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Across the board, all law firms share one central goal: increase revenue by growing business. Reaching this goal, however, is easier said than done. Growing law firms understand how to consistently bring in new business and utilize business strategies to help them reach revenue goals more efficiently and effectively.
To successfully bring in business, lawyers must have an up-to-date, well-informed understanding of how clients choose a law firm in the modern day. What exactly are clients looking for when selecting legal representation? How can your law firm implement better practices to ensure that clients select your firm over the rest? These are the questions that we use to formulate better business solutions for our law firm clients.
The 2 Ways that Clients Find Lawyers
Potential clients use a variety of different avenues to find a lawyer to represent their case. As consumer trends continue to evolve, it can be difficult to anticipate how hiring decisions are made in the legal industry. Do people turn to Google to find legal representation? Do they put their trust in referrals from friends and family? Fortunately, data exists to help law firms understand how clients find lawyers and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. According to legal trends, potential clients can be divided into two groups based on their hiring decision-making process.
Despite the undeniable rise of online marketing, referrals persist as one of the primary methods of securing new clients for lawyers. Trust is a major factor that potential clients look for when hiring an attorney and referrals provide that trust. For law firms that wish to expand their practice, the importance of referral marketing is clear.
According to the 2019 Legal Trends Report, 59% of prospective clients sought some kind of referral when looking for a lawyer. There are three common sources of referrals, including:
- Friends and family members (32%)
- Attorneys (16%)
- Non-legal professionals (9%)
Note that non-legal professionals are most commonly accountants, real estate agents, or other professions that often experience crossover with the legal industry. At the end of the day, the professional relationships that you foster can help influence how clients choose a law firm.
A large number of clients identify legal counsel through their own search methods. In fact, the same Legal Trends Report indicates that 57% of consumers shopped on their own for a lawyer. These types of clients utilized a wide range of approaches to find a law firm, including the following:
- Law firm websites
- Online search engines
- Online reviews
- Lawyer directories
- Law firm blog posts, articles, and video content
- Social media
The truth is that MOST prospective clients turn to Google for their initial search, looking at Google Business Profile listings, reviews, and law firm websites to assess different options. These clients typically identify the most visible law firms on search engines and further research these top-performing firms using social media and law firm websites.
Furthermore, there is a generational divide that separates potential clients. Millennials and Gen Z who have never searched for a lawyer before tend to find the process more daunting and turn to online avenues to conduct research before hiring an attorney. Studies show that approximately 50% of millennials and Gen Z clients care about a law firm’s website and brand identity. They are also statistically less likely to value referrals from lawyers. Why does this matter? Younger clients offer a valuable opportunity to secure long-term referrals and repeat business, making it important to cater to these audiences.
How to Secure Clients for Your Law Firm: 5 Ways to Generate Leads
Based on this information, law firms must diversify their marketing strategy to attract clients and generate leads for their business. While referrals are incredibly important, a law firm’s online presence is becoming more and more relevant in the digital age. The following are five ways that you can secure clients for your law firm.
1. Create a High-Performing Website
Having a high-performing website is greatly beneficial to law firms who wish to generate more business. Creating a website is only one piece of the puzzle, however, and it is necessary to consider the design and content that is included on your site. These factors have a major impact on the number of conversions that your website achieves and, in turn, the success of your law firm.
Of the 57% of clients who search online for legal representation, a large portion used a law firm website to make their hiring decision. Not all websites are successful in turning website traffic into clients, however, and a law firm website must be well-designed, fast, and attractive to potential clients. Information should be clear and concise, images should be professional and well-placed, and the user experience must be optimized. Consider loading speed and navigability, as well as the design of the website on mobile devices. These factors greatly impact how clients choose a law firm.
2. Utilize Search Engine Optimization to Rank Higher
In the current digital age, search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential practice for law firms who wish to stand apart from the competition and secure more clients. When a client turns to Google and other search engines, they rarely look past the second page when assessing the results and selecting a law firm. For this reason, it is incredibly important to optimize your content to rank as highly as possible on search engines.
Law firm SEO uses keyword data, website architecture, and intelligent linking strategies to rank your law firm website and webpages at the top of Google and other search engines. Google, for example, uses a variety of different factors to evaluate a website and rank it on the search engine. Creating and implementing an effective SEO strategy is a long-term investment and allows a law firm to build sustainable success over time.
3. Use Social Media and Email Marketing to Build Relationships
Social media and email marketing campaigns are ideal for building relationships with clients and leading people to your law firm website. There is no denying that your competitors are using social media and to stay ahead of the game, diversifying your online presence to these platforms is essential. Sharing compelling visual content, such as infographics or short-form videos, and informational written content is key. If your social media content can be shared to wider audiences, you are increasing your chances of generating leads to your website and landing clients.
4. Provide Valuable and Relevant Information
Many times, prospective clients turn to law firm websites, blog posts, and YouTube videos to learn more about the legal issue that they are facing. If a client finds valuable information on your website or through your social media, they are more likely to trust that you have the knowledge and experience necessary to win their case. The trust that can be established through informational written content is a key part of how clients choose a law firm.
In addition to establishing credibility and reputation among potential clients, written content also provides an opportunity to boost SEO and ultimately increase traffic to your law firm’s website. Consistency is key with this strategy, and it is necessary to post informational content on a regular basis to generate these leads.
5. Focus on Reviews and Ratings
When clients choose a lawyer, they look for a law firm that they can trust to successfully represent their case and provide high-quality service. For this reason, many people turn to reviews and ratings to make hiring decisions. In almost all situations, if a client sees a slew of poor reviews and a low rating, they will turn their attention elsewhere.
Every time that your law firm receives a positive review, you are establishing your credibility and giving clients a reason to trust you. A legal marketing study indicates that 84% of clients require that a law firm has a rating of four stars or higher before they will hire that firm. The quantity of reviews is a major facet of this, as a law firm with a high rating from only a handful of people is less trustworthy than a law firm with a high rating from hundreds of people.
It is not against Google’s policies to solicit reviews, so consider asking past clients AND YOUR PEERS!!!! to provide a rating for your law firm. Be sure to provide easy-to-follow instructions for how to leave a review to make it as easy as possible for your clients to navigate the process.
Navigating How Clients Choose a Law Firm with LawQuill
Understanding how clients choose a law firm is key to generating more business for your practice. To secure these clients and increase your revenue, however, it is necessary to implement content marketing strategies that highlight your firm’s strengths. At LawQuill, this is precisely what we do.
We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your law firm website’s content, and how we can take these tasks off your plate! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.