Finding new clients is an ongoing task for any law firm, whether it is a newly launched solo practice or a small law firm that has been established for years. Based on your practice area, new client acquisition may be more challenging due to lower referral rates or other factors. In this post, we’ll share advice on how to get clients as a lawyer.
Prior to creating content for your website, social media, or advertising campaigns, review the rules set by the ABA for Professionalism & Ethics in Lawyer Advertising and additional guidelines from your state bar for attorney advertising and social media usage. Many states have their guidelines listed publicly on their website and also offer additional insights, courses, and study guides.
Step One: Create Your Logo and Website
The first thing you will need to start attracting clients to your law firm is a logo and a website. While 86% of all law firms have websites according to the American Bar Association’s 2019 Website & Marketing Technology Report, only 57% of solo practices do.
Your website is the place where you capture online leads from offline and online marketing campaigns. It is a crucial asset in establishing yourself and your law firm’s brand in your local market.
Most of all, you will need it before you create any of your other offline or online marketing materials. You don’t have to begin with an award-winning website design to compete with the #1 law firm in the United States.
You just need a website that puts you in the same league with your competitors. A clean, professional layout on a solid platform with room for growth. This is something you can get with a WordPress website.
The WordPress content management software allows you to publish your main website page content including the home, about us, practice areas, contact us, locations, and additional pages. Each page should be created with SEO in mind. Optimize pages for specific keywords that your clients will search before hiring a law firm like yours.
Thanks to WordPress’s flexibility, you can grow your website when you are ready to include additional features. These include a blog, PPC landing pages (essential when you start advertising), email opt-in forms, live chat agents, and much more.
If you choose a managed hosting solution, you won’t have to worry about a lot of the technical details that go into managing a WordPress website. The hosting company will handle backups, security monitoring, malware scans, and other basic maintenance. While there are many to choose from WordPress recommends three hosting companies: DreamHost, Bluehost, and SiteGround.
After you have created your website, add your Google Analytics tracking code via Google Tag Manager. Google Analytics is Set up Remarketing lists for search ads for future advertising on Google search and websites in the Google display network.
To protect the privacy of those on your list, you must have at least 1,000 cookies (website visitors) on your list before your remarketing ads will go live. Hence, you will need to set this up before you try to advertise to people who have visited your website through Google Ads.
Once your website and Google Analytics is ready, you’re ready to move on to step two.
Step Two: Establish Yourself on Social Media
The next step to getting clients is establishing yourself on social media. LinkedIn is the preferred social media network amongst 73% of the law firms in ABA’s 2019 report mentioned earlier. 39% of law firms said they use Facebook, and 28% said they use Twitter.
Each social network has a different set of properties and features. If you’re just starting out, here’s what you will need to set up.
- On LinkedIn: Your personal profile and a company page for your law firm.
- On Facebook: Your personal profile and a company page for your law firm. If you have a personal profile already, which is more likely, you may need to review the posts to ensure they represent you the lawyer. You shouldn’t have any posts that represent you the college student out at your first music festival.
- On Twitter: Your personal profile or a profile for your law firm.
As you complete your profiles and company pages, keep your website SEO in mind. You’ll want to use some of the same keywords that you used on your website in your profile bios, descriptions, and tags. That will help social search users find your profile or company page, similar to how Google search users would find your website.
The key to social media is connecting with people you know already. Your first clients are probably going to amongst your family, friends, people you went to school with, former coworkers, and other acquaintances. Thanks to social media, you can start networking with them using your email address book and smartphone contact list.
As you connect with people, they will see your current job title on your personal profile. Ideally, if they need a lawyer that offers your services, they’ll think of you first.
This will especially be true if they have seen great content from you in their newsfeed on a regular basis. So keep on everyone’s mind by regularly posting interesting content from around your community and your industry. One post a day on most social networks is all it takes, although you can go for a few more if you have the time. Remind your contacts of what is going on and why they need to keep your information in their address book.
Social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter all offer remarketing advertising like Google Ads. Each has a unique tracking code that you need to add to your website or Google Tag Manager to create remarketing audiences. Like Google, you have to build a large remarketing list on each network to ensure privacy. Install your tracking code now to use for future client acquisition.
