Imagine you’re on your boat for a relaxing day trip off the coast…
It’s just you and some friends enjoying well-deserved time away from all your responsibilities.
Steely Dan plays through your speaker; the sun is hot, but the salty breeze keeps you cool. You’re reminiscing and sipping an ice-cold lemon La Croix when all of a sudden –
Humpback whale on deck!
Next thing you know, you’re scrambling to get your hands on the ship’s wheel and make sure everyone’s okay.
A whale was the last thing on your mind…you’d never think this would happen.
But that’s exactly what happened off the coast of Plymouth, Massachusetts in July.
Luckily, all six people on board and the whale were okay (the boat, however, sustained damage).
As an attorney, you’re always looking for that next big client – your whale. But your whale isn’t just going to jump into your law firm’s boat from the depths of the ocean.
There’s a reason why you’re not thinking of whales crash-landing on your boat’s deck every time you take it out for a day trip. And there’s a reason why it’s such a big news story when it does happen.
If you want to catch your firm-expanding, career-changing whale, you can’t just wait around. You have to find it and reel it in.
Through law firm lead generation.
Lead generation gets you the whale-sized cases you need for continued growth year after year while freeing up your schedule so can spend more time relaxing in the salty breeze.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of identifying, attracting, and converting potential clients into actual clients. It involves creating interest around your firm through different marketing strategies.
While there are both online and offline lead-generating methods, this post focuses on how you can reel in clients completely online.
Digital marketing lead generation includes tactics like email newsletters, social media ads, and downloadable resources such as eGuides and spreadsheets. These tactics typically involve collecting information from someone in exchange for your content.
Lead generation gets the attention of people who could use your services so they learn about (and then hire) your firm.
Why lead generation matters
With so many law firms vying for people’s attention, lead generation for law firms is crucial to bringing in cases. Without it, you’ll be waiting for the whale that never comes.
According to Pew Research Center, a team of data-driven social science researchers, “96% of Americans rely on their own research as they gather information before making an important decision.”
This research shows that up to 96% of your potential clients are actively searching for a solution to their problems. Lead generation tactics give them the information they need and give you the opportunity to show why your firm is the right choice.
How do law firms generate leads?
Law firms generate leads by developing and expanding their online presence.
Building awareness for your firm helps you stand out from your competitors and cultivate relationships with soon-to-be clients.
How do you catch whale-sized clients?
The best lead generation for lawyers stems from quality, original content.
Your content gives you a platform to reach people and reel them in – all by sharing your services, expertise, and experience.
This combination gets you the caseload you want, without drowning in leads that aren’t worth pursuing.
How to generate leads for multi-million dollar cases
To generate leads for multi-million dollar cases, you need people reading your content thinking:
“This lawyer gets me.”
You’ve probably had people advise you to “write to your target audience” or “speak to your audience.” But true whales can see through content that isn’t made for them.
Writing or speaking to an “audience” is too broad – you must show each and every whale how you understand them. Specifically.
Establishing that connection is the best bait in your toolbox.
Without it, your whale will swim until they’ve found someone offering exactly what they’re looking for.
Catching multi-million dollar cases is about casting a net that every whale thinks is just for them.
And to catch these cases, you have to show them you care about their needs through your content.
Here are four law firm lead gen tips to build your tackle box:
Whale catching tip #1: Learn from past fishing trips.
Luckily, you already have the information you need to cast these nets. You’ll just have to do some fishing.
To reel in whales, look at your past and current clients. You know your clients well – after all, you’ve been with them through some of their hardest chapters.
You’ve learned about their intimate wants, fears, and needs, and this is valuable insight into how your whales are thinking.
And while you do know so much about past clients, you can’t create lead-generating content based on assumptions. Instead…
Create a voice of customer (VoC)
A voice of customer, or VoC, is a compilation of data from actual clients. It’s used to guide strategic marketing and business decisions.
Keep yourself from making assumptions (and fumbling your messaging in your content, as a result), by collecting unfiltered client data.
Gather information from:
- Interviews with clients.
- Competitor service reviews.
- Online forums and subreddits.
- Blog post and social media comments.
Jot down interesting and repeated thoughts word-for-word into a spreadsheet. Then, use it as a touchstone every time you create content.
Whether you’re writing blog posts, practice area pages, newsletters, or social media, you’ll have a direct line to what your whales are thinking.
Once you start using their actual words, they’ll see you understand what they need. This tactic builds trust and, ultimately, gets you their cases.
Whale catching tip #2: Check your fishing gear.
If you have pages and pages of content, but you’re still waiting for your whale:
Something isn’t working.
Just because you’ve published content doesn’t mean you’ve published lead-generating content. Unfortunately, good blog content is a chore to create. And with so much law firm lead gen competition, your content needs to show up in people’s search results.
Analyze your current content
A content audit is an evaluation of your website’s content to see what’s working and what needs improvement. It’ll identify what content you should update and spark ideas for new posts or pages your whales are searching for.
To conduct a content audit, assess things like:
- Keyword gaps
- Website traffic
- Page loading speed
- Organic search ranking positions
- Competitor success
As you’re reviewing content (and creating new posts!), follow this quality content-checker:
Your content will reach more potential clients once it’s updated and optimized. And that means pulling more leads from the depths of the ocean.
Whale catching tip #3: Set your sights on one whale.
To show each whale you’re speaking directly to them, you have to get specific. If you’re publishing broad information that’s pseudo-relevant to entire schools of fish, you’re missing out on making those whale-sized connections.
Your net has to be big and precise. In other words, your content has to be broad enough to get traffic and exact enough to target individuals. Sound impossible?
Design your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA)
Now that you’ve collected data on your past clients, you have a clear view of their commonalities. But your spreadsheet contains a lot of information…
So, create your ideal customer avatar (ICA) to make your lead generation more efficient and effective.
An ICA is a fictional representation of your whale – the person whose multi-million dollar case you want. And this person is more than basic demographics. This person has a backstory rich with history and a name.
Use your VoC to develop a character you relate to and who inspires you. That’s how you’ll pinpoint valuable details that resonate with visitors and get them to pick up the phone.
Creating a space where people feel understood is about actually understanding them – and your ICA maximizes your efforts.
Whale catching tip #4: Be real to reel it in.
Now that you have your VoC full of go-to content bites, your current content is ready for fresh views, and you’re dying to write to your ICA…
You just have to start a conversation.
Your content isn’t the place for pretentious legal jargon. Nor is it a place for:
- Overused clichés
- Passive voice
These practices hamper the one-on-one connection you’re building with your whales. Instead, write to them like you’re having a conversation.
Offer your insight, speak to their needs, and share information about your firm – all as though you’re in a consultation. Your content is your key to lead generation and lifelong client relationships.
Don’t overthink it:
Just focus on providing a solution to their problems. You’ve done the work to make sure you’re sharing the content they need, and now you just have to write it.
That’s when you’ll start getting a predictable flow of clients each month.
Make a whale of a difference for your firm…
…without sinking boatloads of time and money into underperforming marketing tactics.
We Do Web is a legal marketing agency that specializes in generating leads so big you’ll need more staff to keep up. (And, dare we say, a bigger boat.)
Call us at (954) 425-9081 or reach out to us here and watch how lead generation gets you bigger settlements and more free time.
Be sure to check out our glossary of content marketing terms to deepen your marketing strategy knowledge.
Alex Valencia is an influential entrepreneur, marketer, speaker, podcaster, and CEO of We Do Web Content, one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing businesses in America. His agency implements game-changing content marketing strategies and produces top-ranking web content for law firms, medical professionals, and small businesses nationwide.