A Tale of Three Clients: Integrated Marketing and the Legal Consumer
Chances are that as an attorney, you’ve never experienced the same case twice. Even if two clients are very similar on the surface, their paths to resolution rarely take the same turns. That can also be said about prospects as they interact with your law firm’s digital marketing.
Consumer journeys are wildly different, even if potential clients calling your firm seem similar. That’s why a diversified approach to online legal marketing is so essential to your firm’s success. By spreading your brand across multiple online platforms, you’ll ensure that people find your firm no matter what path they take.
So, let’s look at how three people with the same legal issue can arrive at a law firm’s door through completely different routes. Jerry, Heather and Michelle are all in car accidents on the same street just a few days apart from each other. All three are in their 30s and none of them were at fault. Each wonders if they need an attorney, so what do they do? They turn to the internet.
Jerry likes to do his research, so he turns to an online legal directory. He finds blog posts on how to handle insurance companies and the paperwork he needs to gather while he waits to hear back about the payments from the driver at fault.
The blog posts help him understand that this isn’t something to work out on his own, so he searches the directory listings for an attorney near him. He notices the law offices of Garnett, Pierce and Allen, whose premium profile speaks specifically about insurance companies that won’t cover medical expenses. Jerry visits their website to learn more about the firm before picking up the phone. On the site, he reads a few blog posts on personal injury cases and, most important to him, reads the attorney bios to know whether he’ll click with them during a vulnerable period in his life.
After he satisfies his due diligence, he’s confident enough to call the firm. Their receptionist picks up the phone, takes down Jerry’s information and schedules an initial consultation.
Heather has a friend who hired Johnson, Mourning and Bogues a couple years ago for a similar car accident-related case. Her friend raved about the firm’s service, but Heather doesn’t know the attorneys, so she visits their Facebook page to learn more. They recently posted a video about how difficult it can be to navigate insurance red tape and finds it helpful and easy to understand.
Social video is a way to build trust between law firm and legal consumer, and in Heather’s case, that’s just what she was looking for. She scrolls through a few more Facebook posts, clicking on a picture of last year’s holiday party, deepening her connection to the firm as people, not just attorneys.
Since she’s at work, she finds the firm’s email address on the contact page and dashes off a note about the accident and what she needs from an attorney. She’s hoping to hear from them by the time she goes to bed.
Michelle has never been in a legal situation before the car accident. She opens a Google search on her phone to look for an attorney who specializes in accidents involving company vehicles. The first site she sees comes from the paid Google ad of James, Wade and Bosh, and since their PPC strategy is based on what she needs, she clicks on the ad to learn more about the firm.
But she’s new to finding an attorney and needs a little reinforcement before calling their firm. Michelle turns to Facebook because she’s seen reviews of other companies on the social media platform. Luckily, the firm often asks clients to rate their firm, so there are plenty of reviews with an average of 4.3 stars.
Convinced, she decides to call the law firm after-hours and is directed to their voicemail. She doesn’t want to start the research process all over again, so she leaves a message, assuming that they’ll return her phone call by lunchtime the next day.
Are you prepared for all three?
The biggest lesson here is that online savvy legal consumers use their internet skills to find an attorney in different ways. Their state of mind and legal experience also matter. The prospect that knows what they need already will react much differently to your legal marketing than someone who’s scared, vulnerable and experiencing it all for the first time.
Notice that even Heather, who heard about the firm from a former client is still checking them out online. Oftentimes, word of mouth only gets you so far. You still need digital content that will help reinforce the client referral. If a legal consumer goes online and finds nothing about you, even after they’ve been told about your firm, they may be less likely to follow up on the recommendation. They may even seek out another referral, one that they can research before making the decision to call them.
A Tale Find the right legal directory for you, start a Facebook page, brainstorm a blog section for your firm’s website. Create an organized intake process. Do the little things that will allow your firm to compete with the law firm down the street, one that’s already reaching consumers on a digitally holistic level.