If you are not billing consistently, you will not make enough money—it is that simple. If you are a new attorney, you probably just don’t have a mature referral network, and even if you have been practicing for years, you know that over time, business fades, and there is a continual need to replenish your client base.
The phrase “thought leader” has become common, but what does it mean? A thought leader is an influencer—a person that others look to for advice and problem solving. You know that many people first look online as they seek answers to their questions, and attorneys need to ensure that those queries are directed to them. Becoming a thought leader in your legal niche can send prospective clients your way, but how can this be accomplished?
In a recent study, 89% of attorneys reported using LinkedIn regularly. It’s pretty clear that the platform is one of the best places for attorneys to grow their online networks. In order to leverage LinkedIn to the fullest, think of it first as a business development tool, and second as a place to engage with your contacts. The powerful search engine within the platform allows you to find contacts in your niche target and invite them to connect. LinkedIn is also a prime channel to publish original content or share content you’ve published outside of the platform. Consistently sharing valuable content will aid in establishing you as a thought leader.
Provide Educational Resources
When people have a legal issue, prospective clients may not pick up the phone and immediately call you; they may first search online for the most qualified attorney that matches their needs. It’s important to offer information, and to get prospects to call you, you need to provide the same resources online that you would offer during a phone call. Consider adding a section to your website for resources and blogs, when information may easily be found.
Well-crafted landing pages are a key piece of your marketing strategy. When a person searches for “LLC Formation,” for example, you want them to be directed to a single page that quickly explains your corporate services, lists your qualifications, and directs them to contact you either online or by phone. When you think about the “contact us” section of your website, the structure should be the same – clean and extremely user friendly. The last thing you want is valuable prospects bouncing from your website because it’s too difficult for them to connect with you.
Inadvertent or poorly crafted digital ads can create junk leads that merely waste time and money. If you are an insurance defense attorney, for example, you want to target claim professionals and self-insurance businesses, rather than just those that are looking for a lawyer. Many prospective clients do not understand attorney specialization, and if you are a divorce attorney, you don’t want to tie up your phones with car accident victims.
The Golden Lead
When you do receive a lead, whether it came from a client referral, a Google Ad campaign or from LinkedIn, you need to act on it as soon as possible. Those that need attorneys want answers yesterday, and the first lawyer to speak with them will many times get their business.
There are lots of attorneys competing for the same business, and you must be client-friendly to set yourself apart from them. Be a good listener—even at busy times—and let the prospective client know exactly how your firm will support them during their tenure.
During your initial conversation, let the client know in plain language how you can solve their legal issue and detail the resolution time-frame and the costs. An in-person meeting is highly valuable and almost always better than an email or phone conversation. At an in-person meeting you can draft the engagement agreement, sign the client and get a retainer/deposit on the spot.
The days where an attorney could add their name to the Yellow Pages and have business automatically flow through the door are gone. As you build your practice, remember that Magna Legal Services has tools that can make your practice operate more efficiently, like deposition scheduling services. Be sure to keep Magna Legal Services at the top of your legal service provider list.