Most people know the best way to get high quality leads is through existing referrals and the existing client base. For this reason, you always want to keep in contact with your current or former clients and actively try to become a resource and someone who is trusted. You want to be a trusted ally with these clients so they will keep you in mind when someone is looking for a lawyer to hire.
You should also have a presence on well-known legal directory sites like Avvo or Lawyers.com. It can also be beneficial for your website to have a live chat to ensure you convert as many leads as possible.
As much as people focus on online presence, I think just as much focus should be put on more local community events or sponsors. People in your community will see you as someone who is out and about, and part of the community.
You also want to make sure your website sends a clear and correct message. You want your firm to look professional, but you also want it to look approachable.
An easy thing to do is make sure you are actively encouraging clients to leave positive reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook, wherever. I always encourage that because everyone looks at those websites and make decisions, whether they believe it or not, based on how many stars a firm might have.
One of the easiest ways to avoid “tire kickers” is not necessarily a good fit for all lawyers but enforcing a consultation fee will get rid of a lot of people merely seeking free advice. If they know they have to pay something up front, it has an effect.
Being specific with the type of AdWords and SEO strategies will help your overall conversion. Something that we see with Engage is lawyers will often ask us if we can answer specific questions that a prospect might have or give out specific information, which is counterintuitive and counterproductive.
Instead, we train our operators to ask questions and get the most information from the visitor. I think the same can apply to an attorney having an initial consultation as well. If you are giving out free advice, that prospect might get that answer they are seeking and be satisfied by that while you might be losing out on an opportunity to convert them.
When a prospect calls us or emails us and is just asking upfront about pricing and nothing else, it might be tempting to answer their question directly. Usually, it is a pretty good sign that they are price shopping and could end up being a tire kicker because there might be some cheaper alternatives out there. If you give them the exact information they are looking for without engaging them and asking them questions and qualifying them, you will miss out on an excellent opportunity.
Another important step you always want to do with every prospect you have is in any correspondence you have with them, be it by phone call or email, always end it by having a clear and direct next step in place. Those are just some of the ways that we avoid tire kickers here at Engage that I think can always apply to the way law firms operate.
The content a lawyer should have on their website depends on what sort of prospects they are targeting. You want to gear your content towards that.
I have seen a lot of attorneys with the mindset that any content is good content, and it is good to have an active blog. But publishing blog posts about practice areas you do not necessarily handle or want to deal with will lead to people finding the blogs and inquiring about those specific practice areas.
Having a disclaimer or just indicating that there is a fee for consultation can be a put off that can then cost you viable leads, but I think if a law firm is running into that issue a lot and it is becoming a problem, I think introducing a consultation fee can work. Usually, the way that you want to explain the consultation fee is that that fee will go towards any associated fees.
Most of the time this would be for family law or divorce attorney, not necessarily a personal injury type of law firm, but I think you can target people who are serious about hiring an attorney by having a consultation fee. You are at risk of potentially scaring some people off who may not be as serious but could be a potentially good prospect.