Top Law Firm Marketing Strategies for 2022: Make Your Clients Your Marketers

When most of us think about our clients, one of the first things that come to mind is a mental picture of that client who is being a pain in the proverbial butt. You know, the one you just can’t please – that’s always calling and complaining. (And typically, these are the clients you’ve done the most for or whose case is small enough you regret taking it in the first place). Or maybe you think of the client whose victory was your most hard-fought. Or perhaps you think of those clients you’ve represented who were the most injured by someone else’s negligence.

But whether you have warm fuzzy thoughts when you hear the word “clients,” or the word causes an instantaneous knot in your stomach, the truth is that your CLIENTS have the potential to be your firm’s biggest Marketing weapon. In fact, each and every client has the potential to be a mini marketer for your law firm. This is HUGE because now, more than ever, marketing your law firm isn’t about what you say about yourself – it’s about what others say about you.

Why is this so important NOW? Because in the post-pandemic world we live in your potential clients are more skeptical of ads than ever before. Advertisers are pouring more money than ever into advertisements to reach consumers. Your potential clients – the people you want to reach with your brand, are inundated with ads. Everywhere. All the time.

If you attended PILMMA’s recent Super Summit Legal Marketing Conference in DC this fall, then you had the chance to hear a mind-blowing presentation by Marketing guru and best-selling author Mark Shaffer, expounding on this concept (IF you missed this four-day event; one of the biggest Legal Marketing and Management Conferences in the country, then make sure you check it out this June when PILMMA hosts its 2022 Conference in New Orleans.

As evidence of the social shift away from consumer ad trust, Shaffer noted that MILLIONS of people now have ad blockers on their devices. He’s correct. In 2020 alone, 73 million American internet users had installed some form of ad-blocking software, plugin, or browser on their web-enabled devices.

And according to recent eMarketer figures, American internet users blocking ads has increased a whopping 71.9% since 2014 and the trend is increasing every year. Even a few years ago, 1 in 4 internet users were blocking advertising on their devices and the trend is going up (Statista Research Dept Jan 14, 2021). And even if you aren’t spending tons on Digital Ads to market your firm, this trend is important for helping you understand consumer behavior.

If you want potential clients to sign with you and not your competition, you need to understand their motivations. According to Shaffer, a surprising two-thirds of our Marketing occurs without us. Effective Marketing isn’t about you telling others about yourself – it’s what others are telling each other about you. And that makes sense, doesn’t it?

Think about it – When you purchase something on Amazon, what is one of the first things you look at? For most of us, after the basic product description, we look to the customer reviews. We know what the manufacturer says about itself will sound good. But what most of us want to know is, “What is the real deal about this product?” So, we scroll through the reviews, seeing who ranked the product with multiple stars and who gave it a 1-star bust. The good reviews give us confidence. The one stars give us pause and concern.

It’s the same with almost any product or service these days. Even our kids read the product and movie reviews first to see if the new game or movie is any good before making a consumer decision. We all trust what others say about goods or services MORE than what the company says about itself. And we trust the people we know more than the people we don’t know. We typically trust our friends and families more than we trust people we don’t know online or otherwise.

And here’s the kicker: Like it or not, your current and past clients are already mini marketers for your law firm. If they’ve had a positive experience with your firm, then they will share this with their friends and family when one of them needs a lawyer. Similarly, if they’ve had a bad experience, they will share that, too. And in many instances, a personal recommendation from your client to their friends or family will trump what that prospect may have seen online whether good or bad reviews.

Thus, if you are serious about Law Firm Growth, you want to amass as much social proof as you possibly and realistically can. You want 5-star Google reviews from each and every client and lots of them. Record short videos of your clients at the end of the case explaining how you helped them in a difficult time and push these simple (but credible) videos out on social media platforms. Obtain more professionally recorded testimonial videos to place on your firm’s website. And give your clients short forms to fill out too, asking them to state what they would tell their friends and family about your firm and what they liked most about your firm. You can also turn these written statements into videos with simple software like Lumen 5 to push out on your website and all social media platforms.

When possible, get this powerful social proof at settlement, right there in your office (just make sure the clients don’t use your firm’s internet to do it, or Google will punish you by assuming the legitimate review isn’t legitimate). Put processes in place to ensure that your staff understands how important these reviews are to your firm’s growth and credibility. Make sure they are reaching out to every client at the end of every case. Encourage your staff to reach out to their friends and family to obtain Google reviews from people that know your firm and like you, even if they haven’t yet needed to hire you.

Hold a contest in your firm with prizes for the staff member that obtains the most reviews. At this point, I could launch into a discourse on how to amass as many 5-star online reviews as possible but there’s already plenty of info on the internet about how to do that (Of course- if you need to get up to speed on that topic and other digital marketing strategies, check out PILMMA’s website and free webinars, resources, and articles that focus on helping lawyers leverage digital marketing strategies for Law Firm Growth)

But obtaining online reviews or testimonials is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to maximizing your clients to help you grow your firm. Each and every client you have ever represented and the ones you will represent tomorrow and the next day and the day after that all have the potential to be ongoing mini marketers for your firm. Don’t miss out on this opportunity by getting that initial online review or testimonial and moving on. Don’t drop the ball.

Comments are closed