Many attorneys are reluctant to engage on social media because they view it as an enormous time waster. If that’s your attitude, then you are looking at it the wrong way. Instead of viewing social media as just another demand on your time, you should be looking at it as a highly effective, low-cost way to develop business from referral sources and to generate new leads.
The sheer number of attorneys out there today, especially in consumer law, makes it virtually impossible to grow a law firm organically by word of mouth. You must be much more proactive and intentional about your business development efforts than just sitting back and letting your work speak for itself.
Online marketing (including social media) is the fastest growing way consumer attorneys are finding new clients. Perhaps this is not true of AmLaw 200 attorneys, but it is why more and more small to mid-sized law firms are turning to the Internet and social media as a cost effective tool to grow their business. How do I know this? Because of my experience working with over 15,000 attorneys nationwide and because social media is the #1 topic I get asked to speak on by state Bar associations.
From my client’s perspective, the goal of social media is lead generation and business development, pure and simple. How you get there is by building targeted relationships, providing solid content, and consistently adding value. Attorneys we have worked with at The Rainmaker Institute regularly receive 100-250 new leads every month just from efforts online and via social media.
To use social media to generate new leads, we recommend using these five steps:
- Set up a targeted landing page. Your landing page is separate from your website. It should feature content that addresses the specific needs of your target market and have one compelling call-to-action that gets them to connect with you.
- On the landing page offer them something of value. Offer visitors a free special report, audio CD, recorded webinar or white paper on a topic of interest to them. It must address a specific need of your target market like “Top 10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Commercial Litigation Attorney.”
- Drive traffic to your landing page by promoting it via your social media outlets. You can announce your free special report on your blog, Facebook fan page, post a tweet or promote by including the link to it on your LinkedIn account and posting tips from it in your LinkedIn posts and any LinkedIn groups you belong to.
- Visitors to your landing page can only obtain your valuable information if they give you their contact information (name, phone and email address) and by agreeing to opt into your database and be contacted by your law firm for follow-up.
- Use their contact information to follow up with them. When you connect with visitors to your landing page, you qualify them to see if they are a good prospect for you and then offer them a complimentary consultation (if that’s part of your business model) or invite them to sign up for your monthly newsletter to keep in touch with them.