Legal leads have always offered a solution to the challenge attorneys face in connecting online with potential clients. The difference as we find our way through the pandemic is that connecting online is no longer an optional growth strategy. It’s a matter of survival.
However, attorneys often come to legal lead providers bearing some harmful misconceptions. There’s a divide in understanding that can leave law firms feeling disappointed in leads when it isn’t necessary.
There are five critical thought-shifts that can move attorneys from misconception to mastery of this marketing strategy, and attorneys deserve to have the knowledge in hand that helps them succeed.
1) Leads Aren’t Just for Sales. They Empower Strategy.
Attorneys often approach legal leads as a means to increase the revenue of a successful firm or to rescue the bottom line of one that’s struggling.
This leads to a very narrow target for success, “Either the leads are converting into clients or they aren’t.”
That’s a critical metric to be sure, but if leads are just about sales, the law firm is missing out on growth strategies whose value go beyond gaining new clients.
The fact that a quality lead provider offers national coverage and multiple categories of law gives your firm incredible flexibility.
- Expand Your Reach Right Away – Leads are geo-targeted to make sure a law firm is only connecting online with people who live within their area of coverage. However, this protective gate becomes an expansion tactic when your firm wants to reach further.
The infrastructure is already in place for you say you want to add a new zip code, county, or state. You don’t have to build out your own campaigns. You simply change a setting in your account to access a whole new market.
In the days of COVID-19, law firms are reconsidering how far they can reach. Old ways of thinking like “How far will someone drive?” are less of an obstacle when the whole nation has just learned how to Zoom.
- Expand Your Practice to New Areas of Law – Just like geo-targeting, leads are targeted by categories of law. And just like the ability to reach new markets, a good legal lead provider empowers you to find cases in categories of law that either are adjacent to your current area of practice or expand it. The infrastructure is in place for you to change direction quickly and effectively without building your own marketing platform.
The benefit that accompanies flexibility is scalability. A legal lead provider who’s running online campaigns on a national level and sourcing leads in bulk is already prepared to help you scale your practice quickly.
Even if your firm has a strong online marketing presence of its own, a legal lead provider is going to reach a share of your market that you can’t. Engaging with a provider ensures you gain a larger “piece of the pie” in your market share.
Most law firms are strong in finding clients for certain categories of law and weaker in others. Likewise, senior attorneys are probably more adept at sourcing clients than newer members of your team.
Leads can be deployed to shore up areas of your practice that are lagging or give a boost to newer attorneys. You can provide balance and bring the different components of your practice and staff to equal strength
Legal leads will boost sales, but their value also lies in the benefits they provide in deploying new growth strategies with efficiency and ease.
2) Leads Can Prove Their ROI
It’s critical with leads to put a system in place that allows you to track your ROI. You’ll want to know how many leads on average it’s taking for you to land a case. Without some solid metrics, it’s easy to get discouraged prematurely and think that your campaigns aren’t working, and on the other side of things, it’s impossible to know if you’re working with a quality provider.
However, tracking leads alone is a narrow view of the value of legal leads. Leads give you access to deep expertise, trained staff, and established campaigns.
- You save all of the trial and error and sunk costs of developing your own online ad campaigns.
- You’re free of the burden of hiring the right talent and setting up a team to do the work on your behalf.
- You’re spared the work of staying up to date on technology and investing in upgrades.
You simply pay for each lead you receive at a fraction of what it would cost to establish the resources on your own.
Meanwhile, you have incredible flexibility to pivot your tactics or scale your campaigns. And you still only pay for the leads you receive.
It’s critical that you understand your ROI on leads. It’s equally critical that you consider the full context and the intangible value you gain in the process of using them in your marketing strategy.
3) Leads Aren’t Just a Product. They’re a Vital Part of a Larger
A common misconception that damages legal lead campaigns is the idea that leads are like a product that delivers results independently of any other process. In other words, “If I get a lead, I can use that to find a client, right?”
Leads can function independently, but it’s not a best practice.
Like any good marketing tactic, leads function best as part of a larger strategy, and a law firm stands to gain the most value from their leads if they are surrounded by a robust intake process.
Here are things to consider when building an intake process for legal leads.
- Who will respond to leads? This is possibly the single most important thing you will consider. Success with leads of any kind is directly linked to a rapid response. The faster you connect with a lead, the less likely they are to look elsewhere. A rapid response also earns trust in the quality of your service.
In the end, it’s a very human thing. When someone is open and vulnerable to receiving help, when their mind is made up, that’s the time to reach them. Our windows of decisiveness and openness only last so long.
- How will you respond to leads? In particular, will you have a standard script in place? Will you have values in place that assure your leads feel welcomed and appreciated by your intake resource?
