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How to Get Clients as a Lawyer in 2023: A Professional Guide

16 min
Jan 11, 2023

How to get clients as a lawyer is not often taught in law schools — but it is, perhaps, the most common challenge faced by solo practitioners and law firms, even in times of prosperity. Most lawyers who are successful in getting new clients use similar methods. And lawyers who take advantage of the most effective digital marketing resources get even more clients.

Fortunately, the best methods of attracting and retaining clients can be learned by any attorney who wants to be directly involved in their firm's marketing efforts. For others, law firm marketing agencies offer impressive suites of services that improve client numbers.

Main Ways Lawyers Can Get New Clients

Most lawyers find clients through referrals, reviews, and networking. Each method involves getting your name out there and building a strong reputation within the community you wish to represent. Building your reputation can take some time, so don't be discouraged when you first begin your efforts.

Get New Legal Clients With Reviews and Referrals

The numbers are clear: Most new clients (up to 60%) seek referrals when on the hunt for an attorney. This high percentage means that lawyers should place some effort into increasing their number of referring clients and non-clients.

On top of providing quality legal services, you can take some simple actions that will help ensure that your clients refer you to others.

For example, you might send out thank-you notes and check up on your past clients to show them that they are more than dollar signs. Take a genuine interest in their well-being, and they will be more likely to remember your name when asked for a lawyer referral. And don't forget to refer clients to other attorneys to keep the client river flowing both ways.

However, it must be noted that new methods of finding clients have become just as important as referrals and word of mouth. The digital world has brought with it many tools and strategies that are proving to be as effective as traditional client acquisition efforts.

Public Appearances Can Get You More Legal Clients

Public appearance opportunities for lawyers can help boost your reputation as an attorney in your field. Remember, as a licensed attorney, you can speak authoritatively on many matters of concern to the community.

Schools are a great option to explore. Many colleges, universities, and high schools will allow you to appear as a speaker or lecturer for students interested in law school. Or you might suggest addressing a topic of community concern. The networking potential with administrators and education professionals is great.

Hosting or putting on a talk or seminar for community members is also a good way to become known in your locale. After consistent efforts and continued quality service, you will eventually build a brand and a reputation that leads to referrals and five-star reviews.

How Lawyers Get New Clients With Networking

What is networking

Networking is no longer a buzzword; it is now essential to participating in any industry. In the legal field, lawyers must create and plug into multiple networks to keep the clients coming in. However, networking involves more than just attending events to meet other attorneys. While this aspect of networking is important, comprehensive networking for lawyers involves linking up with individuals and entities outside of their legal network.

Consider the example of a motorcycle accident attorney. They might attend a conference on helmet laws in order to network with other motorcycle lawyers, but they should also consider attending motorcycle industry events that are not geared toward attorneys. Or perhaps they could learn how to ride themselves.

Having good relationships with other attorneys is helpful for client acquisition. However, nothing can replace a solid reputation built directly with the community members you wish to serve.

Consider also a sports injury attorney. There are a wealth of community involvement opportunities for attorneys in this field. They could volunteer to coach a youth league or even join an amateur team. This involvement in the area a lawyer wishes to practice will increase their potential client streams and sources.

Clients like to see their attorneys take a genuine interest in their lives. There's no better way of accomplishing this than by actually taking an interest.

Always keep in mind that it takes time to build a solid reputation and image. Consistency and continuity are essential. In contrast, short-term efforts and occasional community involvement will produce little fruit. Instead of thinking in terms of weeks, you should prepare for the long haul.

Get Even More Law Firm Clients With Digital Marketing

When you want to achieve sustained success in your area of practice and differentiate yourself from these other attorneys, then you need to use a multifaceted approach. We have outlined below several specific marketing efforts that you should engage in if you are interested in getting clients as a lawyer.

Build a High-Performance Website to Attract More Legal Leads

A high-performance website helps lawyers to generate leads

If potential clients are greeted by a captivating website, they will form positive opinions about your law firm and its capabilities. This reaction will give you the opportunity to convert them from prospects into clients.

When potential clients visit your site, they will begin forming opinions about your law firm in seconds. If they do not like what they see, they will quickly leave your site and research other attorneys.

The importance of a great law firm website design cannot be overstated. Without an exceptional website, all of your other marketing efforts will fall below expectations. Your organic search traffic will produce few leads, and your paid marketing approaches will generate an abysmal return on investment.

If you are thinking to yourself that you have no idea how to create a great website for attorneys, the good news is that you don't have to. Instead, all you need to do is to partner with a reputable online marketing firm that provides website design services for lawyers.

How Can Lawyers Get More Clients With SEO

How can lawyers get more clients with SEO

The next step to getting clients as a new lawyer involves leveraging the power of search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization for lawyers is the art of making your website more appealing to search engines.

