An attorney who is a sole practitioner, has a newly established practice, or has budgetary concerns must find a way to get new client leads at a reasonable price. As the practice expands, you can then afford to invest more advertising dollars into lead generation. What are some of the cheapest methods that can help you to generate new client leads? We have some tips to help personal injury lawyers who want to keep the advertising budget to the minimum.
- Your website. Your website should be generating leads for you. In order to make it work, the content you post must communicate to a potential client – not to other legal professionals (unless you are hoping for attorney referrals as your bread and butter). Make sure that you present your firm in the best possible light, in the simplest language you can. Your clients are not lawyers, they are regular people. Keep it simple and communicate the important points early. Have several ways the potential client can contact you, including a free case evaluation form online.
- Be mobile ready. Many people no longer have laptop or desktop computers, but rely strictly on a smartphone. Make sure your website is mobile ready, and that you can be found through a mobile search. Your web developer will know exactly what to do. If not – you have found the wrong company – move on.
- Testimonials. It goes without saying that a potential client wants to be confident that you will do a good job. The testimonials can go a long way in reassuring potential clients that your firm is the one to call.
- Use a “live” answering service. A law firm that has an answering machine will get less traffic than those that have a service manned by a real human being. Test the company that provides this service. Are they friendly, respectful and sound interested? Some services are better than others – do your own research before you commit to any one answering service.
- Get your firm listed in all of the online directories you can find, whether lawyer-specific or for your town, city or area. All of the information on your directory listing must be accurate, and show your hours of service and have your office location listed with a mapping feature.
- Your client is always right. In this era of social media, any mistake can be magnified a thousand-fold by a disgruntled client. Your online reputation is a big deal. Always treat your clients like gold, no matter now they act with you.
- The first call matters. That first contact with your firm could not be more important. Your receptionist must come across as friendly, kind, concerned and interested. The wrong person manning the phones can drive away potential clients. Listen in. Get your friends to make some calls into your practice and report to you how they were handled. It matters.
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep. You want new clients, but honesty is the watchword. You will be respected if you are straightforward in how you approach a case.
- Social media. There are many ways you can connect with people in the digital age, most of which are free. Write blogs, and collect followers. Write about current events of interest in your local community. Present yourself as an authority on personal injury law, and provide information that is valuable to readers. Tweet the link to your blog as the basic minimum. As you increase the numbers of followers and readers, you will also increase the number of contacts flowing into your practice.
- Ask your clients for referrals and testimonials. Keep your clients as resources for new leads. Send letters, emails and stay in contact. People know people, and if you keep your practice at top of mind, you will get more client referrals. Make yourself a resource.
- Engage with the community. If you volunteer your time and efforts to activities that benefit the community, you gain credibility – and new friends. Choose activities you believe in, and can pour your energy into. Make sure you write about what you are doing, and post pictures of events. For outstanding contributions, write a press release and submit it to your local paper. They need content, and they will be happy to write about you. These activities get your name out there where people can hear about you, and they will remember your firm.
- Return their calls. Don’t wait days or even hours if you can avoid it. Make it a policy to return all client calls quickly. It makes a difference. Many lawyers have a bad reputation for client service and responsiveness – don’t get tarred with the same brush.
On a budget? Grow your own leads by providing excellent client service.
These tips are some of the most cost-effective ways to get new client leads without committing to a big advertising budget. Above all – treat your clients well, and do all you can for them. You never know exactly who you are dealing with. Your new client may have a blog with thousands of followers, or be an opinion leader in some field. The way you treat your clients is the most important issue beyond your legal skills. Be human. Care. Be respectful. Your clients will appreciate it and send their friends and relatives.