4 Ways for Law Firms to Gain More Cases
You need more business, but the methods you’ve tried either haven’t brought in enough clients or they brought in the wrong clients altogether.
To fix this, here are four tried-and-true ways to exercise your legal prowess and how to increase your law firm business. Some may require trial and error, but once you figure out which method works best, you’ll enjoy a steady uptick in clients and retention.
1. Take advantage of your network.
It’s easy for lawyers to get so wrapped up in marketing and advertising that they forget their own network. Unless you just started your practice, you have colleagues and current and past clients from whom you can obtain referrals.
And unless you’re fresh out of law school, you probably know the value of referrals firsthand. If not, here’s a refresher:
- The lifetime value of a referred client is 25x higher than the average client.
- Referred clients are 18% more loyal than those acquired through other means.
- Referred clients have a 37% higher retention rate than those acquired through other means.
It’s logical – perform good work and you’ll be rewarded with satisfied clients who will spread the news of your legal expertise to their family and friends. They will in turn think of you when the need for a lawyer arises.
However, some lawyers are too busy to reach out to clients and fellow attorneys for a referral. Others simply don’t know the best practices in reaching out. It does seem awkward at first, and there’s certainly a fine balance between disinterest and over-assertiveness.
If your referral tactics haven’t brought the results you’d hoped for, or if you’re worried about how you’ll come across to clients, consider these tips for useful and lucrative referrals:
Identify your firm’s voice and use it in all methods of outreach.
No one likes feeling patronized. If your firm sends referral requests filled with legal jargon or condescending language, you’d better reevaluate your voice. Every email, phone call, or social media post you send should be written in a helpful, genuine tone unique to your firm.
Don’t be overly friendly – that comes across as fake. Don’t make grand promises, and don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to a client in person. The best way to identify your firm’s distinct voice is to sit down and answer these questions in plain voice:
- What makes your firm stand out from others in the same practice area(s)?
- What is the number one thing you want your clients to know about your firm?
- How have you improved clients’ lives in a given practice area?
By answering these questions simply and clearly, you’ll be on your way to establishing a unique voice that you can use in client outreach.
Give one to get one.
Sometimes law firms have to refer cases to other firms. Maybe it’s outside their area of expertise, or maybe they don’t feel comfortable handling the case. If your firm referred a case to another firm, you’ll be in a better position to ask for a referral back. Doing so can create a mutually beneficial relationship, and clients value the opinions of legal practitioners who suggest they hire your firm.
83% of people who had a positive experience with your business are willing to refer.
Give current clients attention.
Clients want to know that you value their business. If they feel valued, they’re more likely to refer and return to your firm. Send frequent newsletters, legal updates, and case developments to every current client. Be personal and make them feel heard. Highlight your firm’s successes and community events and inform clients of the other services you offer, including other practice areas.
Informing clients and keeping them updated is one of the surest ways to give them a positive experience, and positive experiences always lead to more referrals.
2. Create educational content.
There are 1,328,692 resident and active attorneys working at over 50,000 law firms in the United States. With a highly competitive industry of that size, it’s no wonder many law firms struggle to stand out.
But if you want more cases, standing out from the pack is exactly how to increase your law firm’s business.
This is where content marketing comes into play. Simply put, content marketing is online material that helps people become aware of and trust your firm. Clients will trust your firm if you create and publish relevant, helpful content that answers their questions and gives them a direct course of action.
Content marketing generates conversion rates six times higher than other methods.
People generally don’t want to sift through dozens of websites and articles to find out what legal help they need, so your firm should meet them in the middle and direct them to your site.
One of the most effective ways to help your firm gain visibility is by creating (and maintaining) a blog. Here’s why:
- Ninety-six percent of people use the Internet to find legal advice, and 77% of Internet users read blogs.
- Businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors.
Create informative articles about the subjects you know – your firm’s practice areas, new developments in the legal industry, and timely issues that may affect how people find and use lawyers’ expertise (COVID-19 is a prime example). Your blog content should be interesting and unique.
If you need to take several weeks to plan and execute a blogging strategy for your firm, do so. Don’t copy some other firm’s ideas or blogging strategies; keep it unique and keep it personal.
97% of law firm websites lack personalized content.
Other forms of educational content include infographics and videos. Videos are huge drivers for clients, as they make up 82% of Internet traffic. Plenty of firms are taking advantage of this trend by creating their own educational, practice area-driven videos. Videos are devoured by clients mostly because they resemble face-to-face communication – it’s like you’re giving them personal advice online.
