5 Common Issues with Lead Generation Online and How to Avoid Them
Running a legal firm is already difficult without having to think about marketing, incoming leads and account management., but with a few changes here and there, you could be looking at an improved service and a jump in good clients and closed cases.
Below, Jon Payne, Co-Founder and Technical Director of Noisy Little Monkey, has some top tips on generating leads online and how to avoid common issues many face.
1. Give away your knowledge but charge for your expertise
SEO relies on people finding relevant content for their searches, so providing a good amount of pertinent information online is key. Start by thinking of your best client and where they are in their lives – such as, a male in his mid-40’s running a business and living in Bristol – then think about the legal issues they might encounter. Maybe they’re thinking about updating employee contracts with new people coming on board, for example.
Your first step is to phrase their issue as a question, as they might, so thinking about “where do I” and “how do I”. In this instance, “How do I write an employment contract?” Start by searching this in Google yourself and see what comes up. If there’s not much of relevance, there could be an opportunity for you to write a blog post on this topic yourself, giving information and clearly saying where and when they need expert help (and giving your firms details for further help).
Not only does this kind of post help you rank on Google, it also provides content to share on your social channels. You’re investing in the content but not giving away all of your expertise in one piece.
2. Downloads and webinars are a great way to build a warm prospect list
Offer some information up front – like the blog post above – and then ask for a quick sign up through a webinar or downloadable guide to find out more. This becomes your warm prospect list.
3. Offer a free 30-minute consultation
On your download, offer a free 30-minute phone consultation for people who would like to find out more. Many of the legal professionals we’ve worked with initially worry that they’ll be inundated with useless enquiries if they offer this, but it’s rarely the case. More frequently, they create new inbound clients.
A call should allow you to see quickly if a potential client might fit so is a good screening exercise. And if you start receiving too many calls, put someone in place to screen them before they reach you.
4. Ask IT to marry up your CMS and CRM
Whilst some client relationships are created and built upon from face-to-face networking, others are started online. Many clients will have found their chosen law firm through online search and an efficient Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will recognise and record that.
However, one issue we run into time and time again is a discrepancy between the CRM system information and the human records which have been input into a Case Management System (CMS).
Whilst it’s understandable that when a lead comes in from a company a lawyer has had contact with previously the phrase ‘self-generated’ is used, often when we dig down, this lead is in fact a new prospect from the same company in a different office, months after initial contact.
To avoid this issue, trust your CRM system and ensure that you have integrated it with your CMS system to allow for accurate reporting. This will mitigate any potential problems and, will allow your marketing team to work out which activity came from which leads.
5. Avoid cold email marketing because you’ll get a cold response
Echoing my first point, providing clients and prospective clients with tailored, timely and relevant information to them is key; this also applies with marketing emails. Cold emails will gather nothing more than a cold response or worse, silence.
Instead, use your email marketing to build upon and nurture warm leads. After online activity, such as signing up to a newsletter or a webinar, use email automation from your CRM to follow up with several emails in a meaningful way instead of spamming people about your CSR or the “exciting” news that your office is having a bake sale.