Posts Tagged ‘attorney marketing’

Initial Consultation – Fee or Free?

April 7, 2011

Here is a great post from the Solo Practice University about whether to offer a free initial consultation to clients. Clearly attorneys struggle with this for several reasons:

  • It can attract tirekickers
  • Take lots of time
  • You are giving it away for free

The author transitioned from a free approach to one where she charged a fee but if the client purchased a package, they received a credit for that first hour.  This seems smart in that it provides an incentive for folks to sign up for services but also insures another revenue stream.  This model may work better for some attorneys in certain practice areas and locations.

Use your Website as a Qualifier:

Whatever approach you take with initial consultations, use your website to make sure your clients have the appropriate expectations, documentation and done some preparation before they come to your office.  You can serve this up as a PDF that they can print out and bring with them as a checklist to the meeting.

Takeaway:

Don’t just give away your services without determining whether an “offer” is bringing you the business you want at the price that is profitable to your practice.  If free consultations provides you with volume and you convert a high number, great.  If you find that they don’t convert at a profitable rate and they require a great deal of time and energy (divorce situations for example?) then maybe you need to re-think your approach

Website Integral to Attorney Marketing

March 25, 2011

The latest blog post for Solo Practice University is focused on the “10 things I hate about being a solo.”  One of the points made is having to your own marketing which means figuring out who your ideal client is, how they look for clients, putting up a website and handing out business cards.

Your Website as a Marketing Hub Makes it Easier

When you develop a website, you should be thinking about your ideal client and about why and how they would come to you on the web.  You should be thinking about making your website interactive by integrating your blog, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles giving people a way to engage you.  When you follow-up with people you’ve networked with, point them to an article on your website or a blog post of interest.  In other words, use your website as a marketing engine that both unifies your efforts and expands them.

How Are People Finding Lawyers?

March 23, 2011

A new ABA study was released last month that looked at how people find legal services.  Of particular interest to me was the chart that should what resources people used online resources to find a lawyer.

Referrals Still Tops

82% rely on someone they know or attorneys they know when they need legal services and while the yellow pages are down from previous surveys, they are use slightly more than online services for finding lawyers.

Avvo, Yelp or Lawyer’s Website?

An interesting finding was that people were slightly more likely to use an online directory or attorney rating service to find an attorney as they were to checkout the attorney’s website.  However, I think these findings are deceptive.  First, the question is asked as a hypothetical not from experience.  The question is ‘if you needed a lawyer for a personal matter, how likely would you be to use the following resources to find one?’  The survey doesn’t name attorney rating services and from my informal survey, not that many lawyers have heard of Avvo, let alone consumers so I feel like the answers to this question are also hypothetical and not based on people’s experience of using online resources.

Referral model support with a Website

I have always encouraged attorneys to see their website as complimentary to referral marketing.  If someone refers a person to an attorney, its much better to have a website than not and it helps if the website makes the referral more comfortable with the attorney before engaging with them.