On any given day, there are several different types of prospects that will visit your law firm’s website or stumble upon your content: comparison shoppers looking for the right legal practice, information-gatherers, and people who are still deciding whether to pursue legal action. If you’re only producing content for one kind of prospect, you’re missing out on building relationships with everyone else.
Don’t sabotage your chances of converting more prospects into clients. Learn how to create content for people in each stage of the marketing funnel, below.
The Inbound Marketing Funnel
There are four stages of the legal marketing funnel:
- Top of the funnel (TOFU) is the awareness stage, where your prospects realize that they have a problem or challenge they would like to address. For instance, let’s say that Jane was in a car accident—she was rear-ended and broke her arm, which resulted in significant hospital bills and rehabilitation costs. Financially and physically crippled, Jane turns to the internet for advice.
- Middle of the funnel (MOFU) is the consideration stage where prospects have decided to address their problem or challenge and are trying to decide which solution is best. For example, Jane is considering a consultation with a personal injury law firm but isn’t sure whether she would have a strong case. She decides to read blog articles and case studies from several personal injury law firm websites.
- Bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is the decision stage, where prospects are committed to a certain course of action and are comparing firms. For instance, Jane has flagged two personal injury law firms as very promising and is comparing reviews and services to determine which to move forward with.
- There is also a fourth stage of the attorney marketing funnel that often receives less attention than the main three: the retention, or delight, stage. This stage focuses on engaging past clients in order to promote your law firm’s reputation and encourage referrals. Because referrals can be a very effective and inexpensive way to garner more business, your law firm should focus just as much on stage 4 of the funnel as the other three stages.
Top of the Funnel: Provide Insight
At this point, prospects are all about gathering information; it’s too early for your law firm to push a consultation. Focus on being the most helpful resource possible by creating informational marketing materials like:
- Blog posts (which should be shared on social media)
- White papers
These resources should concentrate on topics, questions, and keyword phrases that your audience would search for online. In the example of Jane the car accident victim above, this could be “injured in car accident,” “medical bills from car crash,” “rear-ended in car accident expensive medical bills.”
Your personal injury law firm doesn’t have to use these exact keywords—simply use them as a jumping off point for brainstorming resources that prospects would find helpful.
Middle of the Funnel: Help Them Determine Whether Legal Action is Appropriate
Your prospect has done some research, maybe even opted into your law firm’s email list to access an e-book, and is now considering whether they should pursue legal action. What can you do to qualify the lead, help them make the decision to consider legal action (if appropriate), and nurture them down the funnel?
Consider content like:
- Webinars and videos answering the question “Do I have a case?”
- Free consultation
- White papers
- Expert guides
- Drip email campaigns
Remember, this stage is about building relationships with prospects and guiding them toward the best solution. If the optimal solution for Jane is to pursue a personal injury case, for instance, then you have already built rapport with her and therefore have a better chance of winning her business compared to the competition.
Bottom of the Funnel: Demonstrate That Your Law Firm is the Best
Prospects at this stage are deciding which law firm to consult. Your job is to be there at the right place and time to convert them into your client. Feel free to employ:
- Written or video testimonials
- Positive online reviews
- Comparisons to competitors in your niche and local area
- Case studies
- Free consultations
If you’ve done the work of building a relationship with the prospect from the bottom of the funnel and through the middle stage—like providing information to Jane and then demonstrating why pursuing a personal injury case is right for her—then extending the right offer or differentiating yourself from the competition could close the deal.
After the Funnel: Choosing to Refer
Going silent on clients after case close is not going to win you any fans. Stay in touch with valuable connections through:
- Requests for online reviews and testimonials (with the James Legal CRM, clients like Jane will automatically receive a request for a review after case close)
- Thank you cards
- Email newsletters
- Holiday cards
- Interesting blog articles
- Promotional items
- Referral incentives
- Social media contests
Demonstrate that you always value their business—not just while they’re an active client—and you could be rewarded tenfold with referred business, which means more cases with less money spent on attorney marketing.