I love Social Media Marketing, don’t get me wrong. And unless and until Consumer behaviors pivot substantially, you need a visible presence on all the top Social Media Platforms as one of the tools in your Marketing Toolbox. Videos that inform, educate, and/or entertain; Short videos, longer videos, videos that showcase your firm’s community involvement, and so forth. There is certainly an argument for churning out a steady flow of video content across all the relevant platforms.
BUT – let’s face it, not all of us are natural superstars in front of a camera or an iPhone. Not all of us can push out a 1-minute video that immediately attracts random viewers and then goes viral, thereby resulting in a host of new clients. If it happens for you, FANTASTIC! If it doesn’t, then at least you are slowly building your “brand.”
But while you or your marketing team is busy turning out great videos, don’t neglect the tried-and-true Marketing Strategies that leverage the resources you already have in-house – the Goldmine that is your past and present client base.
Past client referral Marketing isn’t nearly as sexy as Social Media Marketing but make no mistake; Referral marketing still works. In fact, for most of our successful Mastermind members, approximately one-third or more of their new cases come from referrals. One of our 8-figure Mastermind members gets almost 100% of her new cases from past client referrals. It is a proven Marking Strategy with a fantastic ROI, even in today’s digital age.
Referral Based Marketing has two key components: 1) Excellent Client Service – so that your past and current clients are Raving fans that want to tell others in their circle about your law firm, and 2) Creating and Maintaining Top of Mind Awareness so that when their friends or family need a lawyer, your firm is top of mind.
While the concept of referral Marketing is Grassroots and has been around since the first lawyers hung their shingles, it is still a powerful way to get more cases. Today’s technological advances make it easier than ever to provide excellent client service, as well as top-of-mind awareness.
Here are some tactics to implement, so you can leverage Referral-based marketing and your goldmine of past and existing clients to sign MORE cases in 2023:
1. CREATE RAVING FANS THROUGH A COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENT CLIENT SERVICE:
- Start with your staff and lawyers – making sure they understand how important excellent client service is to your law practice and their success. Make it a core value for your firm. Reward them and acknowledge them whenever they go out of their way to provide excellent client service.
- Make frequent communication with existing clients easier by implementing a texting system as well as creating short generic videos that you can send out to clients at every phase of their case, so they are informed, in the loop – and so that their expectations are adjusted. If they understand what you are doing and the tie frames, they are less likely to feel you aren’t really working on their case.
2. PUT SYSTEMS IN PLACE TO CREATE TOP-OF-MIND AWARENESS
- Start a digital/ white-paper Newsletter that you send to all your current and past clients monthly or bi-monthly – You have templates to help you with this in your PILMMA member resources. Make sure you add a header that says: We Love referrals!
- Send hard copy handwritten Holiday cards and Birthday Cards to all your past and current clients – along with Anniversary Cards commemorating the date you resolved their case. Let them know it was a privilege to represent them and that you would be happy to help any of their friends or family that need your services.
- Add a tagline to every staff member and attorney’s email signature that says: We Love Referrals.
- Create some short videos that you can send out via text and/or email to all your past clients so that you can foster top-of-mind-awareness.
- Send your current and past clients some cool swag – Like fridge magnets, pizza cutters, phone chargers, mugs, t-shirts, etc.
- Send handwritten Thank you cards every single time you receive a referral from a former client.
- Create a Client Advisory Board (You’ll find the details and how-to guide in your PILMMA Member Resources)
3. BUILD YOUR REFERRAL MARKETING RELATIONSHIPS
- Schedule at least one Power Lunch per month, inviting an attorney in your market who practices a different type of law to lunch. Let them know you want to refer cases to them, and you are hoping they would consider doing the same. Then, make sure your intake staff and case managers are aware of these referral relationships. (I wrote a detailed article for the Insider about the Power Lunch earlier this year; You can easily access our prior digital Flipping Book Insider issues in your PIMMA Member Resources.)
Never underestimate the power of relationships and personal recommendations. When someone needs a lawyer, they are more likely to hire someone who they know has done a good job for one of their friends or family than they are a firm they’ve only seen or heard about online. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t vet you on Google, so your 5-star Google reviews and strong GMB placement can help you seal the deal and sign the fence-sitters.
As you head into your first quarter of 2023, I encourage you to make Systematic Referral Based Marketing Strategies a part of your firm’s Marketing Plan. It’s simple, inexpensive and powerful marketing that will help you sign more cases in 2023 – and you don’t need to be a TikTok Superstar to do it!
If you want the Best Strategies to Grow your Law Firm in 2023, make sure you register for PIMMA’s 2023 Super Summit in New Orleans. It’s 3 jam-packed days of Presentations, all geared to help you smoke your competition in 2023 with the latest and most effective legal marketing & management strategies. If you are serious about taking your firm to the next level, this is an event you don’t want to miss!