To get legal clients is to ensure your law firm maintains a sustainable business model, and it’s never been more important to tap into the online market, one of the fastest growing segments of the legal services market. Failure to do so is bound to put your practice at a competitive disadvantage that is only likely to grow in the years ahead. More traditional marketing strategies still have a role to play, but for every client that finds an attorney through an online source is one more that isn’t captured through alternate marketing channels. With this in mind, consider the following ways in which your firm might better leverage the online marketplace.
Top Five Ways to Get Legal Clients Online
- Website Marketing: Today, every law firm should launch and maintain a website as one of the most basic and core marketing tools. Many successful law firms go a step further and work to continually improve and promote their website. By continually adding content to your website and by building an online network through trading links with our local professionals, you can increase the visibility of your site.
- Online Directories: These include free online directories for which you simply need to register, as well as online referral companies that use flat-fee directory models. Some of these directory websites may not pack all that much punch, but there’s also essentially zero downside. Pay services must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and you need to be sure you’re not violating any state laws or ethical rules governing non-lawyer fee-sharing and legal referrals. To balance your existing time constraints, searching for new directory opportunities might be something you devote a certain amount of time to each week or month.
- Web-Based Lead Generation: Admittedly, we’re biased, but this is, arguably, the most dependable way to get legal clients online. Through online service request forms, prospective clients submit details about their legal service needs. The lead generation company then forwards this request information to the most appropriate attorneys in their database. By putting the impetus on the attorneys to contact and pursue the prospects on their own, this approach constitutes a co-marketing strategy, not a referral service.
- Internet Advertising: This includes banner ads, pay-per-click ads, and Adword advertising. The key to making this strategy effective is effectively targeting user groups which are more likely populated with qualified prospects. For starters, it’s typically wise to choose website ads available through local organizations and adwords with local tags. Finding quality, not just quantity, is a challenge across nearly all online marketing channels, but it’s especially important with these types of advertisements.
- Blogs and Social Media: This essentially entails offering your legal insight to third-party websites and online forums that will increase exposure to your law practice and help you get legal clients by branding yourself as an established and personable legal authority. It’s also not a bad way to stay abreast of the latest legal issues of the day and to get a better sense of the questions and concerns generated by your client base.
Keep in mind, too, that each of these strategies should be considered in light of your budgetary resources, available time and office personnel, as well as how quickly you want to grow your firm. Effective marketing creates a solid return on investment, while also ensuring you can continuously deliver high-quality legal services to your clients.