Part of being an effective attorney is zealously advocating for your client. And although you may be the most motivated, competent advocate in the market, no one will know that unless you actually have clients. Finding them is the hard part. According to the 2016 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Survey conducted by Thomson Reuters, the number one challenge facing attorneys today is acquiring new client business.
of solo/small law firms are challenged with acquiring new client business
of those challenged with finding new clients don't know what to do about it
A recipe for disaster.
With so many law firms struggling to find new clients, it’s surprising to learn that in today’s digital world only 55 percent of solo attorneys have a website (2015 ABA Report). To put in perspective, a new study by BIA/Kelsey indicates 97 percent of consumers go online to research products and services, which means one out of every two small law firms is simply not there for customers to find.
We all know websites aren’t the only way to gain clients. Lawyers have been around a lot longer than the internet or even legal marketing in general. So you won’t hear me discrediting the value of old-fashioned networking and word of mouth referrals. But what I will say is that legal consumers are often researching attorneys online even after hearing about them offline.
For that reason, a website needs to be part of your larger marketing footprint – a crucial part. Think of your online presence like a typical law office – at least as far as most folks would imagine one – where each element contributes to a broader experience.
An online directory listing is like a Super Lawyers selection plaque or Avvo rating displayed in your office.
Your Facebook page is a digital version of the family photos, favorite artwork or a marathon finisher’s medal you might keep on your desk.
Your blog posts or white papers lend credibility to your name in a way that resonates with today’s legal consumers. (A big bookcase of legal tomes sends a similar message.)
But what about the basics like carpet on the floors and painted walls to hang those awards on? These are essential to the overall presence of your firm. Leave them out (or unfinished) and you’ll have some explaining to do.
That’s the crux of the issue. An attorney website is a requisite for developing your overall client experience. While the accessories and decorations may change over time, you’re always going to need a place to connect these other things. Opt out of a website, and your prospects will notice its absence or just won’t find your firm altogether. Either way, you’ll be losing business, and probably lots of it.
Don’t miss the boat.
Your Next Client Wants To Hire You – NOW!
An Analysis Of Legal Consumer Behavior