When you graduated from law school and passed the American Bar Association exam, you probably thought you would quickly find a lucrative job with new clients knocking on your door. Most lawyers fresh out of law school are ready to apply their knowledge with high-quality work that translates into billable hours. However, the one critical thing you may not have learned in law school is how to get clients as a lawyer.
It may sound simple, but gaining new clients is one of the toughest challenges you face as a lawyer. Whether you are a new lawyer who just graduated from law school or a seasoned lawyer starting a new firm, you need clients to keep your law practice afloat. Here at Family Attorney SEO, we offer comprehensive marketing solutions for our law firm clients, most of whom practice family law.
We provide SEO, PPC, email marketing, and reputation management services to help your law firm grow, thrive, and turn prospective clients into actual clients. Our services will encourage repeat business and help you land potential clients, which means you can help more people. Learning how to get clients as a lawyer is the best way to help your law practice succeed and make the profits you dreamed about as a young law student a reality.
Five Effective Methods for Getting New Clients as a Lawyer
You might be curious about the five most effective methods to get clients as a lawyer, so that we will explore that with you now. By the time you finish reading this article, you will have an arsenal of methods to help your entire law practice succeed in gaining clients.
At Family Attorney SEO, we use these five innovative methods and more to help your law firm expand into new markets. Using practical business development techniques, we help you grow your client list. Our SEO and website design services are perfect for law firms that need to revamp an existing website. We provide relevant and engaging content you need to drive new leads.
Our services work because we base them on proven techniques that can help your law firm:
- Gain referrals
- Drive organic search results
- Generate leads
- Build meaningful relationships to help you get the best clients.
Here are the five most effective methods law firms can use to gain more clients.
1. Use SEO: Search Engine Optimization
If you have never heard of SEO, your website is probably not performing at peak efficiency or successfully converting clients. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This practice uses keywords and relevant, thoughtful, and compelling content to generate leads and improve a website’s search engine ranking.
When you think of practicing law, your mind might automatically jump to a courtroom, but SEO is just as important. Think about it: when you search on Google for a business, do you scroll to the bottom to click on the second page of results? No, probably not.
Most people do not click over to the second page. Having the best possible ranking on significant search engines (like Google and Bing) increases your visibility and helps you get more clients. New lawyers can also benefit considerably from SEO, which can help draw in clients they desperately need when they first start their legal careers.
Post Relevant Content
However, there is much more to effective SEO practices than just stuffing keywords into your website’s content. You also must have the correct keyword placement, proper headers and titles, local SEO and custom content, relevant URL structures, and a user-friendly website.
You can think about it like this: just how valuable is the content on your website in the eyes of potential clients? Position your firm as the most experienced and intelligent in your practice areas, or you may have trouble capturing the clients you need for effective law firm development.
Grow Your Online Ad Budget
Search engine marketing involves using online directories (like the American Bar Association or FindLaw.com) and search engines to place online ads promoting your firm. Every business gets one free listing with Google. However, there is no shame in paying for the prime ad space—the first page’s top three or four ad results. This boosts your firm, resulting in a much higher marketing impact.
Another tactic to consider relates to banner ads. Paying for banner ads on other sites, such as a popular legal advice blog online or a lawyer directory, could help you gain clients. However, we recommend creating a budget for online advertising and growing it yearly. Then, you can reap the rewards of your hard work in the form of more clients. We cannot emphasize the importance of utilizing SEO enough—it can help your firm grow and expand in ways you never thought possible.
2. Utilize Digital Marketing
If you want to know how to get clients as a lawyer, digital marketing can tremendously help in this highly digital age. Digital law firm marketing uses purely digital strategies to generate leads and gain more business and clients.
Here at Family Attorney SEO, we use a wide range of digital marketing techniques, including PPC (pay-per-click) marketing and email marketing. Our experts comprehensively approach your firm’s digital and legal marketing. They anticipate what kind of content most prospective legal clients look for when searching on the web.
