There are many ways a person selects an attorney. Here, we'll look at the most important ones:
- Relationships and Referrals
We'll also explore how to use this information so that you can develop a more effective law firm marketing strategy to attract more clients in Morgantown, WV.
Relationships Are the Most Important Factor
According to a nationwide study of over 1,500 people, conducted by Mike Blumenthal, relationships are by far the most important factor in determining how someone might select an attorney. If someone needs an attorney, they typically look to their close inner circle — their friends. Females are 1.5 times as likely as men to do so.
Friends are the most likely referral source when someone is looking for an attorney. People turn to friends for a lot of things — and legal advice is one of them.
Interestingly, there were only two exceptions to friends being the biggest influencer to finding an attorney in that study. 18-24-year-olds were more likely to turn to the internet than to a friend — perhaps due to a smaller relevant social network. And those with incomes in excess of $150,000/year were also more likely to search online.
Because younger generations rely so heavily on the internet, firms with a strong online focus will continue to be rewarded with higher percentages of website traffic, even as this group ages.
Firms Need to Embrace Their Community
So, people turn to friends when choosing an attorney. That means the broader the recognition of your firm’s competency and care, the more times you will be mentioned when friends help friends.
An idea? Perhaps your firm could create a charitable campaign.
While the practice may be mostly altruistic, doing so serves to connect the firm with their local communities and create brand awareness – all while making a legitimate positive impact on their community cares. Here are some ideas to get started:
- Choose a cause you are vested in. Your passion will be revealed and involvement sustained because you are truly vested in the cause.
- Go local. Investing in your local community can not only have more measurable impact, it is something that will be seen by many of your prospects and clients as valuable and relevant.
- Integrate opportunities to further your efforts — social media and perhaps community event efforts should be scheduled in association with your campaign.
The Internet – Popular Among Millennials
In the various practices of law in an era of specialization, it is increasingly difficult to find an attorney with the specific and appropriate background by just asking friends. Even reaching out to coworkers or neighbors for help might not provide a valid choice.
As mentioned, people aged 18-24 are looking to the internet to find an attorney – even more than friends. The number of people searching the internet will only continue to grow — its influence will likely eclipse all others in a relatively short time.
Even among those that said they had utilized a friend first in finding an attorney in the earlier study, another study on attorney selection by The Research Intelligence Group found 76% of people who looked for an attorney in the past year used an online resource at some point in the process. So, even if the consumer got a referral from someone, most still went online for additional insight and information.
Your firm’s online presence is increasingly important in attracting new clients. How do you know if you are getting your fair share of leads from those that are looking for an attorney on the internet?
- Make sure your website’s content is optimized for online search using local and practice-relevant keywords.
- Make sure your website is mobile responsive – meaning it can be viewed on mobile and other devices.
- Make sure you have strong calls-to-action on your website and that visitors can easily find the information they are looking for.
- Blog. Don’t let the word scare you off – there are news stories and other content that serve the purpose. But relevant content drives search.
- Build and update a FAQ page on your site.
- Build your Google+ Local Presence.
- Submit your site to law and local web directories.
- Sponsor events – embrace your community.
The Art of Getting More Referrals to Your Firm
Getting referrals is a leading goal of law firms everywhere. There are three distinct types and an overarching strategy will include a keen understanding, and a balanced approach to accomplishing each.
- Experience-based Referrals: This is the type that most law firms are already actively pursuing. An experience-based referral occurs as a direct result of your firm’s work with an organization or individual.
- Expertise-based Referral: These occur when someone recommends your firm based on their awareness of your expertise. While they haven’t worked with you personally and don’t have detailed knowledge of your reputation, they recommend your firm due to your perceived expertise in the marketplace.
- Reputation-based Referral: Like expertise-based referrals, reputation-based referrals come from people who have not worked with you directly, but know of your reputation. While they might not have the specific expertise or knowledge to give an expertise-based referral, they may know someone who has worked with you or have heard of other clients with positive experiences or been influenced through your marketing.
Whether it’s growing your firm through marketing locally or online, the value of understanding where your prospects are getting their information and injecting your firm into the discussion is very important.
How We Can Help
InnerAction Media works with businesses that desire to follow these best practices and achieve the greatest marketing result from their online strategy. We drive qualified leads to our clients — even while they sleep.
Would you like to know how your website performs and get some ideas on how to improve your site? Contact us at InnerAction Media for a FREE WEBSITE REPORT AND ANALYSIS where we will walk you through the report and show you what you can do to improve.