Lawyers operate in a wide variety of capacities. Lawyers are often accustomed to offering advice and helping clients to better understand the law. Lawyers are also accustomed to representing clients, reviewing, writing and editing documents, and analyzing complex cases. One role that lawyers may not be accustomed to filling is that of a marketer or salesperson.
Nonetheless, a law office, like any other business that primarily offers services, must have clients in order to operate. While the way each business finds new customers or clients varies, there are some pieces of common marketing wisdom that can help you better understand how lead generation works and some common practices we’ll explore that many marketing teams use in order to generate more leads for their organizations. So what do these practices look like? What exactly do we mean when we say “lead,” and why is it important for your law office? What is lead generation, and what does that look like? Let’s jump in. This is lead generation for lawyers.
To put it as simply as possible, a lead is someone who might be interested in your services. There are different ways to qualify what you consider a “lead.” Still, you can think of them much the same way a detective might think of a lead–this is a path which is potentially worth following, one which may or may not pan out, but based on information you currently have, one which is worth pursuing. Some businesses attempt to further narrow down which leads are most worth following by qualifying leads. These “qualified” leads are interested potential clients who display certain attributes which marketing teams might believe make them more likely to ultimately become actual clients. These attributes might be things like having explicitly expressed an interest in the organization’s services, having the authority to make purchasing decisions within their organization, or having submitted contact information to the organization.
The question of whether or not law offices need leads is a complex one with no simple answer. The truth is, while a law office may be able to find clients and operate without ever discussing where to find leads, or what a lead is, or marketing strategies, they may be using attorney leads, regardless. Any time a current client recommends you to another potential client and tells you about it, for example, that potential client–in essence–can be thought of as a lead.
You can think of a lead as simply a potential client that you’re aware of. So, while working with word-of-mouth marketing, you essentially have a lead any time you’ve been told that someone is interested and will call you soon with more information. This gives you the option of reaching out to follow up if they don’t reach out, and the knowledge that you may have a new client soon.
While you can operate without ever systematically seeking out leads, understanding that lead generation may be an integral part of your business anyway. That lead generation is a possible avenue for increasing business can help you to seize future opportunities by generating leads for your law firm.
So after exploring what leads are and what they have to do with lawyers, you might wonder: how do people systematically search out leads? Is word of mouth the only way? What about my law firm website? Are there other ways to find new leads? The truth is, many businesses ask themselves this question at some point: how do you go about getting leads?
There’s no one single best approach to generating leads. Some businesses opt for pay-per-lead services and other lead generation services, while others take an independent approach. In truth, generating leads can become a holistic process that takes advantage of multiple channels available to you. We’ll cover some common methods that are used to generate leads and explore how they might look in practice.
The first step of lead generation is determining your audience and reaching out to them. You might already know what your audience is, but if you don’t, market research may be your first step–and the legal industry is no exception. For example, if you specialize in real estate law, your target audience might be prospective home-buyers, while if you practice family law, your target audience might be anyone ranging from divorcees to legal guardians. Whatever your services are, consider what your clients have in common with one another and how that might inform how to best reach others like them. There are a number of ways you can reach potential clients: word-of-mouth, advertising, social media presence, generating useful online content, and more.
Advertising is an enduring and time-tested business practice. Through advertising, businesses can display to potential clients and customers what they have to offer and explain how their services or goods are an ideal fit for their intended market’s needs. In the digital age, advertising has evolved into a complex world of often-targeted ads that can be displayed widely, from apps to websites. Paid advertising is also one way many businesses generate leads online. Pay-per-click, or PPC advertising, is one of the most popular forms of online advertising.
If paid advertising is like sending a message to potential clients along their path, SEO is like putting yourself along their path. SEO, short for search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing your online presence so that you’re more visible on search engines. An SEO strategy might seek to add relevant information to your website so that search engines can more easily find it when people are looking for services you offer through the strategic use of keywords and website design.
One of the ways businesses often look to enhance their brand is by presenting themselves as industry experts in online spaces. Social media is an opportunity to engage with a vast community, often full of potential clients. Opening up about your industry on social media can expose you to a lot of people who may or may not be interested in your services but who can spread awareness of your services regardless. Social media marketing isn’t the only form of online content that can help generate legal leads.
There’s also a wealth of online content that businesses put out on their own websites. It’s worth exploring how generating content–on social media and off social media–provides a wealth of opportunities to engage more with your target audience and potentially gather leads along the way. People go online to do a lot of things–including entertain themselves, communicate with their community, express themselves, and learn new things.
Being an expert in your field, you have a unique opportunity to become someone that people can go to when they want to learn something. Creating content such as blogs, how-to guides, articles, and informational videos can be an effective way to engage with your target audience and gain exposure. Paired with an effective call to action, these content forms can be an effective way to generate leads as well.
What if you’re active on social media, you generate content on your website, and you have ads already? Is that all there is to it? Reaching your target audience isn’t all there is to generating leads. Capturing leads is the process of further engaging with your audience and obtaining important information from them so that they can become leads.
Take, for example, an ad on social media. If a potential client clicks on this ad, where do they go? If you provide them with a form to fill out for a free consultation, and they give you contact information, you’ve captured a lead. If, instead, they’re just redirected to your website and they subsequently leave without giving you any contact information, you haven’t captured a lead.
Lead capture is an important part of the process and involves planning. Some important things to consider when planning out what lead capture might look like for you are the user experience and your responsiveness. Though you might be at the office during only the work week, prospective clients can find online ads or search you out online any time of the day or week. Having a system in place to collect their information in real time and let them know that you will reach out soon can be the difference between merely an interested individual and a future client.
Following up promptly can also be important. Someone urgently seeking legal services may opt to find them elsewhere if you cannot respond fast enough. Therefore, it’s important to have well-organized leads so potential clients don’t slip through the cracks.
Whether you’ve never thought about lead generation before or you’re looking to revamp the way your law office generates leads, understanding more about lead generation is a great first step. There are many factors to remain mindful of as you go about generating leads; consider the prospective client’s experience, who your target audience is, what your target audience thinks of you, how promptly you’re able to respond to interested prospective clients, and what things your intended audience has in common.
Though generating leads might seem like a daunting task, much of it can be streamlined and simplified with the right tools. Leads-365 can help you make generating leads simple and automatic. With tools to help you automatically capture leads, promptly respond to inquiries, and keep leads organized, Leads-365 can change the way you approach lead generation. To learn more, be sure to reach out and request a demo or start a Free 14 Day Trial.