Referrals are an important source of new clients and the best kind are the ones that come by word of mouth.
When people are in need of a lawyer they often ask family and friends rather than trusting advertising. Word of mouth referrals are more likely to be successful because they seem natural and organic.
But you don't have to wait for word of mouth referrals to spread. You can boost them yourself in several different ways.
- Give public talks. An easy way to get your name out there is to speak at a public event. Libraries and professional organizations often have lectures for the public where you can offer your services. If the opportunity presents itself to show your expertise, don't say no.
- Write. Even if there aren't many opportunities to verbalize your abilities, you can still reach the public by publishing. Submitting op-ed pieces to your local paper will get your name out there. So will publishing your own blog or posting on Twitter. Talk with your marketing team on the best ways to leverage your publications for publicity.
- Be a good community member. Being active in your local Rotary Club, church, or other organizations is a good way to meet your community. You may not provide them with legal services but if they know you're an attorney and trust you as a person, they're more likely to give you a referral.
- Get to know your clients as people. Don't just talk shop when your clients come into the office. Take a few minutes to talk about their lives and how they're doing. It may not be in the job description, but it helps your clients see you as a person and not just an intimidating attorney. That trust will work in your favor if they know someone who needs an attorney.
- Keep in touch. Just because your clients don't have an open case doesn't mean you should ignore them. Send a monthly or quarterly newsletter to keep them up to date on your services. That will keep you in mind when a friend or family has legal troubles.
When you do get word of mouth referrals, make sure to reward the person who gave it. Send a note or give them a call to thank them for thinking of you. Not only is it good manners, it increases the chances they'll refer you again.
- How to Market to Your Cultural Background (FindLaw's Strategist)
- Branding 101: Attracting the Right Clients (FindLaw's Strategist)
- How to Be a Rainmaker: 5 Spots to Meet Business Contacts (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)