When someone gets into the field of personal injury law, they might think that their job is to defend clients in personal injury cases and help them understand the law in order to make the best legal choices for themselves, given their situation. Of course, this is part of the job, but there’s much more to it than that. Many lawyers are surprised to find how much of their time, especially early on, is devoted to marketing and finding new clients.
The following will explore some effective methods of finding new clients for personal injury lawyers. Many of these tips can also be employed by attorneys and legal professionals who work in other areas of the law.
Get A Solid Website
You almost certainly already have a website (if you don’t get on that as soon as possible). But in today’s digital world, it’s not enough to simply have a website; the site needs to be high-functioning. First, this means your site needs to meet a basic standard of aesthetic criteria, as people tend to think of good-looking sites as more authoritative and trustworthy. Sites that are extremely dated, ugly, or poorly laid out suggest that the site owner is an amateur. Take the time to perfect the visual appeal of your site (or hire a professional to do this for you if you don’t have the necessary skills).
Your website also needs to be functional, so regularly check that all your links work and that all the basic information a potential client might need is easy to find. You’ll need your contact information and specialization information, as well as a frequently asked questions section. Further, if you offer some sort of financial deal like free consultations or no fees unless a person wins their case, be sure to include that somewhere. Finally, if you have stellar testimonials or several years of experience, include this information.
Your site also needs to load quickly and be optimized for mobile phone searches. More online searches are done by phone than by computer nowadays, and if your site looks all wonky on a tiny screen, this is going to be a problem as people will simply click away and find a site that is legible. You also want to make your site available to as many people as possible, regardless of any impairments they might have. Be sure to include subtitles on any videos, alternative photo descriptions, and the option to listen to an audio recording of what’s on the page, so everyone can use your page.
Improve Search Engine Ranking
It’s not enough to have a snazzy website that does all of the above things. Your site also needs to be findable in the vast sea that is billions of web pages. The goal is to have your site pop up on the first page of search results when people are searching for a personal injury lawyer in your area. To do this, you might need to work with a search engine optimizer or get studying domain authority.
Each search engine has its own system for determining which sites it recommends, but all search engines are trying to provide people with exactly what they need when they enter a search term into the box. Search engines seek out signifiers of usefulness, legitimacy, and trustworthiness. There are two ways of going about meeting these criteria.
The first is to ensure that you understand what potential clients will be searching for and include those terms on your site. It’s worth noting that a lot of people enter questions into search engines. For example, someone might type: what to do after you’ve been in an accident? If you have an article on your site with that very title, there’s a better chance the search engine will think to recommend your page. Spend some time researching keywords that your clients will use and incorporating those on your site regularly and naturally.
The second method involves boosting your domain authority. To do this, you’re going to want other sites with high domain authority to link to your page and your page to link to other trustworthy sites. Search engines consider links to be one site vouching for another. Consider guest blogging or podcasting, or writing legal articles on trustworthy news or business sites; you can include a link to your own page somewhere in the content.
Both approaches need to be applied in tandem, and many legal professionals find that one of the best ways to do this is to include a blog section on their page where they write articles that potential clients might want to read. This has the added benefit of building trust with potential clients, as they can read through the blog and gain valuable information about their situation. When they’re looking for a lawyer, clients are much more likely to trust someone who has already offered them some help for free.
Advertising can be tough for a personal injury lawyer because pretty much anyone might end up in an accident on any given day, so it’s hard to know what demographics to focus your ads on. Because of this, when strategizing advertising for civil lawyers, it’s critical that you narrow your advertisements by location first. Given that the law changes across provinces and states within countries, and assuming most people want to talk to their lawyer in person, you’re looking for people within a given physical range.
You might want to work with a marketing firm when making additional choices and further narrowing down your target audience because data varies drastically from city to city. Some places have older populations that still watch cable television, so ads on local stations might work well. If a town has a younger population, you need to know that the majority of millennials and generation z members are more likely to be listening to a podcast online than watching cable.
Before agreeing to any advertising, be sure to ask for the site or show’s numbers. You want to know the number of listeners they get each day at the time you’re thinking of advertising, and what demographic information they have about their listeners. You also want to be given analytic data after each advertisement has run, so you can reevaluate whether the ad is working or not.
The above tips should help you get more people reaching out to your firm when they’re in need of a personal injury lawyer. It’s also worth re-evaluating how your initial consultations go, especially if you often have clients decide not to work with you after a first meeting. When people are coming to see a personal injury lawyer, they’re almost always scared and stressed out of their minds. Do you feel confident that you can put people at ease and explain to them what they need to know in a way that they can understand it? Are you giving them your undivided attention when speaking with them, or is your assistant coming in every few minutes with information from you and the phone ringing constantly? People want to be seen and heard, and they will assume you won’t give a case your all if you can’t even give them your undivided attention during the initial consult.
If you feel like you handle consultations well but are consistently finding clients to go with someone else after meeting with you, why not bring a person from your team into the consult with you? Having an objective pair of eyes can let you know where you’re pushing clients too hard and where you’re underselling yourself.
Do Great Work
In most cases, when someone needs a lawyer, and they know a friend or family member who had a successful case of a similar nature, they’re going to ask for that lawyer’s name. This means that one of the best things you can do to gain new clients is to treat your current clients with respect and give it your all in every case. If you consistently do great work, there’s a much higher chance that you’ll be recommended to people.
It’s really common for someone who’s struggling with a new situation, like a workplace accident, to reach out to the only person they know who’s dealt with something similar, even if that person was someone they went to high school with and haven’t spoken to in ages. It’s scary to go through new scenarios by yourself (especially with money or legal repercussions on the line). Take good care of your clients, and you might be surprised how many referrals you get.
The above tips should help you develop a plan of action for gaining new clients as a personal injury lawyer. It’s important to note that almost all of these methods compound over time. The longer you put in the effort in each of these categories, the greater the results are going to be. It takes time to build up a solid web presence and strike the right advertising balance in your city. Building a portfolio of happy clients who will pass on your information if they’re asked for advice can take years. It’s important to remind yourself of this when you’re in the midst of the grind.