Why do Attorneys spend tens of thousands of dollars on advertising without spending a dime on building a client referral process? Every attorney knows 80%+ of their clients come from word-of-mouth referrals, yet instead of investing resources into getting more referrals, they spend a ton of money on Google and Facebook ads. We've created some of the top attorney marketing campaigns in the US and this video outlines how we do it (hint: we develop a referral process that is connected to their digital ad campaign). We reveal everything we do in this video so you can start building your referral pipeline today!
Dave Martin (00:00):
Listen, people are always asking me, "How do you get more clients?" Attorneys come to me saying, "I want more clients. I want more clients. I want more clients." You got to spend money, TV, radio, newspaper, Yellow Pages, spend the money and it works. "I want more clients." Look at these things. These are all awards. Most money's spent, Yellow Pages. Most spent, TV. You get the idea. If you want clients, you got to spend the money. All right? I hope to see you soon.
Pretend it's 1982, and as an attorney, you're killing it because you're marketing in the Yellow Pages, you're marketing on radio, and you're marketing on TV. That's how you won. He who spent the most, got the most clients. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that anymore. Since then, the marketing channels have fragmented. So while you could reach people on a very targeted level, there are so many ways to reach them. So many attorneys wonder how to do it. Every successful attorney marketing campaign that we have run have boiled down to six things that have determined their success. And it's actually really simple, and some of these things you already know, but the problem is you're not doing it like this, in this sequence. So I want to break down the top six things that you can do right now to outmarket your competition.
So the first one is treat your clients like family. Now, this should come as no surprise. Did you know that we've never had an attorney client who's gotten more than 20% of their current clients from advertising? In other words, 80% or more of an attorney's client base comes from referrals. And yet attorneys just want to spend a ton of money on marketing. It's really kind of putting the cart before the horse. And so what is so important is to treat your current clients and past clients like family. So what does that mean? How about sending a Christmas card to them or even a birthday card to them when it's their birthday? Well, some attorneys are doing this and it's next to doing basically nothing, because really, anybody can do that, that's kind of on autopilot. That doesn't work that well.
So what are other ways that you could treat your current clients like family? Well, it starts as most referral programs do. When people come into your office, their right has to be wronged. It's not appropriate at that time to ask for a referral, but it's good to start talking about the fact that they're part of your family, that you really care about them, that their needs are being met, and then of course, they're going to see that level of service. And then once the lights at the end of the tunnel, once they can see their case about to be settled, it's a great time to start asking them if they have any friends or family that might need an attorney.
Now, you might be thinking, well yeah, Dave, anybody can do that. We do that. Well, where to take that into the 21st century is you want to have them fill out a survey. And so what you could do is put a basic survey using Typeform or Survey Monkey, put it on your website, and it could have three questions, did you like your service, what's something we could improve? Things like that. Of course, the survey's great, but it's not really about the survey. It's that they go to the survey with their smartphone, with their laptop, and by doing that, you get their IP address. Everything that surfs the internet has its own IP address, whether it's a phone, whether it's a laptop or a desktop computer. It's all about getting their IP address because it allows you to target them in the future. So anybody that goes to this survey page means they're a past or a current client and becoming a past client.
So what it does is it allows us to take the IP address and we could then target them on Facebook, on Instagram, even with Google ads about things you're doing in the community, such as we just did a 5K race, come join us. And if they click on the ad, it goes to a page in your website about your 5K race. Maybe it's, "Hey, we just settled a $10 million case." What you're doing is you're informing people about what you're doing, that you're still an expert, that you're still in the community, because most people who get a criminal defense attorney or a personal injury attorney that helps them, they may shake your hand and say, "Thank you so much for helping me, but I hope I never see you again," because of course, they don't want to get in trouble again, they don't want to slip and fall again, they don't want to get a dog bite again.
But they have a ton of friends, a ton of family, a ton of coworkers, and they will have a problem. And so when something arises, you want them to refer you. And this is how you do it. Not only are you appearing on Facebook and Instagram and Google only to your past clients, also hitting them with email marketing as well with similar messaging. And not blowing them up like spam, but tastefully maybe every quarter. This way, you're staying in front of them very cost efficiently. And what that does is for many attorney clients of ours, it doubles the amount of referrals they get year over year.
