26 min read
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Updated: December 27, 2022

Lead Generation for Lawyers

Digital lead generation companies like us know lead generation is key to acquiring more law firm clients. Lead generation for attorneys is crucial to business health and growth because all law firms and independent attorneys need new clients to survive.

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.

What Is Lead Generation?

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.

Why Is Lead Generation for Lawyers Important?

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.

Lead Generation and the Sales Funnel

What is sales funnel and how it works

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:

  1. Awareness: Improving your search engine rankings and providing opportunistic ways for prospective clients to discover your firm and arrive at your website, either organically or through paid advertising.
  2. Interest: Once you’ve sparked awareness, you’ll need to maintain a lead’s interest. This may entail onboarding them to email campaigns or strategically offering them content such as ebooks, white papers, and case studies over a period of time to demonstrate your law firm’s value and further nudge them down the funnel.
  3. Decision: At this stage, prospects are armed with valuable information about your law practice and will compare it with others to decide which law firm is best for them. You’ll need to work extra hard to convince them how much more they’ll benefit by working with you.
  4. Action: This phase of the sales funnel varies from business to business and digital marketing campaigns. For some, it results in a sale, but for law firms, it typically culminates in potential clients scheduling consultations.

How Does Lead Generation for Attorneys Work?

Lead generation process

Regardless of whether your law firm utilizes search engines, content marketing, or social media, generating leads follows the same basic process:

  1. Potential clients discover your firm through one of your marketing channels;
  2. They click on your call to action (CTA) and are directed to a landing page;
  3. They exchange their contact details and other relevant information for helpful information or offers; and
  4. You send them a follow-up message with useful information that benefits them and add their details to your email subscriber list for future contact marketing opportunities.

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.

What Do You Need to Create Lead Flow for Your Law Firm?

Lead flow

You can generate quality leads, build a stronger sales pipeline and identify opportunities to maximize leads if you:

  1. Have a law firm website optimized to generate leads;
  2. Create specific landing pages to target leads;
  3. Build a lead generation funnel for cold leads;
  4. Implement marketing strategies to boost lead generation;
  5. Cultivate a strong brand identity to raise awareness; and
  6. Gather positive reviews to build credibility and trust.

1. Have a Law Firm Website That Generates Leads

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:

  • Professional design: Your website should look professional, be optimized for search engines, and be compatible with all devices. Loading fast and an attractive design keeps website visitors on your site for longer.
  • Natural language: Your web copy should be natural and easy for everybody to understand. You want to encourage legal leads to hire you, not scare them away with industry jargon.
  • Communicate expertise: It’s essential to highlight your practice areas and expertise, but keep it client-centric.
  • High-quality content: Anything that adds value to the reader is quality content. Your website should increase a visitor’s understanding of your services and include high-quality images and graphics that supplement its web copy.
  • Clear Calls to action (CTAs): Each page on your website should prompt visitors to do something that brings them a step closer to becoming clients.

2. Create Specific Landing Pages to Target Leads

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:

  • Multiple locations: If your law has several locations, you’ll want to create landing pages with specific keywords for each area.

Create landing pages for all your locations

  • Firm specialties: For instance, you might have separate landing pages for personal injury, medical malpractice, and animal injuries. This also makes lead segmentation easier down the line.

Create pages for for your area practices

  • PPC advertising: Each of your paid advertising campaigns should have separate landing pages, so you can effectively monitor and track their progress.

3. Build a Lead Generation Funnel for Cold Leads

What Are Cold Leads?

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:

  • Unaware of all your law firm’s services;
  • Require more time and nurturing;
  • Have not specified their needs; and
  • Have not reached out to interact with your law firm.

How to Convert Cold Leads Into Clients

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.

Use Email Marketing Strategies

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.

Invest in Retargeting Campaigns

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.

For example:

  • Retargeting website visitors who clicked on your contact page but did not reach out to you. In this case, you want to remind them who you are, and what your expertise is, so they make contact.
  • Retargeting those who viewed pages relating to specific practice areas. In this scenario, you want them to see your ads relating to those service areas, and so on.

Data suggests retargeting can boost your conversion rate by 161%!

4. Implement Marketing Strategies to Boost Lead Generation

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.

How to Use PPC for Law Firm Lead Generation

What is lawyer PPC

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:

  • Maintain a 3.0 Google Business Profile rating;
  • Have a Google Ads account; and
  • Pass Google’s background check.

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.

How to get more leads with PPC advertising

How to Use SEO for Lead Generation

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.

keyword research for attorneys

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.

How to Use Social Media Marketing for Lead Generation

Social media for law professionals

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 Best Social Media Platforms To Get More Legal Leads

Best social media platforms

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.

  • Facebook: This social media platform is still the largest, with more than two billion people using it every month. Facebook tends to prioritize friends-and-family posts, making visibility somewhat of a challenge, so it’s best to invest in paid advertising.
  • Twitter: In just 280 characters, a law firm can showcase its expertise, share news, and connect with industry peers and prospective clients. Twitter prioritizes engagement, so strategically respond to hot-button issues to showcase your expertise.
  • YouTube: 81% of US adults use YouTube, and 66% of people say they prefer watching video content rather than reading blogs. YouTube is the second most-visited site after Google, which makes it a great channel to attract attention from potential clients.
  • LinkedIn: Perceived as more of a professional networking platform, LinkedIn is ideal for delivering ads to audiences based on their job title, company, or industry. It’s especially useful for B2B litigation leads.
  • TikTok & Instagram: Both Instagram and TikTok are image and/or video-centric. For those in consumer-focused areas of law, like personal injury, it’s smart to humanize your firm and connect with people on these platforms.

5. Cultivate a Strong Brand Identity to Raise Awareness

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.

6. Gather Positive Reviews to Build Credibility and Trust

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.

7. Use Online Directories

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.

Attract Leads with Google My Business

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.

8. Use Initial Consultations to Qualify Leads

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.

Does your law firm have a plan for growth in 2023?
Does your law firm have a plan for growth in 2023?

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Does Lead Generation Flow Means Success?

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.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you would like to discuss your project, reach out to our specialists.

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About the Author
Sasha Berson
Sasha serves as Managing Partner and VP of Client Solutions for Comrade Digital Marketing, a Chicago-based marketing agency dedicated to solving client’s most pressing digital challenges.
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