The new year is almost upon us. It’s time to start planning on how you’re going to grow your practice. You’re probably looking into options such as pay-per-click marketing or maybe even an additional website. There’s one big problem with these types of approaches – THEY COST MONEY! Given the time of year I thought it would be good to do a quick post on three things you can do to quickly grow your firm without spending a dime. Following these tips will help you look like this guy:
This article is written with the assumption that you don’t like to waste money on needless overhead and that you don’t have an ideological opposition to prosperity. If you’re looking to grow the size of your wallet then read on.
Attorneys can quickly get more clients by leveraging their website’s analytics
Sadly, I’ve had many conversations with lawyers who can’t even tell you how much traffic their website gets because they don’t check their analytics. Most attorneys that do track their traffic can’t tell you much more than how much raw data they get and what their referral sources are (such as whether traffic came from Google, Facebook, etc.). When you go to trial you leverage all the favorable information in your client’s favor so why not do the same for your web marketing? Let’s talk about how to get more out of your data.
Log into your Google Analytics account and set the reference date for the last 12 months. Then, in the left hand column, scroll down to the “behavior” section. Click on “content” and then click on “landing pages.” These are going to be your most popular pages/blog posts in search over the last twelve months. Whatever your most popular topics are should get a fresh focus in your blogging. As an example, one of our clients did a single post on how drug use impacts child custody cases. That one post received substantial traffic so, a few months later, she did a comprehensive blog series on the topic (don’t forget that attorneys benefit when they write their blog posts in the form of a series). These subsequent posts turned out to be strong traffic drivers as well. One of the best ways to drive quality traffic is to give people what they’re looking for. Leveraging the landing page data from your analytics program will do just that.
Your first step for growth is simple. See what your most popular pages and topics have been over the last twelve months and develop a plan for developing additional quality, and in-depth, content on those topics.
Quickly grown your law practice by removing badges and outbound links from your website
You want more clients right? Then it’s time to stop helping your competition out of the goodness of your heart. Let’s look at what I mean.
The longer people remain on a lawyer’s website then the more likely they are to pick up the phone and call. Many attorneys, however, drive traffic away from their site without thinking twice about it. Think of those various “best of” and “rating” badges you have all over your page. You think they’re helping but, in fact, they’re killing your business. For example, many lawyers have an AVVO rating badge on their site showing their “10/10” rating. Every time a client clicks on that they go to AVVO, which means they are no longer on the website that you own and control. While they do land on your AVVO profile, they are now able to search AVVO and find your competitors. In other words, someone was perusing your site and considering whether to hire you and your site encouraged them to go to another website. This is horrible for your marketing. Matt Majeski, our featured attorney for October of 2014, took all the outbound links and badges off of his website after we discussed this in our 30 days to a better law firm series. He found that removing those outbound links, in part, helped to increase his business substantially. You should do the same.
Lawyers can quickly grow their practice by focusing on conversions
Virtually every lawyer one talks to will insist they are great at conversions. Most, in my experience, require assistance with it. If you find yourself saying “the people calling aren’t good leads,” “the people calling don’t have any money,” or “the people calling are just calling around and they aren’t serious,” then it’s time to take a look at how your office is handling those calls. The truth is that that those people calling a) consist of many people who are seriously looking for a lawyer, b) they have money but your firm’s pitch didn’t make them feel comfortable in giving it to you; and c) they just say they’re “calling around” as a polite way of getting off the phone so they can call another law firm that makes them feel more comfortable. There’s no quicker and cheaper way to grow your business then to leverage those phone calls that you’re already receiving.
Improving conversions on your existing calls can be broken down into a few steps:
Communicate with people through their preferred communication method
I see many attorneys who receive an email inquiry and respond by telling that person to call the office and schedule a consultation. Here’s a news flash – that person was on the attorney’s website and had a choice between calling or sending an email inquiry. If they wanted to call they would have in the first place. Such a person has already reached out to an attorney once and that attorney is then telling them to reach out a second time and that’s something they won’t do. Recognize that when people contact you then they are doing so through their preferred method of communication. Don’t make your potential clients jump through hoops. Someone who emails you has reached out. If they left a phone number then pick up the phone and call them to schedule their consult. If they didn’t leave a phone number then correspond by email to get them scheduled.
Confirm your consultations by text message the day before
Many attorneys, for reasons beyond my understanding, don’t confirm with people the day before. It’s important to remember that going to see an attorney is a nerve-wracking experience for someone already facing some type of legal issue. People may schedule a consult but still be on the fence about whether they should file for divorce, file for bankruptcy, etc. Someone who is unsure whether they should go through with the consultation will likely be nudged from the “should I go see the lawyer” mind set, to being someone who actually shows up in your office, with just that little nudge of a reminder.
Following all the steps above will grow your practice much quicker than you realize. If you want to get more clients then do these things. If you don’t, then don’t.