The point of your law firm’s marketing strategy is to drive new business. It’s why your legal practice commits dollars to websites, social media advertising, digital display ads, and more. You wouldn’t go to trial without doing research on existing case law. Don’t throw money into marketing schemes without first considering the data.
Who is your market?
This is the most important question to consider when marketing your legal practice. It is a waste of time, energy, and budget to chase after page views, likes, and clicks from people who are not in your target audience. If you are getting a lead every day from people in jail looking for a criminal defense attorney, but you practice real estate law, then your lead generation dollars are being wasted.
You don’t just need leads. You need leads for potential clients.
Not every lead is going to turn into a profitable client. But starting by marketing to people who need and are looking for your services is a good start. In addition, as an attorney, you are also ethically barred from soliciting your services to someone who doesn’t need them or misrepresenting your services.
Every marketing campaign should start with this question, who is our client? The reality is that not everyone can be your client. Your services, rates, availability, location, etc are not going to align with everyone. And that’s a good thing. You don’t want to market to everyone, just to the core group you serve.
Reality vs. Goals
When considering your market, it’s important to carefully evaluate your current business trends. Do you want to keep serving your current clients? Do you want more clients like them? Or do you want more of your business to come from a different type of client?
Perhaps currently a majority of your clients need litigation services. You spend most of your time in litigation with these clients, and the research and court time takes up a lot of your capacity. At the same time, perhaps you offer legal counsel for real estate transactions for a small subset of your clients. This non-litigation service is lucrative and you want to expand it. If you continue with the same marketing, it’s likely that you will get the same results. However, if you change your marketing efforts to be more real estate transaction focused, you can grow the lucrative side of your business.
Don’t be afraid to change based on the market you’re trying to attract. Having a target audience will help you craft your message because you won’t be directing your efforts to everyone; you will be creating content especially for a marked audience.
Where are your client leads coming from?
There are many different ways to acquire client leads online. For law firms, lead generation can usually be broken into two categories: the law firm website and lawyer lead generating websites.
Your Website Leads
You can drive traffic to your law firm website in a number of ways including SEO, social media marketing, digital display ads, retargeting, and a number of other tactics. Getting visitors to your website is just one part of the strategy. Once visitors get to your site, what is the next step?
Perhaps a potential client isn’t ready to pick up the phone or fill out a contact form yet. But maybe they would be willing to sign up for a e-newsletter or give you their email in exchange for a free download. This is a lead that you can track and cultivate. Using analytics from your website, your law firm can monitor how many people are signing up for the newsletter or the free download. You can then use these email addresses to push a welcome sequence of evergreen content. The potential client learns more and more about your law firm and how it solves problems for clients. This warms them up to possibly get to the point where they’re ready to schedule a consultation.
There are endless amounts of client lead data that you can mine from your website and email campaigns. What webpage do visitors stay on the longest? What webpage has the highest bounce rate? What emails have the highest open rate? What emails have the highest click through rate? These are all important questions that can inform your marketing efforts. Using this data you can tweak and change your marketing efforts to better engage your users.
For example, you may find that users click on the contact us page a lot but complete the new client questionnaire. Maybe the questionnaire has too many questions and you lowering the bar for entry will increase your inquiries.
You can also use this client lead data to segment your leads and push content that better connects with your potential clients. You aren’t selling your law firm. You are selling the solutions your law firm provides. Client lead data can help you craft and test a compelling story that resonates with your potential clients.
Lawyer Lead Generating Website Leads
The second major way many law firms receive leads is through lead generating websites for lawyers. Many lead generating websites have a search box where potential clients can input their geographical location and legal issue, and they can receive results of lawyers in their area. On some websites lawyers pay to have a profile or pay per lead. The advantage of these websites is they can bring in a lot of leads. The disadvantage is that these leads may not always be valuable. In fact, if your law firm pays for these kinds of leads, it is a good idea to track not just the amount of money spent but the time spent per lead. You may find that you are wasting valuable time on leads that rarely convert into clients!
Use Data to Inform Your Marketing Decisions
Ultimately, every law firm has limited resources. It’s crucial to the long-term viability of your business to deploy those resources towards marketing efforts with the highest ROI. Examine your current marketing efforts and current client roster. Really consider the client base and services you want to grow; where are those clients coming from? Are they online leads?
Perhaps your most valuable clients are coming from in-person networking. Digital marketing is absolutely necessary in the modern age. But don’t discontinue your profitable offline marketing! If a monthly business chamber meeting garners you great business, don’t stop going. If an advertisement in a local newspaper consistently gathers quality leads, keep placing the ad.
Your law firm can gain a lot of interesting client lead data online. But the most important metrics are about what potential clients convert and where you get the highest quality of business. If you have established offline marketing tactics like speaking at events, sending mailers, sponsoring community activities, distributing promotional materials, or advertising in local publications, keep up the good work! You can also engage in digital marketing, but don’t lose focus on what is bringing in business.
Before embarking or changing your law firm’s marketing practices, consider who your target audience is. Utilize any client lead data you have from your website and email campaigns to create a story that will resonate with your potential clients. Lastly, use marketing practices with the highest ROI. While that may be lead generating websites, it may also be traditional marketing offline. Dive deep into your client data to study where your most valuable clients come from and work from there.