Referrals provide a steady stream of business for many law firms, with attorneys appreciating the word of former clients and fellow legal professionals. But while the traditional referral still holds plenty of value in the legal industry, it alone should not form the basis of your business. A lack of digital marketing and lead management efforts could leave you dependent on a small handful of clients.
In an age of digital marketing, what, exactly, keeps lawyers stuck in the old pattern of waiting for referrals? Misconceptions surrounding lead quality may be to blame. Attorneys mistakenly assume that leads arising from digital efforts are inherently inferior to those obtained through referrals. But are online leads really that bad? We clear up common misconceptions below.
When Online Leads Are Valuable
Like it or not, today’s clients are plugged into a digital landscape. They work, chat, and shop online. Why should seeking out an attorney be any different? If you fail to deliver the online experience they desire, your business will suffer — and we’re not just talking a lack of online leads. Even traditional referrals expect to find information about your firm online.
In all likelihood, your average internet lead has checked out your firm thoroughly before initiating contact. This person should already know whether his or her case falls under the scope of your practice area and whether your values align enough to ensure a productive attorney-client relationship.
Securing the Best Online Leads
A quality lead begins with trust and transparency. Prospective clients want to know what you’ve accomplished as an attorney and what those successes mean to you. They want to know your values, your communication style, and how your law firm stacks up against the competition. This essential information can be conveyed in a detailed attorney profile.
Once you’ve sparked that initial interaction, it’s time to vet your new lead to determine whether he or she has the makings of a quality client. Much of this can be ascertained from the initial consultation. This is your opportunity to determine whether your values align and whether you can work together to achieve a shared end goal. By outlining your expectations in an upfront manner, you can avoid most of the pitfalls skeptics associate with online leads.
Building an online system for finding and cultivating leads may seem overwhelming, but it’s well worth the effort. Quality leads are out there — and with the right digital tools, you can transform them into exceptional clients.