You could stop this video. If you're in a rush, if all you do is the first tip, if all you do is treat your current and past clients like family, also utilizing a modern referral process with IP addresses and email marketing, there are no attorneys doing that. So you're going to outpace your competition over time just with that tip alone. But if you want to know why your Google ad campaign is not performing as it should, then why don't you just stick around because number two is creating trust within your community? And for the majority of Google campaigns that you're spending a dollar to make, maybe a $1.15, the reason they're not performing well is because you've failed to create trust in your community.
If you don't believe me, go ahead and put this video on pause and search Los Angeles personal injury attorneys. Go ahead and click on the top three or four ads. I know they're going to hate me for saying this because you're going to cost them $100 or plus a click, but click on their ads and look at the landing pages they have. They're not going to win any design awards, and yet they're paying a ton of money to be up there because they're working. So why are they working, especially if your landing pages look better, especially if you've even optimized your ads more than they have? Well, it's because those attorneys have spent time and money creating trust in their community so that when people see their name, see their logo, they go, "I've seen these guys before," and they call them.
So the way that you do that is with Facebook and Instagram. With Facebook and Instagram, a cost is a fraction of what it is on Google. And what you're able to do is target down to a zip code, you could target a lot of different kinds of demographics of people within your target area, and you could show them the value that you provide your clients. You could show them testimonials, you could show them how you're giving back to the community. And it's funny because our clients that do this, when we put them up against just attorneys doing straight Google ads without first starting with Facebook ads for a couple months and then transitioning to Google ads, our clients outperform them sometimes by as much as 50% ROI because again, they've taken the time to build trust. And it's really a shame because considering what you're paying on Google ads, Facebook is a fraction of that. So for people that go straight into Google Ads, you're putting the cart before the horse. So you have to build trust first, and that's where Facebook and Instagram come in.
The next is to get found easier online. Yes, in other words, SEO, search engine optimization. The hard part with SEO is that you are in one of the most competitive local markets online. So many of your competition have already been investing in SEO for years. So how do you get up on page one? Well, there's a couple ways to do it. Of course, number one is to spend a ton of money on SEO. So I'm not saying you should do that yet. Instead, you can optimize your website for more long tail keywords. Like maybe if you're a personal injury attorney, let's say you're a personal injury attorney in Los Angeles, instead of personal injury attorney Los Angeles, maybe you could optimize your site for best personal injury attorney for dog bite cases. That's more of a long tail keyword. And while there's less searches for that, there's also less competition for keywords like that. So those are some short tail easy wins that you could get pretty quick.
On top of that, if you notice, many people don't like clicking on Google ads. The last study showed about 70% of people go right past the ads to organic listings. So if you look at the anatomy of page one of Google, the top three to four listings are ads, but then under that is the Google directory, and that's going to show you what services related to your search are by you. Then of course, under that is the actual organic listings. Well, another fairly easy win is to get in that online directory and they're only going to show the top three. You have to click on the button more places to see more. So the name of the game is, with the directory, to get in that top three. And the ways that you could do that is to optimize your Google My Business page. And so putting photos of you and your staff, making sure that your address is correct, making sure your website, your hours, everything, all your business information is correct.
But then the next step is getting reviews. By getting reviews, you're doing the hard work for Google, you're showing Google that you're very good at what you do, because Google only wants to show relevant search results to their traffic. If somebody searches for personal injury attorney, Google wants to make sure that they're giving that person relevant results. So if you've gone to the trouble of getting 50, 60, 100 online Google reviews, you're showing Google that you are very relevant for the personal injury search result. So that's why people spend a ton of money on SEO, and if you just do these things, you could rank higher on the online directory and going after long tail keywords. Both of those things don't cost nearly as much money as a robust SEO strategy. So that's a great place to start.
The next one is resonate with victims. So advertising is only half of the battle. Whether it's SEO or it's Google or it's Facebook or even traditional advertising, the goal of all of those things, they're all channels ultimately to push traffic to your website. Your website needs to be set up to be able to convert that traffic to either a call or an email. And the thing is, the majority of attorney websites are either bad or they're really bad. And that's the problem. They're spending all this money to push traffic to a site that really can't convert traffic.
