Referral marketing for Lawyers

The Power of Connections: How to Build a Strong Legal Network for Your Law Firm

Discover actionable tips to help you build a solid legal network and grow your law firm.

While legal knowledge and experience are undoubtedly critical to success in this field, networking can significantly impact a law firm’s growth and sustainability. 

Research shows that around 79% of Americans agree that networking is vital to their career progression. The majority of U.S. small business owners typically network online.

Networking in the u. S bar graph

There are many reasons why law firms look to expand their reach with both professionals and potential clients. Here are some of the top reasons to do so:

  1. Referral Opportunities: Building strong alliances and connections can lead to referral opportunities, generating new revenue streams.
  2. Increased Visibility: Expanding your network and reach makes it more likely that potential clients will find you when they need legal services.
  3. Access to new (and perhaps better) markets: Forming alliances and partnerships can provide access to new markets and client bases that you may not have been able to reach otherwise.
  4. Industry insights and best practices: Networking can help law firms stay up-to-date on industry trends, best practices, and emerging legal issues.
  5. Competitive advantage: Building a robust legal network can provide a competitive advantage by differentiating your firm from others in the market and showcasing your expertise and reputation.

While it’s clear that both online and offline networking is effective, we’ll show you a few clever ways to grow your business with your digital assets. 

Referral marketing for Law firms

The Best Ways Firms Can Build a Strong Legal Network

  1. Launch a Client Referral Program: A client referral program can effectively generate new business and build your network. There are many strategies around legal referral programs, but we’ll start with 3 pro tips:
    • Define the program (incentives, rewards, requirements, etc.) and make it easy to refer clients back to you
    • Don’t be afraid to promote the program and ask clients for referrals.
    • Focus on providing excellent customer service and let it speak for itself. You’ll want to deliver a service worth referring to.
  2. Collect and Share Client Reviews, Testimonials, and Verdicts: Positive reviews, testimonials, and verdicts from satisfied clients can be a powerful tool for building your reputation and attracting new clients.
    Discover the Best Ways to Request and Acquire Reviews
  3. Create High-Quality Content: Creating informative and engaging content not only helps establish you as an expert in your field, it also helps attract prospects and retain existing clients. If you have been investing in digital assets, e.g., blog posts, a podcast, social posts, webinars, etc., then we recommend you focus on content recycling.
    7 Clever Ways Firms Can Recycle Content
  4. Use Case Studies: Case studies can be a powerful tool for several reasons, but overall, they build trust because they showcase what you can do for clients. Some clients may want just a quick overview of your results, but others will be interested in the journey (the case) and the destination (the results). There are no right or wrong answers here, but case studies should include the following:
    • The situation
    • The solution
    • The results
  5. Join Powerful Alliances like Mastermind Groups: Joining a mastermind group, or other industry alliances, can provide opportunities to connect with other professionals and gain valuable insights and knowledge. These groups can also lead to referral opportunities and other business partnerships. We’ve covered everything you need to know about legal alliances in our LAWsome podcast below:

  6. Join Legal Directories Listing your law firm on legal directories can improve your visibility and help potential clients find you more easily. Consider listing your firm on local, regional, and national directories that cater to your practice area. Some include:
  7. Use Banners and Advertisements on Relevant Pages: Consider advertising on relevant websites, such as legal directories or other industry-related pages, to increase your visibility and reach more potential clients.
    For example, personal injury firms can list themselves on the Accident Data Center, a comprehensive resource where prospects look for up-to-date and accurate information on recent accidents across the United States.

17 More Ways to Increase Referrals for Your Law Firm

Referrals are the largest source of leads for most law firms. Recent studies show that the majority of people are more likely to do business with a company if they personally know someone who had a good experience with that company. One of your greatest marketing tools as a law firm is your current client base. Yet, many law firms struggle when it comes to “the big R”: Referrals.

When done creatively and strategically, utilizing the assets you have in your current clients and in the community around you is an incredibly useful strategy for boosting your referred cases and your reputation.

Below are 17 ideas for increasing the number of referrals your firm receives:

  1. First, provide such great service to your clients that they will want to refer you to others! Make sure you provide excellent care for clients at all times. Keep communicating with your clients. Remember their birthdays and special occasions. Find ways to remind them you are still around and they are important to you.
  2. Print and provide free Christmas or holiday cards with ‘Sponsored by ABC Law Firm’ on the back. Give them away to clients and prospective clients when they come into your office and help get your name in front of thousands.
  3. Establish a formal partnership with other law firms in which you agree to refer certain cases to each other. Invest in that relationship by sending baskets and cards for various occasions throughout the year.
  4. Print business cards for all of the mechanics and other applicable service companies in your area and include an advertisement on the back for a free consultation with your firm. When the mechanic hands them out, you both get publicity.
  5. Secure speaking engagements at local clubs, organizations, or groups and offer a free 15 to 30 minute legal consultation to all attendees, either to use themselves or give to a friend.
  6. Build relationships with other non-competing businesses that have a similar client base so you can refer clients to each other. For example if you specialize in motor-vehicle accidents, connect with a doctor or chiropractor.
  7. Connect with local trade groups and organizations in your community. You can sponsor local events and charities. Not only are you contributing to the community, but you are also creating contacts with the people and staff involved in these organizations and trade groups.
  8. Hair salons are often a hub for conversation and community. By providing them information about product recalls, dangerous drugs and other hot topics in the legal profession, you can promote awareness and connect with potential clients at the same time.
  9. Develop a business and marketing mind-share group in your city that encourages discussions and making connections with other local businesses.
  10. Host business networking lunches and invite connections from your community to bring a friend. Building these mutual referral networks where you send your friends to them and vice versa is a great way to make your community stronger as a whole.
  11. If local businesses have websites, contribute to their online content by reposting interesting articles and commenting when appropriate.
  12. Send a personal thank you note or gift when a current client refers a new client to you. This lets your clients know their opinion is important to you, and that it means a lot when they recommend your firm to others.
  13. In your email signature, invite clients to introduce your firm to others who may be in need of a lawyer (please consider your state’s Bar rules first).
  14. Send out a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter to your clients keeping them updated on any news within the firm. This will consistently keep your law firm’s name in front of your past and present clients.
  15. Encourage clients who receive your email newsletter to forward it to friends who may be in need of legal assistance.
  16. Supply printed resources for various organizations to hand out in their offices or post on bulletin boards.
  17. Utilize LinkedIn and Google+ to network with other lawyers. Ask for introductions, and offer to do the same in return. Making yourself an active participant online will encourage others to engage with you knowing you will respond.

Building Bridges in Business 

Positive referrals can provide your firm with new leads and clients. The key to garnering referrals through these ideas is to create a mutually beneficial atmosphere for both you and your clients and referral partners. As you expand your reach into the community, your firm’s visibility and credibility increase.

However, building bridges in business is about forming authentic relationships, helping others, and being a valuable resource for clients and other professionals in the legal industry.

As a marketing partner, Consultwebs is focused on increasing our clients’ case loads. To receive insights on how to improve your firm’s marketing strategy, subscribe to our free newsletter below.