Email marketing is another essential part of digital marketing. However, that does not include sending obnoxious spam emails. Instead, successful email marketing is about targeting the right people with personalized messages.
For example, you could start a legal blog with subscribers. When you send those subscribers blog posts, periodic updates about your firm, relevant content, and compelling topics, you ensure that they think of you when they need legal help.
PPC, or pay-per-click marketing, means advertising on sites like Google or Bing. We highly recommend this type of marketing if you have an effective, SEO-optimized website containing valuable content that can convert clients. Bringing organic traffic to a website lacking relevant content to convert clients is ineffective.
3. Grow Your Law Firm with Reputation Management
You already know how important it is to use SEO and digital marketing techniques to attract ideal clients and revenue to your law practice. However, if you want to learn how to get clients as a lawyer, one place to start is by using reputation management strategies to create a solid online presence.
Managing your firm’s reputation is more than just browsing the big review sites and hoping you only see good things. Proper management requires a proactive approach. It can be challenging to regain trust with clients once your reputation suffers damage. Just ask Warren Buffet: he once famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
Proactively Address Negative Reviews
Most people who leave online reviews do so because of a negative experience. If clients leave negative reviews on your website, Google, or Yelp, you must answer them immediately. By replying to negative reviews, you show other potential clients that you care enough about your clients to fix any problems they may have.
On the other hand, positive reviews from previous clients can be a goldmine. In some ways, a positive review can be even more substantial than a word-of-mouth referral. According to Search Engine Land, 88% of people have read reviews to determine a business’s quality and value, and 88% trust online reviews just as much as a personal referral or recommendation.
4. Become Involved in the Community
One of the most important ways to gain clients is to remember one simple fact: every person you meet is a potential client. Unfortunately, many inexperienced lawyers attempt to pre-determine and judge someone’s potential to be a client when they meet them for the first time. If they decide the person probably will not be a client, they may not treat them the same way they would treat a possible client in their office.
However, this is a rookie mistake. You never know when your dry cleaner or the person who runs your favorite sandwich shop will need legal help. Some of the most lucrative referral sources come from word-of-mouth between family and friends.
Every Person You Meet Is a Potential Client
Potential clients can be anybody, from the plumber who fixed your sink to the day clerk at the local convenience store. For that reason, the most experienced and successful lawyers cultivate meaningful relationships with everybody they meet and always carry a business card for those impromptu moments.
You can also use your law school network, other lawyers, or those you meet during your legal career. You never know—forming actual relationships and being genuine with your existing client base could tip the scales in your favor and land new clients.
If you are starting over in a new community, take the time to get involved. Head to a local event and mingle with the people there, or join local organizations in your new town or city. Take the time to make friends and form genuine and long-lasting relationships. Another great way to meet new people is by volunteering; as a bonus, you get to give back to the community.
5. Get to Know Your Clients, Work Hard, and Be Genuine
If you want to know how to get clients as a lawyer, the best advice we can give you here at Family Attorney SEO is to work hard, be genuine, and get to know your clients.
For example, if you went to a therapist, would you return for a second appointment if they seemed disinterested and acted like they did not care? No, of course not.
The same principle applies to lawyers. Unless you can show your clients that you genuinely care about their lives, problems, and families, you will have trouble succeeding. Of course, we are not recommending that you “fake” caring, either. Successful lawyers have one thing in common: they care about their clients and are willing to go to bat for them.
That brings us to our next point: have a genuine interest in your work. Go to seminars, learn more, talk to your lawyer friends in the same specialty, and do your best to gain more knowledge.
When you care and have an interest in your work, it shows. When potential clients see that you understand where they are coming from, they will feel confident about hiring you to represent them when they need legal work.
Family Attorney SEO: Helping You Grow Your Firm
Here at Family Attorney SEO, we already know how to get clients as a lawyer. We can lend you our expert knowledge. That knowledge and expertise is the firm foundation upon which we built our company. Contact us today to learn how we can help you use these five effective business development techniques and more to grow your law firm and successfully attract new clients.