Three Reasons Your Law Firm is Missing Out On Clients￼
Your law firm is missing out on potential clients. You may not even realize it, but there are several factors that could be preventing you from attracting new business. Let’s assume that you advertise your legal services, have a decent website, the ability to schedule consultations, and bandwidth to take on new clients. All of that but still not meeting your goals or expectations.
In this post, I will outline three reasons your law firm is missing out on clients and provide some tips on how to remedy the situation.
Your Marketing Is Not in Front of the Right People
We see it all too often, attorneys come to Cardinal Concepts telling us that they are marketing and advertising their practice but aren’t seeing any results. After a free strategy session with CEO David Crum, Esq. and a thorough competitive analysis by our team of legal marketers, the writing is usually on the wall. Practices are either investing in the wrong platforms or using the right platforms incorrectly.
Marketing Channels Attorneys Should Avoid
Let’s start with the wrong platforms. The two most common culprits I see wasting an attorney’s advertising budget are embedded advertising (Avvo, SuperLawyers, Justia, etc.) and Google Local Service Ads.
In a previous blog post I shared The Truth About SuperLawyers in which I encouraged all attorneys to strive for a nomination. I also recommend attorneys to create free profiles on any and all of these referral listing sites as many include “dofollow” backlinks to your firm’s website providing value for SEO. All of that said, the advertising options they offer are complete money pits. They are expensive, provide limited differentiation between you and your competitors, and have little targeting ability. These platforms sell attorneys on the fact that they are regularly on the first page of SERPs (search engine results page). Instead of then paying for a premium placement on their listing which is an extra click and decision away, invest directly into paid search advertising or search engine optimization.
Speaking of paid search advertising, many lawyers have been sold on Google’s Local Service Ads. They appear in the first position of Google search results, are direct click-to-call ads, and can be refuted if a lead is unqualified. This all sounds incredible on paper but the application leaves a lot to be desired and creates some serious landmines for law firms.
First, there is a barrier of entry as setting up your account is not easy, one might view that as a benefit because it limits the competition but it also creates a burden on the staff member responsible unless you have a marketing agency.
Next up is the targeting. Google gives you the ability to target by location and service offering. That’s it. This means that there is no way for you to further refine your audience to target the most qualified potential clients which result in inflating your spend for unqualified leads.
This leads me to my final point. Yes, you have the ability to dispute unqualified leads but that also means that you have to manually listen to each and every call to determine which you want to dispute. Even then, it is not guaranteed that Google will accept your dispute. Beyond your advertising cost, think about the internal cost of spending this time listening to the calls. We recently audited a law firm that had 99 LSA calls, 30 of which were disputed which means a significant amount of time was spent listening to calls when the attorney could have used that time for billable client work.
If your goal is to generate calls from Google there are multiple ways to do so. First, you can focus on improving your local search rankings within the map pack. This will be your most cost-effective option. Next, you can use the adjusted bid option for calls and bid more aggressively to showcase the call ad extension which works well when you have refined targeting. Finally, call-only ads are an option but we see those to be as expensive, or more, than Local Service Ads and also have quality issues.
How Attorneys Can Target Clients on Google and Facebook
Google and Facebook make it rather easy to set up ad accounts and run campaigns. That’s purposeful so that they can take your hard-earned money. Where they make it difficult is the targeting and optimization of ads. This is where you either need a depth of knowledge or a subject matter expert to run your ads. Both offer location, demographic, keywords or interests, and many other parameters to target your ideal client.
Ideal client is the key takeaway. Attorneys need to create client personas and then target similar individuals by presenting compelling content that is relevant to them. An example might be fathers with children under 18 who live in a specific zip code and have shown an interest in the allocation of parental responsibilities. Knowing this, you can create content that is unique to them by addressing their problem and offering a solution. This will generally result in higher engagement rates at a lower cost making your advertising budget go that much further.
One additional expert tip is income targeting. Both Google and Facebook offer this as a targeting feature. If you’re not excluding or bidding down on lower-income individuals, you will likely see a surge of unqualified leads. This is a mistake we see regularly.
You Are Not In Front of the Right People Enough
Now that you know who the right people are, where to find them, how to target them, and what to say to them, many attorneys will think that is all there is to it. Wrong.
On average, a consumer needs five touches before they convert to a sale. If that means they see your ad, visit your website, and even speak with a person on your team, you are likely two touches away from converting them to a client. This is where your customer relationship management and/or email marketing platforms come into play. We recommend Lawmatics as they make it possible to attribute and designate prospects into unique automations to send emails or remind your staff to follow up. When law firms nurture their leads, their conversion rates and their number of new client hires both increase.
Not only can you use your CRM for prospect nurturing, but you can also stay relevant to current and past clients who can become referral sources to your law firm also resulting in more clients.
One Person Is Trying to Do It All
The final challenge many law firms face is that there is one person trying to do it all. Whether that’s the owner, managing attorney, or office administrator this creates bottlenecks in your organization which doesn’t allow the entire firm to scale and grow. There’s a variety of ways to fix this from delegating within, hiring additional internal resources, automating through technologies, outsourcing to contractors, or partnering with a service provider. In our experience of growing a multi-state practice of over 25 attorneys and 70 employees, it takes all of the above to accelerate your growth. Each law firm is different and at different points of their maturity so there is no cookie-cutter answer to this. If you’d like to learn and consult from David and our team of growth experts, we’d be happy to learn about your specific challenges and integrate your growth marketing initiatives with operational efficiencies.
This is why Cardinal Concepts is different from the majority of other marketing experts or agencies – we go beyond marketing and provide guidance on the entire process and roadmap to grow your law firm. If you are an entrepreneurial attorney who wants to grow your practice, we’d love to speak with you.