On the James Attorney Marketing blog, we frequently discuss relatively new legal marketing practices and related topics: search engine optimization, algorithm updates, the importance of social media, how to construct a proper website, engagement techniques to acquire potential clients, and more. If you’re just starting out with your marketing plan, it all probably seems a bit overwhelming, and we don’t blame you.
A Simple Solution
However, one of the most—if not the most—important attorney marketing technique is one that was around long before the Internet existed, and that even the new lawyer can begin cultivating immediately: referrals. While we spend a good portion of our time stressing the importance of new-school marketing avenues, only the foolish would neglect the power of word-of-mouth referrals and the personal networks that can drive inquiries to your office.
Why Are Referrals Important?
The benefits of referrals should be obvious. When a potential client finds your website via a search engine inquiry, you are being judged solely upon the site itself. The potential client knows nothing about you, and while you may have a testimonial page available, even glowingly positive reviews of your practice are essentially statements by strangers to anyone not familiar with you.
On the other hand, if a potential client needs help and is referred to you by a friend or family member, the bonds of trust are higher. Far from being a stranger, in the eyes of your new potential client you’re now a “friend of a friend” or “the attorney who helped my sister,” which gives your working relationship an instant and added level of credibility. People who need the help of an attorney are often anxious or scared, and the steady hand of a close, personal connection can help assuage those fears and bolster your credentials significantly.
How Can Referrals Be Generated?
Similar to many other attorney marketing techniques, generating referrals shouldn’t be rocket science. A few simple practices can typically kick-start your referral engine:
- Ensure that your current and past clients have useful materials featuring your firm name and contact information. Educational brochures and newsletters can do the trick, for instance, and if you couple these with a short but useful booklet that features handy advice about a range of legal issues your firm can address, clients may pass these materials to friends or family members also in need of assistance.
- Keep your name top-of-mind whenever possible. Gather digital contact information from your clients upon first contact, and put this into a database. Create an email auto-responder campaign that will automatically send relevant tips, tricks, and advice to your email list at regular intervals. These messages may be forwarded to other potential clients you may not have reached otherwise.
- Utilize your firm’s social media accounts frequently by posting a variety of content that those associated with your business might find interesting enough to share with their own networks. Don’t rely solely on educational articles discussing legal topics; you can also make headway simply by sharing and commenting on a local news story, posting a photo and quick message for a holiday, and so forth. Engage with your followers and encourage them to spread the word.
- Sponsor a local event like a 5K race or charity event. Get your name into the community and you may be surprised how quickly your referral network grows.
Assistance Is Available
We know that courting referrals in addition to writing blogs for your website, keeping track of your search terms and traffic, and managing your social media profiles can be overwhelming. James Publishing offers a range of services designed to increase your referral network, from serialized and custom newsletter development to email blasts, brochures filled with tips, educational booklets, and more. If you need help with your marketing campaign, please reach out and we will develop a custom proposal suited to your firm.