As a lawyer, you’re probably great at understanding complex legal texts, paying attention to details, and communicating persuasively. While you may feel completely at home arguing a case in front of a jury, you may feel out of your element trying to manage marketing and sales efforts and generate leads for your practice. But without a sound lead generation strategy, you risk consistent cash flow to keep your business running.
Smith.ai supports businesses with lead generation through virtual receptionist services and outreach campaigns. Below you’ll find 10 strategies for lead generation for lawyers that will help you feel as confident gathering leads as you do in the courtroom.
Lead generation is the process of finding or identifying sales leads and nurturing them through the sales funnel until they become paying clients. Some leads are people who may need your services right away, while others might need you in the future. Lead generation can involve a number of tactics that ultimately all help potential leads find you, engage with you, or help you gather their contact information so you’re able to market or sell to them at a later date.
Establishing a lead generation strategy for your law practice is necessary if you want to grow your business. In fact, it’s so important that 36% of marketers indicate it's their top marketing priority. You need to do lead generation consistently for steady reliable growth, or you’ll find yourself with no clients when a current case ends.
Many people mistakenly believe businesses can only conduct lead generation with robust sales and marketing teams, but the truth is that anyone — even those who own a small business — can handle lead generation effectively with the right framework and a little help.
If you’re a lawyer with your own practice or you’re working for a small practice, lead generation is only part of your job. Most of your focus understandably needs to be on your current clients, so finding the most productive ways to conduct lead generation is important. The following strategies will help you generate and nurture leads effectively so you can focus on your existing clients.
In our digital era, websites provide social proof to potential leads. A website says, “I’m here! I exist!” Without one, potential leads might assume you’ve moved or are no longer practicing law and find a competitor instead. A professional, engaging website that functions on mobile and desktop platforms should be the foundation of your lead generation strategy.
It also helps potential clients understand what you offer, the areas of law that you focus on, verify your credentials, and potentially read reviews of what past clients have to say about your firm.
Fortunately, you don’t need any coding knowledge to create a high-quality website. Website providers like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and more have drag-and-drop templates that make creating your website a breeze.
When designing your website, be sure to include the following pages:
You’ll also want to include clear calls to action (CTAs) that direct a reader to do something, whether it’s learning more, downloading a resource, or signing up for an appointment. You want to make sure you constantly invite potential clients to reach you through a form, pop-up, or mobile phone call button.
Adding a live chat feature to your website can also help generate leads. A live chat agent from Smith.ai can respond to questions from leads, screen and qualify, and schedule appointments for those ready to take the next step.
Once your website is live, it’s time to direct traffic to it through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO aims to identify keywords that are often used by the folks you want coming to your site. You’ll want to use those keywords in the structure and content of your site. You can hire a professional to help you with this or invest in SEO tools like Ahrefs or Moz for support. If you want to tackle this without spending any money, you can look at your competitors’ websites for keyword ideas.
Good old-fashioned sales outreach through cold calling can be a powerful strategy to bring in new clients. Sales outreach campaigns establish relationships with your leads, kick-starting them down the sales funnel.
However, a high volume of calls may be required to see success. Introducing yourself to clients, promoting your services, and scheduling meetings takes time that could be better spent providing high-quality service to your existing clients. Or, you may just be uncomfortable with sales conversations, in general.
If you lack the resources to tackle sales outreach on your own, consider outsourcing your outreach campaigns to Smith.ai. Our virtual agents reach, engage, and convert leads, set appointments, and can even transfer warm leads ready to convert directly to you.
Social media marketing uses social media channels to guide leads to your website by allowing you to communicate directly with leads. When done successfully, social media campaigns enable you to build relationships with potential customers.
Deciding which social media channels to include in your marketing campaign can be tricky. Social media engagement is time-consuming, so you want to focus your energy where your clients hang out online instead of trying to be active on every channel. For example, if you specialize in business law, marketing on LinkedIn will likely have the largest return on investment, but if you practice civil law, you’ll want to be on Facebook and Twitter.