As you may or may not be aware, search engines like Google rank websites based on a variety of factors. The highest-ranking websites appear on page one of search engine results pages (SERPs). These "organic" results appear below the paid ads, but more on those ads in an upcoming section.

If you want to get noticed by clients in your area, it is critical that you make it to page one of the SERPs. According to Oberlo, 90% of Google users don't make it past page one of their search results.

If you have some familiarity with the concepts of search engine marketing, then you probably know that keyword selection is critical to getting your site noticed in a Google search. However, before you start stuffing your content with phrases like "personal injury lawyer," keep in mind that SEO involves much more than simply adding keywords.

The best way to develop a cohesive SEO strategy and increase your website's visibility in organic search results is to work with a search engine optimization firm for attorneys. These organizations specialize in expanding your reach in the digital marketplace so that you can find ideal clients for your firm.

Law Firm SEO Basics That Get You Clients

SEO is one of the most powerful tools available to law firms that want to acquire more legal clients and grow their businesses. However, if you want to use this tool, you must understand the various types of SEO. While there are several such categories, the majority of SEO efforts can be classified as either on-site or off-site search engine optimization.

On-site SEO is the type of optimization that the majority of lawyers are familiar with. This type of SEO involves including relevant keywords in every service page and blog post.

On-site SEO also pertains to more technical aspects of your website. Factors like page load speed, website responsiveness, and the presence of meta tags and alt tags will all impact your ranking.

Other on-site SEO considerations include:

  • Internal and external links
  • Image optimization
  • Text formatting
  • The quality and authoritativeness of content
  • Relevance and quality of meta descriptions and meta titles

The second key facet of SEO focuses on off-site actions. Off-site SEO can sometimes be more challenging to master. A few components of off-site SEO include:

  • Acquiring backlinks
  • Marketing on social media
  • Engaging in content marketing
  • Law firm reputation management

Of the suggestions above, acquiring backlinks is one of the best things that you can do to enhance the reputation of your law firm. A backlink is a link on another site that leads to one of your blog or service pages. When high-quality sites link back to your content, Google's algorithm views your law firm as a reputable source of information.

Local SEO Is Key to Getting More Lawyer Clients

Local SEO is a type of on-site optimization that involves targeting clients in the city or region in which your law firm is located. It is one of the best ways to get clients as a lawyer.

By targeting local keywords instead of generalized phrases, you can drastically reduce the number of law firms that you are competing against. You can also increase the quality of leads that you generate because Google's algorithm will direct local clients to your content.

In order to optimize your site for local clients, you will need to target location-specific keywords. All you need to do is modify the keywords that you want to rank for so that they include phrases like "near me" or the name of the city you are located in.

For instance, let's say that your law firm provides bankruptcy services and is located in Atlanta, GA. You could target a key phrase like "bankruptcy law practice in Atlanta."

PPC Is a Great Way to Get More Attorney Clients

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a great way of generating large volumes of web traffic in a short time frame.

When setting up a PPC campaign, you will need to select which keywords you want to target and how much you are going to bid on each phrase. When a user conducts a search, Google will display the highest bidding PPC ads at the top of the SERP, above the organic results.

The downside to PPC is that it can be quite expensive, especially for new attorneys. Therefore, you should use it strategically as a means of supplementing your SEO efforts. If you want to maximize your ROI, we suggest partnering with a firm that offers PPC services for lawyers.

Examples of PPC for Law Firms That Get Leads

Local SEO is key to getting more lawyer clients

PPC can be a great way to generate business. Many potential clients in need of legal services search for the type of lawyer they need and choose among the first few options they see. Paying to be featured among these options is simple and effective, and it can work for all types of lawyers, from criminal lawyers to Social Security disability attorneys.

Keep in mind that starting a PPC campaign takes technical know-how, and regular maintenance is required to keep the campaign going. In other words, time, money, and research are typically required for successful PPC campaigns.

Write Insightful Content to Find Law Firm Prospective Clients

Building up a diverse array of legal content can help you become the go-to source of legal information within your region. Those seeking information will not only turn to your site for guidance, but they may also share this information with others. When one of these prospective clients needs paid legal assistance, your law firm will be top of mind.

You can use this to your advantage as a way to generate more web traffic and improve your law firm's reputation among your target audience. To do so, you will need to create a library of useful and informative content.

If you want to make the most out of this strategy, you will need to regularly publish content on your website. Older, outdated articles will not be ranked as highly as more recently published ones. This tactic of marketing by creating educational content is known as "content marketing."

Legal Directories Are a Good Source for New Law Firm Clients

Best directories for lawyers

Legal directories can augment your other brand-building efforts in a multitude of ways. Specifically, we suggest that you use legal directories because when Google's algorithm finds your website on multiple directories, the search engine will view it as more legitimate and reputable.

In turn, the algorithm will rank your website higher. This ranking means that you will have an easier time achieving that sought-after page one status on Google's search engine results pages.