You can discuss frequently asked questions that clients have, such as:
- What should I expect when filing a personal injury claim?
- What is a settlement?
- How can I choose the best lawyer for my needs?
For the most conversions, keep these videos short and sweet, preferably less than three minutes. If they’re longer than four or five minutes, potential clients will likely navigate away from the page.
Promoting your content.
Don’t be shy about this one. You took the time to create a video or an infographic or whatever type of content you chose – be proud of it! Post the content on your social media accounts, your website, and send an update to clients via email.
Don’t worry about posting the same content on different platforms. It’s unlikely that every client follows all of your accounts, so you’re in the clear.
Over time, evaluate how each type of content fared with clients. Did your Instagram post get 500 likes, but no one opened your email? You should track this information and keep a record of it so you’ll know which forms of content are successful and which might not be best for how to increase your law firm’s business.
3. Develop your online presence.
If you haven’t realized by now, the legal industry continues to shift to a more online-friendly landscape. Thirty-eight percent of people use the Internet to find a lawyer, and 96% use the Internet for legal advice.
Your gr firm needs a well-designed, functional website to attract and retain clients. That’s because 70% of law firms generate new cases through their website. But you likely won’t generate new cases if your website has broken pages or is so poorly designed that potential clients can’t find the legal information they’re looking for.
And that’s only if they make it to your page in the first place – without utilizing proper SEO techniques, your website may be buried so far down in Google search results that no one will find it (unless they like going to the 20th page).
Having a strategic online presence helps clients find your firm, which means they’re more likely to read or interact with something on your page. Interacting means they’re more likely to call you for legal assistance.
74% of potential clients visit law firms’ websites to take action.
Here are some tips to make your website irresistible for clients:
- Make your contact information easily accessible. You can include a “Contact Us” banner on each page, or feature a prominent tab that users can click.
- Ensure your website is designed for mobile devices. You’ll need a website design firm to assist you with this step, but doing so will make a huge difference in client acquisition. More and more people use their phones to conduct searches, including for legal services.
- Check your page speed and fix it if necessary. Most users will leave your website if a page takes longer than three seconds to load. Google found that 53% will desert your website if the page speed is slow. Again, this is where an experienced website design firm like EverSpark Interactive can help.
- Make your website visually appealing. This is probably one of the most obvious indicators of a well-designed site. If your firm already has a logo, fantastic; place it in a conspicuous location on the homepage, but don’t make it look obnoxious. If you don’t have a logo, design one or hire a firm to do so. You should also incorporate attractive graphics or photos throughout your website – people react well to photographs of people especially.
To return to SEO, it’s critical that you adopt effective search engine optimization techniques to set your website apart from the tens of thousands of other law firms. SEO takes effort, but it provides a high return on investment in the long run. The purpose of SEO is to get your firm’s website to the top results in Google. The first page of results is highly coveted because they garner the most leads and bring in the most search traffic – 95%, to be exact.
Hiring an SEO marketing company that uses the best practices in the industry will get your firm’s website to the first page of results and keep it there.
4. Get involved.
Hopefully, this last point will leave you feeling inspired. One of the most effective ways for how to increase your law firm’s business is to get involved in your community and a state or national bar association. Doing so will give your firm more exposure, but will also establish you as a trustworthy and client-centric business.
Of course, you should enter into any volunteering opportunity or organization with genuine interest. People have an uncanny ability to pick out fakers.
If you’re looking to expand your legal experience, the American Bar Association (ABA) provides resources for pro bono opportunities. You can join your state or local bar for more information on a pro bono program near you. If you’re employed by the ABA, you can participate in the Volunteer Legal Project.
Additionally, you can visit the Legal Services Corporation to find providers that need assistance with pro bono and other community programs.
Other opportunities and organizations include:
- The ABA’s Immigrant Child Advocacy Network
- National Disaster Legal Aid
- Military Pro Bono Project
- Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.
If you make it a priority to join charitable organizations, engage in volunteering opportunities, attend local events, and develop relationships with other members of your community, you’ll earn greater respect and trust from those around you.
Of course, this shouldn’t be your only motivation. You should genuinely want to participate, even if participating in these types of activities do benefit business.
When you’re ready to take the next step in creating an unbeatable marketing strategy to bring in more clients, give EverSpark a call. We’ve helped law firms achieve growth in every practice area, and we’re passionate about making your law firm’s goals a reality.