The oldest and most reliable form of generating leads for lawyers come from referrals. It is probable that your first client came to you through a referral, who, in turn, referred the second client, and so forth. A 2017 Clio study found that 62% of people find attorneys through family or friend referrals.
How can you increase your referrals?
Do good work. The best referrals come from satisfied clients, and doing good work for those clients is the best way to get those referrals. Clients notice the little things like being on time, listening to what they have to say, and explaining concepts in a way they will understand, even when they don’t always get what they want. Those contented clients will remember you and send others your way.
Expand your email list. Ask for a new client’s email address and permission to send information to them. Assuming your website has content, use that content to send out a periodic newsletter. Your newsletter should include great content, images, links, and overviews. The newsletter doesn't have to be long, simply written well and attractively formatted. And don’t forget to include bits about daily happenings in the office that show off your staff’s personality. This personal touch makes readers feel invested in the people behind your brand.
Create and maintain relationships with other businesses. Forming relationships with businesses that complement your practice such as accountants, investment advisors, realtors, or health professionals can also lead to referrals. Keep them up to date with your newsletter, and remember to refer business their way whenever appropriate.
Talk about activities outside the office. Lawyers donate a lot of time to their communities, and most find their work highly rewarding. Report about it in your newsletter, and remember that clients and peers who know more about the firm are more comfortable making a referral.
Finally, show your appreciation for clients who refer work your way. This can be as simple as a writing a thank-you note to show gratitude for their efforts. Even if you don’t take the matter and refer it to another lawyer, thank the client. They will remember your generosity, refer other matters your way, and help your business grow.
After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides writing services to lawyers ghostwriting content for websites, blogs, and articles. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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