Lead generation is a marketing term that refers to the initiation of consumer inquiry or interest into services or products of a business. The most common uses of leads are sales and e-newsletter list building.
For a law firm, there are many online lead generation avenues to consider. The most effective of these are:
- Paid ads (such as Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn advertising)
- Video platforms (such as YouTube and Vimeo)
- Social channels (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter)
- Lead generation website services
- Online attorney directories
What does a Law Firm Stand to Gain from Lead Generation?
Law firm lead generation brings in a consistent stream of clients. Running a lead generation campaign means you will not be personally tied up trying to get the elusive next client and you can concentrate on legal matters. A regular stream of business means you do not have to sit and wait for the phone to ring. Consistency means security – you will be able to ride through the normal peaks and valleys that occur in every business.
Bar associations do not allow for direct advertising to attract clients. You, therefore, have to be very discreet at this. Having a website is one such discrete way of marketing your services, but lead generation allows you to be even more discreet since clients will be referred to your law firm by a lead generation service.
With a good lead generation strategy, you will be able to capture, stimulate, and retain the interest of potential clients until the sale cycle is complete.
Tips for Success in Lead Generation
With most law firms today doing lead generation, it is only with the right strategies, tools, and tips that you will succeed in generating leads that convert. Below are a few tried and tested tips:
1. Do Search Engine Optimization to be Visible
There is no point spending time, money, and effort on an online platform that nobody is ever going to see. The most effective way of increasing your firm’s visibility is through search engine optimization (SEO). This involves using different strategies to increase ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) since the higher you rank, the more hits. Studies show that 94% of those who perform a Google search will not go beyond the first SERP.
You should only use such White Hat SEO tactics as link building, creation of XML Sitemaps, and content creation because Grey and Black Hat SEO tactics could get you into trouble, including the banning of your website.
2. Use a Mixture of Paid and Organic Search Strategies
SEO allows you to get leads organically. However, it takes time to get results from SEO. You should, therefore, supplement organic search strategies with paid ones. The best example of this is PPC (pay-per-click) where you pay for a keyword phrase to be placed on an authoritative website, but only when someone clicks on the ad. Consider digital ad campaigns like Google AdWords and QR codes.
3. Talk as a Guest in Podcasts
Consider going on legal podcasts that have a proven following. This will not only give you an avenue to generate leads, but it also gives you networking opportunities and national exposure and brings you out as an expert in your niche. Running your own podcast may be too much for a law firm, so this gives you the opportunity to reach an audience without doing the groundwork.
4. Give to charities
Corporate social responsibility is expected of every company today. Prospective clients will reward law firms that are giving back to the community through donations and charitable work. You should also engage in local events so the community feels you are one of their own.
5. Create Quality Content
The creation of quality content remains one of the most effective ways to generate leads. Quality content brings you out as an expert in your niche and as a thought leader. It builds trust and gives you a wider reach. Ensure that the information is usable. The content could be:
- Blogging: Blogging is one of the most effective ways of creating a search engine optimized content. Blog's contents are easily shared and are engaging since readers can leave comments. These comments offer valuable feedback that you can use to better your services. You can blog on a wide variety of topics, not just what you are directly involved in. Include a call to action at the end of your blogs.
- Guest blogging: You could write for a popular blog, giving the legal opinion on topical issues or on just about anything else. Guest blogging allows you to connect to a lot more people (you only connect to old leads who follow you when you write in your blog) and it establishes you as an expert. Use the “About the Author” section to talk about the services offered by your law firm.
- Case studies: In an industry where it is extremely difficult to talk about one’s successes because of strict regulations, case studies give you an opportunity to flaunt your wins. Use case studies to highlight precedence-setting cases or cases that have attracted local or national attention. You should, however, not to mention client names and details that would make readers decipher client identity unless you have their express permission to avoid lawyer-client confidentiality issues.
6. Relaunch your law firm and website
Relaunching your law firm is an effective way of building a buzz around it. You should write press releases about the relaunch, which offers you an opportunity to share what you are offering and what your firm stands for. Relaunching your website from time to time also allows you to be the center of attention for some time.
7. Hold public meetings on Skype or Google+ Hangouts
You could hold virtual meetings where you publish informative and exciting events to your entire lead base. The lead base will appreciate the personal touch. Virtual meetings give you an opportunity to reconnect with old leads. Such leads are more likely to convert since they already know you and your law firm.
You could collaborate with other law firms and even other businesses that do not practice law to complement your goals and needs. As an example, you can cooperate with your suppliers and shareholders to share an audience. If you have common goals, both parties benefit from increased leads. Working with credible businesses also brings your law firm out as being credible.
You should also consider collaborating with your employees for leads through employee advocacy programs. People trust employees more than they trust companies. Employees are a good bet when it comes to both online and offline leads, but consider offering incentives to make it worth their while.
9. Have a strong social media presence
Social media outlets give you an opportunity to reach thousands of people where they are. People log into their social media accounts more often than they do to emails and other communication forums. According to a recent OfCom study, of the UK adults who use the Internet, 96% of them use it for social media. This is the trend worldwide. Social media allows for the sharing of content and engagement through comments and likes.
10. Ensure your landing pages are solid
Your lead generation efforts are as good as your landing pages. These are the pages where those you have convinced come to enlist your services, to make further queries, to sign into mailing lists, and to otherwise engage with you. The landing page should, therefore, make it easy for visitors to engage with you. Ensure the pages are fast and are responsive (can be accessed from both desktop and mobile devices). You could make it easier for visitors to contact you by:
- Displaying your phone number prominently at the top of your website (in the header)
- Giving your you email address
- Having a contact form that people can fill with their personal information before leaving a comment on the Comments box
- Live Chat function which allows prospective clients who wish to get an immediate answer to chat with a member of your team
11. Aggregation of marginal gains
Aggregation of marginal gains is a term coined by the then Team Sky’s Performance Director, Dave Brailsford. The concept involves working for “the 1 percent margin for improvement in everything you do.” Dave is of the belief that if you improve every area by a single percentage point, then these small gains will add up and you will notice a remarkable improvement in no time.
12. Focus on Local Search
Those in your locality are more likely to hire your law firm. It is difficult, as an example, for a person in New York to hire a lawyer in Chicago. Start by getting your law firm a Google My Business profile and optimize it. This gives you visibility on Google Maps and Google Search for localized keyword phrases. Google My Business is free of charge.
13. Work on your bio page
Most people who will visit your website with the intention of hiring you will want to know more about you. They do this by visiting your bio page. If you do not have a current photo on your bio page, get one. Consider getting casual shots taken outdoors beside local landmarks that people will recognize. The bio should be more of a narrative and less of a resume.
14. Build meaningful relationships with existing clients
Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways of getting leads. You should strive for a client relationship that is more than professional – let your clients feel like they are also your friends. Leads from former clients are more likely to convert since former clients usually give referrals to friends, relatives, or colleagues who need actual legal help.
Hire a Digital Marketing Agency for Law Firm Lead Generation
Avoid the common temptation of doing your own lead generation. Hiring a pro gives you access to a team of experts in lead generation and related services (such as SEO, web design), SMM, and PPC). Experts are focused on results, while you could be distracted by your caseload (which is understandable).
A good digital marketing agency will have marketing automation software and other tools to assist in the lead generation. Particularly important are monitoring tools that help you keep track of your campaign.