Once you have created your social profiles, add them to your website. It gives website visitors another way to connect with your law firm prior to needing your services.
Step Three: Claim Your Local Business and Professional Listings
As a local business, a lot of directories will pick up your information and add it to their databases. You will have to take some time to do a Google search of yourself and your law firm to find the top listings your clients may come across and claim them. These will typically be the local directories, review sites, and professional networks on the first page of Google search results.
You don’t necessarily have to sign up for any premium memberships or advertising plans to start with on any of these sites. The goal is to see if you can get your name, address, phone number, website, and any additional information on your listings. Just adding those basic details can help you get clients from those networks.
Step Four: Print Your Marketing Materials
Once you have solidified your online marketing presence, you can create a collection of printed materials to get clients offline. For most law firms, this includes business cards, letterheads, envelopes, notepads, pens, brochures, flyers, and presentation folders.
You will need all of your online marketing channels in place in order to get your printed marketing materials done correctly the first time. This allows you to include the top social links for your law firm on your offline marketing materials.
You may expand into direct-mail advertising and other offline print advertisements in your local newspapers and magazines in the future. But if you’re just starting out, focus on the basics to get your first clients.
Step Five: Start Networking
Now that you have all of your basic marketing channels and printed marketing materials in place, it’s time to get some clients. There are a multitude of ways to get clients as a lawyer, both online and offline.
How to Get Clients as a Lawyer Online via Networking:
- On LinkedIn, join relevant local and professional groups. Each day, take some time to post something new to your profile and company page, comment on your connection’s latest posts in the newsfeed, and participate in group discussions.
- On Facebook, do the same. Note that when you join groups on Facebook, you now have the option to join using your personal profile or your law firm’s company page.
- On Twitter, you don’t have groups. You do have trending topics and hashtags. Find relevant conversations to join using those and reply to your connection’s latest tweets in the newsfeed.
- Forums and Q&A networks like Quora are similar to social network groups – each day, find some discussions to join or questions to answer.
- Help a Reporter Out (HARO) allows you to connect with journalists in your area who may need legal insights to include in a story. This could help you get your name in online and offline publications.
- Include your title, website link, and social links in your email signature on personal and professional emails. Someone in your personal contacts may need a lawyer one day too.
How to Get Clients as a Lawyer Offline via Networking:
- Join and attend local business events held by your local Chamber of Commerce.
- Find local networking groups in your area. Usually, you will find an organization that has a calendar of the must-attend events in your area.
- Look for opportunities to talk about the interesting highlights of your work with the people around you. You never know when your occasional tennis partner or your chiropractor might need a lawyer.
As a new law firm, your family, friends, and the people you connect with while networking will be your first clients. They will be your first reviews, word of mouth referrals, and much more.
Step Six: Start Advertising
As your marketing budget starts to expand, you can invest in PPC advertising. You can reach a variety of audiences with targeted ads through Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and a variety of other platforms.
How well do they work? According to Attorney at Work’s 4th Annual Social Media Marketing Survey, 36% out of 146 solo and small law firms found Facebook Ads effective and 22% found Google Ads effective. Another 7% went towards LinkedIn Ads, and then 2% towards Twitter Ads.
In ABA’s survey, only 7% of law firms said they used Google Ads. Native content platforms like Outbrain and Taboola that would get law firm content ads on sites like CNN or similar media outlets were not included in the survey.
There are several types of ads you can create, based on the PPC advertising network you choose. Here are some examples of ads that you can create using the self-service platforms on the following networks.
- On Google: Remarketing ads to website visitors, search ads, display ads, and video ads on Youtube.
- On Facebook: Remarketing ads to website visitors, news feed ads, stories ads, video ads, lead generation ads, and Messenger ads.
- On LinkedIn: Remarketing ads to website visitors, news feed ads, video ads, and sidebar ads.
- On Twitter: Remarketing ads to website visitors, news feed ads, video ads, and follower ads.
Whether you choose to start with remarketing and move on to targeting new audiences for client acquisition, you should monitor your metrics to determine which campaigns generate the most leads for your law firm. Based on the cost-per-click and other campaign costs, analyzing your metrics and adjusting your ads accordingly should ensure the highest ROI for your ad campaigns.