Well, what does that mean? It doesn't mean you want a site that's going to win all these national design awards and you're going to be on the cover of some attorney magazine for the best designed attorney website. The thing is, your website has to be laid out as a way to resonate with the victims that go on it. So victim, of course, if it's a dog bite, if somebody that just got a DUI, your website has to show that you not only understand where they are, but that you are the best choice to make them whole again. And it's done through content, it's done through color, it's done through pictures. And especially like this, it's done through video. And it's interesting how people make their minds up. People make decisions emotionally. Then after making a decision, they justify it rationally.
So if they're looking for a personal injury attorney, they might have your website pulled up along with three others. And why they go with one over the other is oftentimes just a feeling they get, like I'm going to call this guy. I don't know, I feel like he knows what he's talking about. So this is where your website is key. And where we found a way to really do that is having videos similar to this. And whenever your client comes in to talk to you, whether it's criminal defense, personal injury, or even other practices, there's something that you say to them to make them feel at ease and then they'll start to tell you about their case.
So for instance, if somebody comes in with a dog bite case and you sit down with them and say, "You're in a tough spot. You've just been violated by an animal, that's traumatic, and your family saw it and it's affected them. And the person that owns the dog, that's a big issue. And there's a wrong that needs to be righted." And I've helped thousands of people with this same thing. Whatever you say is similar to that, that needs to be on your website for every practice, so that when somebody goes to it, it's almost like they're sitting in front of you for a minute. That first thing you say to them, that's going to resonate with them, that's going to actually... It's almost like you're reaching through your website and actually holding onto them saying, "I'm the best choice for you." And so that's how you get your website to resonate with your victims that reach out to you.
The fifth one is probably what many of you are already doing, and that's targeting new clients. And that should also show you, if this is all you're doing in attorney marketing, you're skipping to step five and you've skipped steps 1, 2, 3, and four. But here's what's not really fair for people like yourself that are just spending a lot of money on Google Ads, is that we see our clients that have taken the time to build a referral process and also build trust in their city, when they've done all these things and they're finally on step five of just targeting new clients, their ads perform better, their cost per click is lower, their lifetime value of a client goes up because they've taken the time to build trust in their community. So actually, just doing Google ads like this, their ads perform better and not because of amazing optimization by us because we're a Google partner, well, I'd like to think it's partly that, but more of it is, they've taken the time to build trust and that results in people calling and new clients coming in.
This last step might be the most important. If you've gone to all this trouble with your digital marketing campaign, you want to connect it all together. We've talked about targeting your past and current clients with IP addresses. We've talked about building trust with Facebook ads, and then of course, eventually, doing Google and Facebook ads targeting just straight out new clients. But why would you want to connect all this together past where Google Analytics can go? Well, Google Analytics is going to say all these people clicked on your ads, but what it's not going to say is this person that clicked on a Google ad that called and became a client, they clicked on three Facebook ads two months ago. But the problem is, Google Analytics is going to say, well, that Google ad got all the credit for that lead because that was what they clicked on to call and became a client. What Google Analytics is not going to tell you is that same person clicked on two or three Facebook ads two months before that.
So in other words, if you're running a Facebook campaign to build trust and awareness, that would actually say, hey, it's actually working because they clicked on that first, and then two months later, they clicked on a Google ad and became a client. So this is an attribution model where you use a third party software such as Mixpanel, where it drops a pixel or a code on your website and it tracks everybody that goes into your website, it tracks their IP address, so that somebody that clicks on an ad and then eventually becomes a client, from their IP address, they can be tracked all the way through so that we could say, "Well, hey, we'll give 25% of this lead to Facebook, 25% of the lead to Google My Business, and then 50% of the lead to the Google ad."
So what this does if you fast forward six months after doing this, is you could look from a bird's eye view of how effective your marketing campaign is. It's the worst feeling in the world to spend money on marketing, not knowing if it works. And this attribution model, I'd say less than 5% of attorneys across the United States have set something up like this. So if you like what you heard, check out our insights page because we have a lot of blog posts. Some of them are attorney focused, some of them aren't, but many still apply to attorneys. Thanks.