Recent shifts in the sales and marketing landscape mean successful lead generation for lawyers occurs largely online. We know it can be challenging to understand the complexities of the lead generation game. That's why we've put together this explainer blog to get you up to speed with lead generation for lawyers, as well as offer some useful tips to bag new clients.
Lead generation for attorneys is the process of getting people interested in your legal services and gradually moving them through a pipeline to become paying clients. It’s important for law firms to focus on generating new leads by developing a strong online presence. This is achieved using inbound marketing methods that employ techniques like search engine optimization, paid ads, and content marketing, to name a few.
Lead generation for lawyers can build online visibility, credibility, trust, and interest from specific market segments. When you focus on lead generation, you hone in on specific traffic from high-value customers and greatly improve their chances of converting.
Lead generation is suitable for all types of lawyers, from independent professionals to small law firms and legacy companies. Small law firm lead generation is no different from industry giants — the principles are the same: it’s just the scale and budget that changes.
A lead is any prospect who has expressed interest in paying for your legal services or knowledge, usually by willingly sharing their contact information via a lead capture form.
To generate leads, marketers create a multistep process (sales funnel) to influence prospective clients’ journeys to become actual legal clients. A sales funnel starts by sparking the interest of potential clients and guiding them through every step of the purchasing process.
The four main stages of the funnel are as follows:
Regardless of whether your law firm utilizes search engines, content marketing, or social media, generating leads follows the same basic process:
50% of marketers who generate lawyer leads using the above process report higher conversions because it focuses on pre-qualified leads, i.e., potential clients who have already shown an interest in their services.
You can generate quality leads, build a stronger sales pipeline and identify opportunities to maximize leads if you:
Your law firm’s website is one of the most important tools for lead generation. It establishes your firm’s brand and tells potential clients what you do and why you’re different from your competitors.
One of the major advantages of having a polished website is it advertises your law firm 24.7; it’s accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Key ways to prime your website for legal lead generation include:
In targeted online advertising, landing pages are stand-alone web pages designed with a single CTA created for a specific marketing or advertising campaign, such as joining your email subscriber list or requesting a quote, or booking a seminar.
They’re where web leads land after they click on a link in an email, or ads from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, and Bing. You can improve your lawyer lead generation, by creating customized landing pages for:
Cold leads are those who have provided you with their contact details via your lead capture forms but haven’t yet shown a major interest in your law services. They’re positioned at the top of the sales funnel and require careful nurturing to increase their chances of conversion.
Typically, cold leads are:
Creating attorney lead generation landing pages is the easiest way to capture leads online. These types of landing pages (lead magnets) establish the first point of contact between your law firm and potential clients. Strong, convincing copy and compelling visuals will help your firm’s landing pages stand out.
Once you’ve optimized your landing pages and built a sizeable email list of potential clients, you can drive these them down the sales funnel with personalized email marketing. Various email automation tools and platforms will help you send the right message to the right customer segments at the right time.
We recommend using drip marketing. This lead generation strategy involves automatically sending out marketing emails on a schedule or based on user actions. Remember, your messaging should be benefits-focused, meaning you place special emphasis on how your legal services solve client issues.
Some useful tools that streamline email marketing include Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, and HubSpot. We strongly advise tracking email responses to identify campaign weaknesses that need improvement.
Marketing software giant HubSpot offers this definition of retargeting: “Unlike typical banner ads, retargeting ads are a form of online advertising served to people who have already visited your website or are a contact on your database (like a lead).”
As a type of PPC advertising, retargeting is cost-effective because you’re advertising directly to people who have shown some interest in your firm (warm leads). Of course, your legal marketing ads can be anything, but ideally, you want to laser in on specific website behavior.
Data suggests retargeting can boost your conversion rate by 161%!
Lead generation for attorneys needs to be a good experience for new clients and cost-effective. Together, PPC, SEO, and social media marketing can help you fill the pipeline with the right types of leads.
A great lawyer lead generation tool is Google local service ads (LSAs). These sponsored service placements appear as a strip of highlights at the very top of Google search results pages (SERPs)—even higher than PPC ads.
LSAs are cost-effective since firms are billed per lead (call, text, or appointment), rather than for every click. One of the main advantages of LSAs is they allow smaller law firms to level the playing field because they’re hyper-focused on local SEO. Google’s algorithms prioritize proximity and positive reviews over the known reputations of legacy firms.
To qualify for local service ads, your law firm needs to meet the following requirements:
Google’s LSA platform is a valuable funnel for attracting leads and is best used if you want to reach quality leads who are ready to make a call and connect with your law firm.
SEO comprises a large portion of digital marketing. All facets of SEO—on-page, off-page, technical and local SEO—should always be up to scratch because they, directly and indirectly, affect attorney lead generation. For now, let’s focus on on-page SEO and content.
Legal industry clients understandably ask a tonne of questions. In fact, as much as 50% of clients find lawyers online. Although most of their searches probably begin by asking Google a couple of questions like, “how to win a custody case,” or “how to sue an employer for an injury,” they’ll likely end with hiring a lawyer.
Doing keyword research to understand what phrases (keywords) your potential clients are using is important because it allows you to create web content that matches their search intent.
