For years, doctors have been complaining about patients who self-diagnose via the Internet. Because so many potential clients are searching the Internet for legal services and consulting with others on social media, lawyers are facing this same problem.
This means that law firms must pay more attention than ever before to the lead conversion process, nurturing qualified leads along a pre-defined buying path that starts with, “Why should I hire you?” and hopefully ends with them ready to buy.
Use this 5-step process to develop lead nurturing program for your law firm:
Step 1: Define “lead.”
Your lead nurturing program begins with defining what a good lead looks like. At the Rainmaker Institute, we define a lead as:
- Someone who has never done business with you before.
- Someone who expresses an interest in your services.
- Everyone who contacts your firm.
Step 2: Define needs.
One of the primary reasons that a company or person hires an attorney is to alleviate some type of “pain”. They may use words like “challenges”, “problems”, or “obstacles”, but all of the words amount to the same thing; they are experiencing discomfort; they are experiencing pain. Their “pain” is whatever they are asking your assistance with. Successful lead nurturing relies upon your ability to identify their pain and effectively communicate how you will help them resolve it.
Step 3: Segment your audience.
Marketing automation software enables you to create literally hundreds of different segments so you can target your messaging to potential clients. For example, a family law attorney may have segments that include divorce with children, divorce without children, divorce with property, divorce high net worth, child support, child custody, paternity, modification, etc.
Step 4: Create content for every stage of the buying process.
To be effective at lead nurturing, you need to have content that engages prospects at every step along the buying path. These four simple steps can help you understand how to create a process that works for your firm:
Discover. Before the Internet age, chances are that prospects discovered you by word-of-mouth or through an ad. Today, they are much more likely to find you via a Google search, on social media or even through an email forwarded to them from someone they know. It is critical that you have a content marketing program in place that helps prospects find you during an online search.
Engage. Once you’ve been discovered online, your website and blog need to be packed with rich, relevant, engaging content that speaks directly to your prospect’s points of pain. Content is not only text, it is also video and images that draw people in. When Google serves up your website or blog, there’s only a headline and a short (156-word) description, so you need to pay special attention to how your search engine result page can entice readers to click on your link. On social media, images rule so use video and dynamic photos whenever possible to push your points across.
Act. Now that you’ve got people engaged, it’s time to get them to take some action — download a free e-book or report, subscribe to your blog or e-newsletter, or follow/connect/share/retweet on social media. Great content is imperative to getting people to act — you have to keep it coming.
Convert. Once you have gotten prospects to provide you with a way to reach out to them with your marketing efforts through your calls-to-action, you need to keep building your credibility and trust through more and better relevant content on your blog, website, e-newsletter and social media plus an automated drip email campaign to nurture your leads until they become clients.
Step 5: Measure, Test, Optimize, Repeat.
You need to track what programs are bringing in the most leads so you can duplicate what works and get rid of what is not working. Testing different subject lines, different offers, different times for sending emails and measuring the results will enable you to fine-tune your efforts for maximum benefit.