The most successful social media marketing campaigns are engaging and highly visible. Run contests, conduct polls, engage in Q&As with your followers, leave comments on thought leaders’ posts, and showcase your own areas of expertise. Focus on building relationships and being a thought leader yourself — rather than directly selling your services.
If your company has a social media presence, don’t forget to respond to any and all inquiries quickly — 79% of people expect a response within 24 hours of contacting a brand online. Many others want it within five minutes!
While networking culture has largely shifted online thanks to social media and webinars, you shouldn’t skip the old-fashioned meet-and-greet. Attend local lawyer events to make connections with peers in the field. If they meet with a client who isn’t a great fit for them, they can always refer the client to you.
Also, consider where your ideal customer might be. For example, if you practice business law, attend networking events for business people in that field. They may not need your services right now, but if they do in the future, they’ll be more likely to go with someone they’ve met in person than someone unknown they find through a Google search.
It shouldn't be surprising that 59% of people read reviews before hiring a lawyer or other professionals. When someone needs a lawyer, there’s something important on the line — jail time, custody, medical bills, etc. — and they probably feel out of their element. Knowing they’re hiring the right lawyer gives them peace of mind.
That means you need to be present on online review sites. Claim free profiles on sites like Yelp or Google, or set up pages on lawyer review sites like Lawyers.com or Avvo, and ask clients to write reviews. Monitor your reviews and engage with reviewers to show potential leads you care about your clients.
If it’s feasible for you, offer free consultations to potential clients. This encourages people to reach out to you, and making that personal connection goes a long way toward turning them into paying clients.
It also helps you qualify the lead since they’ll give you a brief overview of their situation when they schedule a consultation. Even if they end up not being a perfect fit, they’ll remember a positive, personalized interaction with you, increasing the likelihood that they’ll mention you when they come across someone who does need your services.
A thought leader is someone who uses their expertise in a particular area to advise others. Some of the most popular ways to become a legal thought leader are participating in webinars, having an active presence on LinkedIn, or publishing a blog or downloadable educational content like eBooks.
Create useful and meaningful content by answering the questions you often get asked from new clients. Once you have a list of questions, you can:
This is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate leads — marketing through content is three times more effective than other types of marketing, and it costs 63% less.
The best kind of leads are the ones who tell you they’re already interested in your services. One way to identify these leads is by collecting email addresses. You can do this by putting content behind gated email forms that require them to share their email to download higher-value educational content like a webinar or eBook, or via newsletter sign-up CTAs on your website.
Once you have their email address, send monthly newsletters or personalized emails. Doing so will help you nurture leads so that when they need your services, they already know your name and areas of expertise.
A simple Google search for a keyword will return thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of results. Get your practice’s website at the top of the list with Google pay-per-click (PPC) ads. These ads are connected to specific keywords, so it’s essential to identify the best keywords for your practice.
This can be the most expensive strategy on this list, but if you do it right, you can generate a lot of leads. It also requires a lot of keyword research, so hiring a professional might be worth it.
Consider Google’s Local Services Ads, too. The little brother of traditional Google Ads, they are meant to be less labor-intensive to manage, geared specifically for small, local businesses, and use a pay-per-lead model, so you can capture calls or form fills directly through the ad experience.
Finally, don’t neglect social media-based pay-per-click ads. Facebook and LinkedIn have wonderful targeting capabilities that can help your ads be shown to the right folks and help you justify your investment with quality leads.
Sales prospecting and lead generation can get overwhelming and time-consuming, but fortunately, many products exist to make it easier.
Here are a few of our favorite lead generation tools:
Lead generation for lawyers can be a manageable task with the right strategies in place. When it works and leads start flooding in, you’ll need a way to keep up while keeping your current clients happy.
Smith.ai’s virtual receptionist services can answer your calls and manage the necessary conversations to turn leads into qualified meetings. And with our outreach campaigns, we’ll make the dials and engage with leads so you can ensure you’ll only have appointments with best-fit potential clients.
Sources: Thomson Reuters