That’s why you’ll find other law firms have FAQ sections on their websites or create blogs that answer specific questions. Creating keyword-rich content improves visibility and keeps leads traveling toward the bottom of the sales funnel.
Many law firms use social media to build stronger relationships with leads and existing clients. While you can purchase paid ads that show up in people’s feeds, it’s better to use content marketing as social media users respond better to organic content.
Social media posts must be engaging and interesting, with a focus on visual appeal, as the platforms are mostly designed for video and image-sharing. Generally, your content should link directly back to your website (if you’re sharing blogs) or go directly to a landing page built to capture client leads.
From conducting polls to hosting Q&A sessions or simply engaging in user conversations, there are so many ways to generate interest in your law firm. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are suitable options for lawyers to build a strong brand identity.
The platforms you use will depend on your practice area and target audience. It’s helpful to broadly classify social media networks into three different categories according to their primary function: networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), photo-sharing (Instagram), and video-sharing (YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram).
Once you understand their main functions, it becomes easier to create content tailored to each platform.
Building brand awareness on social media is an important part of lead generation for lawyers because awareness is the first step in the sales funnel. If no one knows your law firm exists, they won’t subscribe to your email list.
A highly effective way for law firms to establish their brand identity is by cultivating their market position as thought leaders. This is a cost-effective way to build your online presence by harnessing your expertise.
Thought leaders often publish or feature in articles, blog posts, industry journals, webinars, and podcasts. They share a perspective backed by experience and have the “street cred” to win the trust of a new client.
The good news? You don’t have to be a celebrity lawyer like Gloria Allred or Allen Grubman to positively impact your brand strategy.
You can start right now by writing informative blog posts on essential matters that pertain to your clients and publishing them on your social media channels. Thought leadership is an essential tool of differentiation that combines discrete marketing with a personal touch.
Last on the lead flow list is law firm reputation management. To put it into perspective: Let’s assume you’ve followed all the steps we’ve suggested so far. If a potential client is deciding between your law practice and another firm, and you don’t have as many positive reviews as your competitor, you’ll likely lose their business.
Social proof has a major impact on a person’s law firm choice and is often the driving force behind new clients selecting you over a competitor. A legal trends report found that 82% of clients chose their lawyers based on positive online reviews.
Google reviews are a necessary tool to get more leads and help your website rank higher in organic search results. The search engine factors in the quality and quantity of your reviews when evaluating your search position.
Google strives to deliver the right information, service, and products in the best way possible. Thus, it views positive reviews as trustworthy crowdsourced recommendations.
Claim your profile on Yelp, FindLaw, Google My Business, Justia, Nolo, Avvo, and the Martindale legal marketing network. And when the reviews do start rolling in, be sure to respond to them in a timely manner. Of course, you should also be proactively asking for reviews to bolster your reputation.
Online directories such as lawyers.com. Avvo and Super Lawyers are excellent lead generators. Clients naturally gravitate towards them because they do the heavy lifting of listing all the potential attorneys available to help them.
Higher-quality directories allow you to answer legal questions asked by prospective clients, submit content as a “guest author”, and earn reviews.
These activities help you build up authority in your practice area. And while they can be posted on your website, having them listed on another authoritative site is better for SEO.
It would be amiss to mention directories without including Google My Business (GMB) which pulls together Maps and Search to create a business directory that tells users who nearby is offering what they want. Given each state has different bar regulations, getting clients out of your locality makes little sense. This is where local SEO and GMB come in.
When a user searches for a law firm nearby, Google checks its local business directory and provides the most relevant results for their location. According to the search engine, a third of mobile searches are location related, which means a massive amount of internet research is locally orientated.
So, for firms that do local business, having a free GMB profile makes a serious difference to their reach and lead generation. It takes less time to optimize a GMB profile than get a robust PPC advertising campaign up and running. A GMB listing enhances your SEO and local SERP rankings, increasing leads and raising your profile above competing attorneys.
Initial consultations present an opportunity to encourage leads to connect with you—either virtually or in person—and help determine if they have a case worth pursuing.
You might want to hire someone to conduct these consultations as you likely won’t have time to take them on yourself, especially if you offer them for free. However, we know some lawyers charge a fee to ensure leads are serious about hiring them and aren’t seeking a quick opportunity to score free advice.
You might consider offering free consultation if you’ve recently opened a firm or have gone solo and don’t yet have a steady stream of leads. To make the process easier, some lawyers use a legal chat tool to provide and obtain client information, so they can decide how best to proceed.
Understanding the needs and expectations of your clients will help shape your lead generation strategies and sales funnel. Lead generation for lawyers can yield positive results, but in the end, capitalizing on digital channels still depends on you.
However, lead generation is just one part of digital marketing. There’s still content marketing, local SEO, and your website to consider. While you’re working on your lead generation strategies, you might want to assign other marketing aspects to professionals.
Comrade is a comprehensive digital marketing agency that can take care of all your online marketing needs. We also offer lead generation services. Contact us to learn how we help your law firm attract high-quality leads.
Do you want a marketing plan that fits your individual needs? Let us craft a strategy that drives results to your company based on your objectives.
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