Leads. Nothing new in the business world. The process from nothing to profit always starts with leads. And if you’re a lawyer or law firm, it starts with attorney leads. By “attorney leads” we mean prospective clients who are looking for an attorney.
Attorney leads can come from a variety of sources. A few common attorney lead generation strategies include website development, optimizing your website for positive search engine rankings, blogging, networking events and referrals. If you really want to go crazy, look for our blog post about 100 attorney lead generation strategies.
The source of the attorney lead often dictates the quality of the lead. Without a doubt, the best lead source is a trusted referral. If my best friend is looking for a personal injury attorney, and I refer him to the PI attorney I used with great success, changes are good that my referral will result in an attorney client relationship between my friend and my PI attorney.
Other attorney lead sources will run the gamut from good to scary-bad. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating lead sources (including your own lead generation sources such as your website or blogs).
First, to whom is your source speaking? In other words, are your ideal prospects finding your lead generation source? Take your website, for example. If your website ranks well for “divorce attorney” but you are looking for personal injury clients, then the leads you generate will not fit your needs.
Second, is there a clear and accurate call to action? If your website has a “contact us” form, you might get leads that are looking for answers to simple questions, never with the intent to visit you and certainly no thought of retaining you. But what if you have a “free consultation” form? Now people who fill that out are more likely to be prepared for an in-face meeting.
Third, if you are capturing leads online (either through your own forms or through a third party service provider), are you capturing the right information? If you are buying leads from a service provider (like Attorney Boost – yes we generate quality leads to help grown your firm), is your provider capturing the right information? Lead generation websites (like those owned and operated by Attorney Boost) focus on particular areas of law, so it’s unlikely a DUI defendant will find one of our immigration websites. But even if they do, we ask enough questions to fine-tune the area of law the prospect needs and we help them understand that our form will connect them with local practicing attorneys.
Fourth, make sure your source is not misleading. There’s no better way to offend potential clients than to promise something you cannot deliver. For third party service providers, this means making sure they are not promising unrealistic results or setting false expectations. Not only does this create ethics issues for you, but it will create business development issues when your client demands that you fulfill the promises your service provider made.
Once you have a good source for attorney leads, stick with it. Having a steady, predictable flow of leads is great for peace of mind. And it’s great for business if you can convert a good number of those leads to clients. Remember, the process from nothing to profit always starts with leads, but you can’t get to profit without converting leads to clients.
Keep in mind that conversion strategies are far different than lead generation strategies. Your lead generation focus should be obtaining prospects who need the services you offer. Conversion strategies, on the other hand, are about giving that prospect confidence to know that hiring you is the best decision they can make.