Internet wags love to poke fun at millennials as entitled little snowflakes who grew up receiving accolades for just showing up, have no idea how people got coffee before Starbucks and who have popularized the man-bun.
But while we were all laughing, they were growing to become the largest demographic, overtaking the Baby Boomers in 2016. Millennials — those aged 18-37 — make up 23% of the U.S population and represent 35% of this country’s workforce.
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are:
- More attached to networks of friends and colleagues through social media rather than through traditional religious or political institutions.
- More burdened by financial hardship than previous generations, but still optimistic about the future.
- Staying single much longer — only 26% are married.
- Are the most racially diverse generation in history.
- Are less trusting of others than older Americans.
FindLaw recently published a report on Tailoring Your Legal Marketing to Millennial Consumers and it’s worth a read if this demographic includes your target market. Here are their recommendations for reaching this diverse demographic:
Up your social media game. Millennials do not respond to traditional modes of marketing. They like to have a conversation. They do not like to be “sold.” This generation lives on social media — they literally invented it, and it’s what they know and trust. They are much more likely to use the Internet to find an attorney — 63% do so vs. 33% of all consumers. But they don’t really trust your website as a good source to make a decision; rather, they look for you on social media and read legal blogs. In fact, 43% of millennials say blogs are an important source of essential information when choosing an attorney vs. just 19% of all legal consumers.
Have online reviews. According to FindLaw, millennials look for online reviews of attorneys twice as much as legal consumers in general (23% vs. 12%). They consider online reviews to be independent of marketers’ influences and trust a stranger’s experience of your law firm rather than trying it out for themselves before making a decision.
Embrace DIY. This may sound like heresy to many attorneys, but millennials are big DIYers and often wait until they have exhausted their DIY options before turning to an attorney. Offering legal services with a flat fee, enabling them to do some of the initial groundwork and providing lower cost service options will make your firm appealing to millennials. It is interesting to note that while millennials like to do as much as possible for themselves, they are also risk-adverse. Educating them on what could go wrong if they attempt to “be their own lawyer” will be beneficial in getting them to engage you, even if it is only for a review of what they’ve already done online.