- How will you process and track leads? If you’re working with leads at any substantial volume, a good CRM system will be critical. Services like Clio and Legal Soft Solutions can be quickly deployed and often integrated with a lead provider’s services so that leads can be imported directly into your CRM.
You can track the journey of individual leads, make sure no one falls through the cracks, automate follow-up, and best of all, truly track your ROI and identify which lead providers are driving the most success.
A little intentionality and process goes a long way in ramping up your success rate with legal leads. If you can ensure a rapid response, a well-structured and empathetic response, and a system that nurtures individuals on their sales journey, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition and gain much more value from your investment in leads.
4) Online Lead Generation Isn’t a Static It’s Dynamic.
Attorneys often want Legal Leads to be a static “set it and forget it” solution. They want to set their targeting and watch the leads start flowing in.
It’s understandable. One of the appeals of legal leads is the time and resources they can save on the marketing side. There’s not a single law firm that can’t benefit from having more time to focus on core aspects of the practice.
However, there’s nothing static about the world of online lead generation.
Online lead generation is a giant, fire-breathing beast that constantly has to be tamed. It’s a mass of motion and variables.
- Bidding – Legal Leads are sourced through online advertising, which is based around an auction-style bidding system. The highest bid gets the most views, and the way the market behaves fluctuates constantly, especially around hyper-competitive categories like auto accidents.
- Lead Behavior – This is perhaps the most dynamic variable of all. The way people behave can’t be predicted. Some leads will quickly fill out forms from multiple lead providers. Some will just be content to fill out one. Some will be honest in their answers to screening questions. Others will try to game the system. The variables are endless.
- Supply and Demand – Sometimes there simply aren’t as many cases to go around. Law firms who are targeting relatively small regions will see fluctuations in traffic and volume.
A quality lead provider deals with most of these headaches up front on your behalf, but it’s important that you understand that part of the work of sourcing leads online is adapting to change.
To that end, success with leads depends on a dynamic mindset on the part of the attorney. If you communicate with your lead provider and explore options when your campaigns aren’t performing well, your chances of success improve dramatically.
- A great example of this is targeting. A few changes in your geographic targeting or the categories of law you’ve chosen can make a big difference in a campaign.
If you anticipate joining your lead provider in an ongoing, dynamic process, you’ll stand to see much more success.
5) You’re More Than a Consumer. You’re a Partner.
This thought-shift calls back to the idea of thinking of leads as a product. Understandably, Law Firms would like to think of themselves as consumers who are purchasing leads off of a digital shelf.
However, the most rewarding way to frame the relationship between law firm and lead provider is to think of it as a partnership. This is the path to getting the most value from your leads and enjoying the process of using them in your marketing strategy.
Again, because online generation is a dynamic process, communication is key for success. Here are some good examples.
- Returns – Every lead campaign will have returns. Your leads don’t speak legal, and some of them will make mistakes on a form. Some of them will lie. In the end, people make mistakes, and leads are all about people.
With leads, returns aren’t a negative. They’re a key part of the communication loop between provider and client. When you make a return, you’re helping the provider identify issues that will improve the quality of your campaign.
- Tell Your Provider When There Is an Issue – For example, when your lead flow slows down, that’s a great opportunity to check in with your provider. Any number of issues can be identified to improve your traffic.
- Tell Your Provider When Things Go Well – Your leads are sourced through a complex network of ad campaigns and partnerships. If your provider knows what’s working, they can identify the source of your success and turn up the heat!
Attorneys often approach their lead providers with a healthy dose of skepticism, and it’s not unearned. There are definitely degrees of quality in the legal lead industry, and the first experience isn’t always the best. However, you can’t sacrifice good communication in the wake of a defensive (or even offensive) stance and expect your leads have their best performance.
Lead campaigns depend on a healthy communication loop about success and failure. It’s a partnership, and here’s the thing that sets you free to approach your provider this way. A quality provider will respond as a partner. They will address the issue and take action. If they don’t, you’ll know what to do. You can move on to find a provider who shares the value of partnership and get the service you deserve.
Powerful > Easy
Legal Leads are a powerful solution to the challenge of marketing your law firm online. They do make life easier, but not without a little engagement and intentionality.
You can treat them as an “easy way out,” but we all know there’s no such thing. Every great technological solution to a problem takes a bit of work to master, and these thought-shifts will help you.
By now you can see the patterns.
- If you see yourself as a partner in a dynamic process of optimizing your campaigns…
- If you consider the broader strategies leads can empower and the full value they provide…
You’ll be on the path to success.
How to Get Started with Legal Leads
It only takes a few moments to visit 4LegalLeads.com/lawyers and create your account, or you can speak to our team directly at (866) 473-0005. After you create your account, our support team (firstname.lastname@example.org) will customize and optimize your account for you. We look forward to enhancing your marketing strategy and relieving the stress of advertising your law firm online.