If you were looking for an attorney online, would you hire your firm? What makes your firm look compelling to prospects who have no idea who you are, how long you have been practicing, how great you are, and of course, your wonderful personality. If you’ve experienced online dating in the last five years, you probably have an idea of what it takes to attract your ideal partner, or you’re still single. Courting your niche and marketing your firm is precisely like online dating, except you are trying to attract thousands of partners. Technology and the way we communicate continues to change, but most firms continue to do the same things over and over, hoping to attract a new type of client.
Marketing is part art and part science. The science end comes from understanding your audience and your ideal client. It means understanding what they’re going through and the psychology of the stress they must be under. Few lawsuits do not involve some form of distress.
Consider bankruptcy for instance. Those who are filing for bankruptcy feel overwhelmed by a mountain of debt. They see no way out of the cycle of debt with interest building, creditors harassing, and expenses that never seem to diminish. It’s an incredibly stressful, painful, hopeless situation to be in.
On the other hand, our brains are hardwired to find hope. Even in situations where we manufacture it ourselves, hope is still there. As a bankruptcy attorney, you are offering your clients hope. It’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a fresh start. It comes with consequences, but those consequences are better than creditors wiping out a bank account or putting liens on their property. It’s better than having their wages garnished. Credit can be rebuilt.
That insight, of course, only requires basic observation and empathy. Today, there is so much data floating around the internet that we can access. Lawyers who trust their instincts are, of course, correct to do so. They should not, however, do so at the expense of dismissing what analytics can tell us.
If you are interested in learning more about attracting the right type of client for your firm, set an appointment with Travis now.
You may have heard of Millenials. You might even be one. Many have claimed that they are responsible for killing this or that industry, retail especially. That insight is relevant here.
What’s true is that different generations have different perspectives on complex issues. This information is also useful.
For instance, Millennials may be more comfortable texting than talking on the phone. To not consider Millennials regarding emerging trends is a fatal error for your law firm. Understanding their expectations and relating to them regarding their concerns will help you convert those who are considering your firm to represent them.
So what can we glean from Big Data?
Let’s find out.
Offer Prospective Clients a Variety of Ways to Get in Touch with You
Older generations may want to “look you in the eyes,” but Millennials have grown up with technologies that allow them to connect with people in a myriad of different ways. That includes, but isn’t limited to, looking you in the eyes.
This study reported that 19% of Millennials (who have never had a legal issue) would prefer text or email than face-to-face or phone chats with their attorneys. The same study reported that only 14% of other generational clients preferred text communication.
In either case, you would figure that around 1 of every six clients you have would prefer a text-based method for primary communication.
Regarding the design of calls-to-action, you might consider including both your phone number and a contact form that is accessible from your website.
Online Payment Options
Modern clients prefer that there are multiple ways for them to pay their attorneys. Offering an online payment option is an excellent way to cater to Millennials who prefer the convenience of such methods.
Nowadays, more and more individuals are being paid through services like Paypal. Paypal even offers linked debit cards that individuals paid over Paypal can use to purchase items.
For lawyers, payment solutions like LawPay offer an easy way for their clients to make convenient online payments.
The Question of Free Consultations
Most firms have a love-hate relationship with free consultations. Understandably, your time is valuable, and you don’t want to waste it on someone who likely does not need your services. Let’s put it this way though; if you’re in a position to be turning away clients, you probably don’t need to be thinking much about marketing your firm.
On the other hand, 64% of Americans have stated that free consultations were a deciding factor when choosing their attorney. In other words, firms that don’t offer free consultations are often undercut by those that do. It’s that simple.
So while the process may be incredibly frustrating, it still worth it develop a rapport with potential clients by addressing their concerns in a professional manner. That’s true even if they don’t become clients.
Each law practice will want to collect data on the stories, hopes, and fears of their prospective clients. It helps you to develop a strategy for establishing a rapport and building a foundation of trust. Particulars on how to do that will differ widely from one practice to another and even one case to another. But it’s important to understand the process, why it works, and strategically, how to implement it.
Catering to Millennials entails opening up your business to multiple ways of taking payment and communicating. We have this information because they’ve told us. Dismissing the data here is unwise. Everything must be considered.