Like most professional services, many law firms rely on referrals. 62% of clients found the law firm that they chose to represent them through referrals. That’s not exactly a trend, however. It’s always been like this for attorneys and that it continues to be an important factor in bringing clients to your law firm should surprise no one.
As a trend, referral marketing can play a huge role in all of the marketing that you do. That includes digital marketing. But traditional advertising methods are a scattershot approach to drawing referrals. Most law firms are not using their digital tools effectively in order to boost referrals.
This year we expect more firms to tap their digital resources in order to draw in more referrals.
How can they do that?
Client Email Lists
We touched on email lists in the last section and their importance for targeting prospects. The truth is they’re also effective at maintaining a relationship with your former clients. Monthly newsletters allow your firm to stay in your clients’ field of awareness.
Email lists can be useful for discussing:
- Changes to the law,
- Lawsuits your firm is pursuing,
- Major decisions that affect your area of practice,
- Major victories for your law firm,
- Links to your page’s blog.
Beyond newsletters, clients can also be addressed directly via personalized emails. For instance, a personal injury lawyer reaching out to their client after a serious accident to ask how they’re doing goes a long way toward developing a human-to-human rapport with them. The fact that you care enough to do that will let your client know that you understand that they are suffering person and not just a case.
Targeting social media pages like Twitter and Facebook are not exactly game-changing maneuvers. Today, law firms are spreading themselves out over a much larger landscape. This includes formats that may seem counterintuitive like Instagram. Law firms are now even broadcasting podcasts!
The role social media plays is distinctive. It allows you to establish your identity as a law firm. This is true for your clients, yes, but more importantly, it is true for other law firms as well. You can develop a referral network through likes and follows.
This is also where finding your niche can have a major impact. There are plenty of firms that do not handle certain kinds of cases or they believe a specific lawsuit may be better handled by a specialist. They pass these cases off to law firms that are specialists in the niche. It’s a great way to sell yourself.
You can also share some of your content marketing initiatives over social media, allowing your content to do double work.
This doesn’t replace the need to get out there in the real world and shake hands with people, but as we discussed earlier, social networking over social media is often a preferred mode of contact for modern professionals. This is why professional networking sites like LinkedIn are so important. Statistically, 31% of Americans find the law firm that will manage their case by referrals from other lawyers.
Reviews and Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials still matter. Most of what we’ve talked about here boils down to the oldest (and still the most effective) form of marketing. Can you think of it? It’s word-of-mouth. After a case has been successfully handled, it’s a great time to ask for a testimonial or a review.
Google now allows clients to rate and review just about any kind of business. If you are one of the three businesses that happen to rank on Google Maps, then you’ll see client ratings right next to your law firm’s name.
But you do have to ask. While some clients will be of a sort who rank and rate just about everyone they do business with, others only bother when their experience is very bad. A little nudge to show their appreciation for successfully managing your case should do the trick.
Word-of-mouth advertising is still important. It’s just entered a new landscape. There are more ways to reach people. Information moves much faster. It reaches more people in the process.
But word-of-mouth is no longer just related to speech. It’s related to text as well. Firms are diversifying their approaches to reaching out to clients and other lawyers in their practice. Here, what we’re trying to do is bring all of the disparate concepts together into a unified whole. There is no “one trick”, and the process of marketing in the age of the digital cannot be reduced to any one tactic.
Today, simple concepts such as word-of-mouth have become far more complex. Nonetheless, the importance of word-of-mouth remains as high as ever.