Word-of-mouth marketing matters – today more than ever.
People entrust you with their legal needs. They ask their friends, colleagues, and others they trust before they call you, before they even try to find your SEO-optimized web page or even after they find the ad you sponsored on Facebook.
In this age of digital marketing, social media, and PPC advertising, word-of-mouth marketing still works.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing: It’s About Establishing Credibility
Credibility is critical in any business – and especially in law. In 2015, Nielsen asked over 30,000 consumers in 30 countries what they saw as the most credible form of advertising. More than 80% of respondents said that recommendations from people they knew, i.e., word-of-mouth marketing, mattered more than any other form of advertising. And online reviews, another type of word-of-mouth marketing from people they did not know, scored high as well. Two-thirds of consumers surveyed named online reviews as the most effective form of advertising. Hiring an Attorney 2019, a report focused specifically on legal consumers, also ranked online reviews as critical in the hiring process.
But, What Does All This Mean to Your Law Firm?
Clearly, make the time to do word-of-mouth marketing. But, how do you cultivate an effective word-of-mouth marketing strategy? After all, you cannot control what people say about your services when you are not there.
1. Be brag-worthy
This is an obvious one, but probably the most important. If you want your clients to rave about your services, you have to give them services that they want to rave about. Sure, you can start by setting up the right strategy and goals for your firm and make sure you market what you do, but, in the end, meaningful, valued service comes down to authentic, valued timely advice, delivered with respect, and that’s on point.
2. Generate buzz
Consider client testimonials. In this digital age, online reviews and client testimonials have become a sort of 21st-century version of overhearing someone else’s conversation about your services. They matter, and they’re trusted by more than two-thirds of potential clients out there. Learn how to create meaningful client testimonials and help generate word-of-mouth traffic for your law firm.
You can’t go at it alone, nor should you want to. When you are building credibility for your firm, consider building relationships with people who can send referrals and traffic your way — fellow professionals, potential clients, and other lawyers. There are many ways to network, but several strategies that have proven successful in the past include:
- Public speaking
- Joining bar associations
- Participating in trade groups
Be patient, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride. Networking is about building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.
Perfect your elevator pitch. Have up-to-date business cards on hand. Do some homework and learn who will also be attending events. If you approach networking with a clear strategy—just like any other area of your firm’s business—you’ll get the most out of your time and effort, generating word-of-mouth traffic that will help you convert new clients.
The Bottom Line
There’s really no marketing that’s more valuable and authentic than word-of-mouth marketing. The best way to generate authentic word-of-mouth marketing is to provide quality service and treat clients and potential clients with respect and to keep your commitments. Good service, and being a good citizen in your community, will generate buzz, and effective word-of-mouth marketing too. Sometimes, the best marketing is the most organic marketing. When someone is happy with your service, he or she will come back, tell friends, and hopefully generate more business for your firm down the road.