is not reputable, you can end up with no return from your investment.
- Clients may wonder where you got the information and be distrustful.
- You may be given bad leads that are impossible to contact or do not fit your specifications.
Common mistakes when you have your leads
There are some common mistakes that you should be aware of, so you don’t fall into these traps within your own law firm.
First, attribution — where did the lead come from? If you follow up a lead and can’t answer the simple question of ”Where did you get my number?” — chances are that person will not trust the conversation and will decline to take it further.
Attribution also has an effect on your overall lead generation plan. If you can’t track where a lead came from, and you make a sale, you do not know where that sale came from. In the same way when you find a list of dead leads and are unable to find their starting point, you will be unable to improve or remove that part of your sales funnel.
Second, many businesses fail with the quality of their in-take process. You should create a streamlined, client-oriented process that is as robust with information as possible.
If you are calling your leads, it is crucial that you call within acceptable hours and have a polite and professional manner. As soon as you come across as “salesy,” they are likely to disconnect. A good method is to approach in a friendly way, state where you are calling from and ask them how their day is before dropping straight into logistics. Make it seem as if it was their idea and that you are giving them a call back. You are more likely to gain a client if they trust in why you are calling.
If you are emailing leads, it can be helpful to include a visually stunning graphic and links to your website and helpful areas of your online marketing. Make it personal, but ensure they know who you are and that it isn’t just another spam email in their inbox.
How having a consistent flow of quality leads can impact your law firm
A constant flow of quality leads is extremely likely to have a positive impact on your law firm. There are no two ways about it. If you have people interested in what you are doing, trusting in your company and leaving their contact information with you, you are going to grow, build and exceed your revenue targets.
A constant flow of top-quality leads will mean that you generate more clients and bring in more revenue. In turn, you can hire more attorneys, level up the size of your firm and grow as a household name in the community.
This also means that you can refer to other law firms, build your network and enhance public opinion while continually improving and tweaking your business model to perfection.
To conclude, productive high-quality law firm lead generation is a core element of the business model of any law firm. It assists your growth and standing within the community in a positive way. It works as a code through which you can advertise and as a resource to analyze and consider ways to boost your customer base. Lead generation, for attorneys, is a way to connect with clients that might have otherwise overlooked your firm or chosen to sign with a competitor. When it is orchestrated correctly, lead generation is a positive and honest way to connect with customers and businesses. It is, in effect, the key to your success.
Rocket Pilots is a San Diego based company serving law firms throughout the United States. As always, feel free to reach out if you have questions or if the Rocket Pilots team can help in any way. Contact us today.