Listing your services in online legal directories is an excellent way of boosting your online visibility. Some of the top legal directories include:

When using this tactic, don't just list your law firm on a single legal directory. Instead, list your services in as many directories as possible to maximize your visibility.

The information listed in legal directories also tells potential clients exactly what you do, where your business is located, and how to get ahold of you. When a client conducts a search for legal services on Google or in one of these directories, they are more likely to come across your information.

Finally, potential clients like using directories. A directory provides a snapshot of all of the law firms in their vicinity. They can quickly compare services, read reviews, and decide which attorney best suits their needs

When using this tactic, don't just list your law firm on a single legal directory. Instead, list your services in as many directories as possible to maximize your visibility.

The information listed in legal directories also tells potential clients exactly what you do, where your business is located, and how to get ahold of you. When a client conducts a search for legal services on Google or in one of these directories, they are more likely to come across your information.

Finally, potential clients like using directories. A directory provides a snapshot of all of the law firms in their vicinity. They can quickly compare services, read reviews, and decide which attorney best suits their needs.

Advertise Your Legal Services to Clients on Social Media

Many businesses consider social media platforms valuable tools for acquiring more clients. However, these services are not nearly as effective as marketing platforms for legal professionals. Most people seeking professional legal advice are not going to turn to their Facebook or Instagram feeds.

While young attorneys can certainly benefit from establishing a lawyer social media presence, leveraging Google is far more effective. Social media channels should primarily be used to advertise new blog content and drive traffic to the law firm's website.

Email Marketing Can Get Lawyer Clients

Email marketing is an excellent way to nurture leads and generate more clients. There are many ways to manage your email marketing campaign.

For example, when people who read your blogs provide you with their email addresses and contact info, you can add them to your marketing list. You can then send them regular emails at weekly or monthly intervals. These emails are meant to remind them that your law firm exists, provide them with links to new content, and develop a sense of loyalty toward your brand.

Fix These Mistakes to Get More Law Firm Leads

There are many different client acquisition challenges that new lawyers might encounter, the most notable of which include the following:

1. Bad Lawyer Marketing Strategy

If you start with a bad marketing strategy, your brand-building efforts will never even get off the ground. Fortunately, this is the easiest challenge to avoid. To ensure that your marketing strategy is fundamentally sound, simply check out this step-by-step marketing strategy guide and use the outlined tactics.

2. Not Enough Legal Reviews

An utter lack of reviews will definitely work against you as you strive to acquire new clients and grow your legal business. Therefore, you must work to gather reviews from your previous clients. We suggest asking for reviews after you provide them with positive news.

For instance, if you notify a client that they are going to receive a healthy settlement, follow up this news with a review request. On the other hand, if a client relationship has been a bit rocky, you may not want to lobby for reviews.

Use your best judgment when you're considering whether to ask for reviews. You can also gain some informal feedback from a client before asking them to leave you a review on Google or another platform.

3. Slow Response From Legal Team

When potential clients fill out an information request on your website, how long does it take you to reply? If the answer is several days to a week, you will probably have a tough time turning prospects into clients.

A great way of solving this problem involves using chatbots and automation software. These technologies can send clients automated replies when they request information. Automated responses satisfy the client's expectation of instant gratification while also buying you some extra time to conduct a thorough follow-up.

4. Losing Sight of the Law Firm Leads

In order to combat this issue, you must implement a reliable lead-tracking program. You need to know how many leads you are generating each week, month, and quarter. More importantly, you need to know what percentage of leads are actually converting into paying clients.

Lead tracking will provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your campaigns. If you normally generate 15 leads per week and your last campaign only produced 5, it is safe to assume that it did not resonate with your target audience. To learn more about lead generation for attorneys check our guide.

Gather Only the Important Information

Your first step to generating a lead is to gather contact information from prospects. The most common approach to gathering information involves using an online contact form. However, a common mistake that many young attorneys make is asking for too much information during this initial exchange.

Instead of attempting to gather as much information as possible, keep your contact form simple. Ask for basic information such as a first and last name, email address, and phone number.

We also suggest including an optional dialogue box on your contact form. This section will give the lead the freedom to provide details about their case, should they choose to do so. To reiterate, this section should be optional. That way, prospects who are in a hurry can quickly submit information without becoming frustrated with your online form.

Gradually Build Your Clientele With Grow Law Firm

If you want a partner to help you navigate the challenges of law firm digital marketing, Grow Law Firm can help. As a full-service digital marketing firm, our team offers SEO campaign management, PPC advertising, web design, and more. We have helped numerous law firms grow and thrive by finding solutions and getting results.

Are you ready to learn more? Contact our high-performance law firm digital marketing agency today.

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Top techniques for busy lawyers to bring in more clients in 2023
  • Easy steps you can take to bring in more clients and up this year’s revenue
  • The top website and marketing mistakes holding your law firm back
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