Whether you’re the new lawyer on the block or a long-term successful practitioner, finding new clients comes from a mix of old-school methods and embracing our digital world.
To someone outside of the legal profession, the idea of lawyers finding clients may seem odd – surely in a world where at some point many of us need legal services, it’s the clients who find the lawyers?!
The reality is that while many law firms and lawyers have brands and reputations that see them in high demand, the legal profession is just like any other, competing for business in a busy marketplace. Which raises the question of how do lawyers find clients and what more can they do to attract new business?
‘The three R’s’: Relationships, Referrals and Reviews
Whatever business or sector you’re involved with, ‘the three R’s’ are critical to the success of a business: Relationships, referrals and reviews.
Without sounding too opportunistic, and also depending on specific areas of law you work in, it’s possible that anyone you meet could be a prospective client. This means that being ‘out and proud’ about your profession is important, although how you do this might be the difference to getting new clients and not.
Handing out your business card willy nilly or talking your professional life up too much is not the way to go, but having cards on hand and knowing when to subtly (or not so subtly!) inject your professional life into conversations can help kickstart connections and relationships that could build your client base.
And, even if putting out there what you do has no immediate flow-on effect to finding new clients, it’s not to say that playing the slow game won’t lead to a prospect later down the track. Once these relationships progress to the professional context of lawyer/client, maintaining the relationship remains important, even when the outcome was a successful resolution of the matter at hand with no obvious follow up required.
From more old-school methods, such as sending out a Christmas greeting, to adding clients to your email list for quarterly professional updates or connecting with them via LinkedIn, respectfully maintaining professional relationships in a networked world will give you the edge next time the past client is looking for more legal help.
It also goes some way to shoring up the other ‘R’s’ – referrals and reviews.
In the digital age, as much as ‘Google is our friend’ when we need to find something, studies have shown that nearly 60% of prospective lawyer clients still look for lawyers in the more traditional way.
Whether it’s a relative, friend or colleague, getting a word-of-mouth positive referral from past clients can bring new clients your way. This is why maintaining relationships matter almost as much as the professional wins you have – both help build your personal brand and make you the first lawyer people think of when they are asked, ‘Do you know a lawyer who can help me with XYZ…?’
The relationships might also encourage past or current clients to leave good reviews for you.
While these were once all word–of-mouth, reviews have now permeated our lives thanks to how much we rely on digital tools to find the goods and services we need. This goes for lawyers too.
Admittedly, reviews are a little out of your hands in that all you can do is the best job possible and hope that your client reviews you well. However, you can subtly encourage happy clients to leave reviews online or on socials, which will help build a positive online presence to capture those who do search the web for legal services.
Three digital tips for lawyers to find clients
Having an online presence is becoming as important as personal referrals, so there are a few things you can do to improve this.
1. Be easy to find
Create a personal website, join online legal directories, occasionally pay for Google ads to appear at the top of searches or set up a YouTube channel or post regular blog posts discussing general legal matters.
2. Be present (but careful!) on socials
Facebook and LinkedIn, even Quora, are social media platforms where you can comment professionally on legal issues, answer basic questions about and build positive reviews about your services, being mindful of your audience and using these socials in a purely professional context, of course!
3. Follow the data
Google and Facebook analytics have been designed to help even the most anti data types to gain insights into many aspects of their online audience, from which a strategy to improve your online brand/presence can be devised.
Of course, if you don’t have the time or need help/advice, there are plenty of professionals out there who can get you started or take the reins of building and maintaining your digital brand.
Gorilla Jobs Can Help You
We love what we do at Gorilla Jobs, and while there are challenges, we are always ready to help you as a candidate or recruiting organisation to ensure the best talent ends up in the best jobs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions!