- Optimize your website so it’s easy for legal leads to reach you—and be sure to follow up quickly
- Regularly connect with other lawyers who operate in different practice areas to create a referral network that brings in potential clients
- Respond to client reviews to showcase your level of service and build attorney-client trust
Lead generation as a concept may sound like something that belongs exclusively to the world of sales rather than legal services. But whether you run a personal injury or family law practice, finding new clients is key for success and sustainability.
Your ability to generate quality leads will help you find more potential clients so you can fuel your firm’s business growth and achieve the best return on investment. To that end, learn the best practices for legal lead generation, including five key marketing strategies that can have the biggest impact.
Understanding the lead generation process
For every law firm, the broad strokes of the lead generation process are the same—getting potential clients to discover your practice and deepening their interest in your services. Typically, these digital marketing messages have a call to action (CTA) that points out what your prospect should do if they’re interested—such as filling out a form or clicking on a button—which will take them to a website landing page for your practice.
After the individual arrives at the landing page, they’ll find additional information about your firm and be prompted to enter their own details, such as their name, the type of case they’re dealing with, and their phone number or email address.
Once your firm receives these legal leads, it’s imperative to follow up in a timely manner. Research indicates that more than 50% of legal consumers consider slow response times the main hindrance to hiring an attorney, so the faster you respond, the more likely you are to beat out the competition.
5 key strategies to generate legal leads
Even though each of these lead generation strategies can be valuable for your law firm, it’s a good idea to regularly evaluate the conversion rate—or the percentage of leads who turn into paying customers—for each strategy. That way, you can focus your efforts on tactics that deliver the highest quality leads without straining your marketing budget.
1. Update your website and landing pages
Your company website plays a central role in your law firm marketing efforts, so it should be well-designed and easy to navigate. A site with relevant (and well-written) content, images of your team that humanize your law firm, and call-to-action buttons on each page can go a long way in generating legal leads.
Make sure you have dedicated landing pages for your primary practice areas. You can build your own landing pages using a template (some of which are available for free), or hire a marketing services agency or freelancer to design them for you. For example, a personal injury firm would have separate landing pages for auto accidents, workers compensation, medical malpractice, and so on. Each landing page should provide an overview of these legal services, as well as a contact form for collecting information from your leads.
Beyond landing pages, SEO (search engine optimization) is another important consideration for your website. To rank well in search engine results, your site should have relevant content and legal advice for its practice areas. This can be done with robust landing pages as well as helpful blog posts that are updated regularly. Incorporating keywords naturally related to your practice areas and geographic area will also improve rankings.
For example, if you’re trying to get more personal injury leads, a keyword like “personal injury North Philadelphia” will help you reach a more targeted audience than a generic keyword like “personal injury lawyer.” Free keyword research tools like Moz Keyword Explorer and Keyword Surfer can help you improve your SEO efforts.
2. Add profiles on online advertising platforms
There are a variety of online advertising platforms that can provide lead generation services for your law firm—including several that are specifically focused on the legal industry, such as Avvo, FindLaw, and Nolo. These platforms allow lawyers to claim their online profile, which can then be used to accumulate reviews and communicate with legal leads.
Each site does lead generation a little differently. For example, FindLaw provides exclusive leads while Nolo shares leads between lawyers. They also use different marketing tactics to attract leads. These platforms typically follow a pay-per-lead program, where lawyers pay a set fee for each lead generated by the site. For example, you might pay a flat $50 fee for each DUI lead generated.
3. Claim your Yelp Business Page and respond to client reviews
Word-of-mouth marketing from former clients, including their positive online reviews and referrals, can be one of the most convincing ways to gain legal leads. According to BrightLocal, 94% of consumers consider online reviews to be an important factor when choosing legal services.
When you add or claim your Yelp Business Page, you can engage with clients as well as new prospects. When satisfied clients share feedback on your page, it can boost your online presence and give potential leads greater confidence in using your services.
Furthermore, you can give users the option to request a consultation directly on your business page. When they enter details about their case, you can receive a real-time notification and determine quickly if they’re a good fit or if you should refer them to a fellow attorney.
Responding to reviews—both positive and critical—can further increase your chances of generating more leads. The same BrightLocal survey found that 89% of customers report being more likely to use a business that responds to its online reviews. Your responsiveness can help indicate a higher level of commitment to your clients, offering further peace of mind when someone is coming to you for help with legal matters.
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4. Make use of networking and referrals
As a lawyer, you don’t cover every area of law—and you don’t have to. Make an active effort to build your network with lawyers who operate in different practice areas via networking events, conferences, community groups, and more.
Chances are, you’ll periodically have former clients or prospects reach out to you asking for legal help with a case outside your field of expertise. When this happens, refer them to another lawyer you trust. Other lawyers will appreciate your attorney leads and will likely return the favor when they experience a similar situation.
Even if you don’t immediately earn referrals, you should continue following up and networking with other legal professionals for potential high-quality leads. Regularly engaging with them on social media and sending them relevant referrals will help build long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.
5. Use social media to your advantage
Both paid and organic (non-paid) social media posts can drive legal leads your way. Organic social media posts are those made on your own profiles on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn. These posts are shown to people who already follow you on these platforms as well as those who might find you through relevant hashtags you include on your public posts.
Paid social media posts work similarly to other forms of advertising. You select your target market for the ad based on factors such as age or geographic location and set a budget that will determine how many people the ad is shown to. The ad will be distributed to individuals who fit your selected demographics, regardless of whether they already follow you.
Posting high-quality content with attractive visuals and compelling copy is key to successful social media marketing. Even if you don’t have the budget for frequent paid promotions, consistently posting on your own accounts can drive traffic to your website. Take the time to respond to comments and messages that you receive on social media as well—these can often turn into leads without users ever visiting your site.
Gain new leads to help your legal practice thrive
When your legal marketing efforts are actively focused on creating qualified leads, you’ll get a higher return on investment as you offer your services to more clients. Effective use of your website, social media, and other online advertising platforms can drive legal leads beyond your own networking efforts.
By using these lead generation tactics to drive prospective clients to submit their information and get in contact with you, you can gain access to exclusive leads you might not find otherwise.
For more marketing tips to help your law firm thrive in today’s competitive market, read these six attorney marketing tips to help take your firm to the top.
The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.