Lawyer Referral Marketing: Build Your Network
By Mary Elizabeth Hammond
When done well, referral marketing is one of the most lucrative ways to generate business and grow your firm. But building a solid referral network of clients and other professionals is challenging in this digital era of remote work and conducting business online. Fortunately, there are several strategies that your firm can implement to build a lawyer referral network both in person and online.
In this article, we’ll cover the ins and outs of lawyer referral marketing and how to ensure it profits your firm.
What is Lawyer Referral Marketing?
Lawyer referral marketing is a practice that involves building and nurturing professional relationships to generate new business. This can be done through several on and offline networking channels by connecting with former or ongoing clients and other legal professionals.
Bonus: To learn how to better build and nurture client relationships, refer to this article.
Why is Lawyer Referral Marketing Important?
Referral marketing is one of the most profitable long-term marketing strategies your firm can deploy. If you lay the groundwork properly, referral marketing will continuously open the door to more leads that are likely to convert. According to Forbes, 78% of B2B marketers say that referral programs generate good or excellent leads.
Tip: Build a comprehensive effective marketing strategy—referrals and all—with this free Handbook for Digital Marketing for Law Firms.
Four Ways to Generate Lawyer Referrals
Lawyer referrals can (and should) come from several different sources. Below are four channels you can utilize to create a sustainable and successful legal network both in-person and online.
Increase Your Visibility
Successful lawyer referral marketing begins with community involvement. Unexpected referrals will likely follow when you are actively and publically involved in letting people know about your practice.
Increase your referrals by attending public platforms such as:
- Chamber of commerce gatherings
Getting out there and participating in face time with other professionals in the legal industry can do wonders for your firm. Also, consider applying to speak at conferences or workshops related to your practice area. This can put you in touch with potential clients and colleagues and help position you as a thought leader in the industry.
A recent survey of 2,300 Harvard Business Review subscribers reported that 95% of respondents say face-to-face networking meetings are essential for long-term business relationships.
Tip: If you’re looking for a place to build your legal network group, the National Lawyer Referral Workshop hosted by the American Bar Association is coming up in October 2022.
Not all networking needs to be done in person. In light of the recent pandemic, many conferences and workshops are providing virtual options. Virtual events make it easy to make connections around the country without having to travel.
You can also increase your firm’s visibility online through social media. Having professional and recently updated social media pages can expand your firm’s reach and attract potential clients.
Bonus: For more guidance on utilizing social media to market your law firm, refer to this guide.
Share Customer Testimonials and Reviews
Lawyer referrals don’t have to be from someone you know personally. Share positive customer feedback on your website, social media, and other marketing materials to let prospective clients know that former clients recommend you. Before using any client quotes, make sure to receive their approval.
In addition, online reviews through platforms such as Google can significantly impact your business. According to G2 (a peer-to-peer review site), 90% of buyers are more likely to purchase after reading reviews. You may also draw from these reviews for client testimonials on your site or social media.
Develop a process for gathering client testimonials and reviews at the end of each case or matter, such as sending an email or calling within the first few days after case resolution. Many may be willing to sing your praises and simply need to be asked.
Build Relationships With Other Professionals
Consider building relationships with other professionals outside of the legal industry. Industry-adjacent professionals can be a lucrative source of lawyer referrals. For example, if you’re in family law, family counselors in your area may be able to refer potential clients to you—people who need assistance with a divorce, adoption, or other family matter. Or if you’re a personal injury lawyer, having connections in the medical community can benefit you.
When someone refers a potential client to you, always thank them. Keep the relationship strong and let them know you appreciate their recommendations. Consider sending a thank you note or gift. You can also return the favor by sending referrals their way when the opportunity arises.
Ask Other Lawyers for Referrals
Asking other lawyers for law firm referrals can result in new business and help you develop professional relationships. Law firms often connect with prospects that are not a fit for their firm or specialty and have clients with needs that span multiple practice areas.
If you have professional relationships with other legal professionals, call them up and ask if they can refer you to any clients. You can also send law firm referrals their way.
Mentor and mentee relationships can also turn into a reliable referral source. If you’re in a place where you can mentor less experienced lawyers, over time they may be in a position to send you business.
Start Building Your Lawyer Referral Network
To keep your referral lawyer referral network and law firm going strong, you need a reliable tool to effectively convert leads and manage clients—that’s where MyCase comes in.
MyCase legal software features include:
- Client intake and lead management—Track, convert, and manage new leads in a singular location. Build and customize client intake forms that can live on your site and send lead information directly to your client relationship management (CRM) software.
- Website design—Create a professional, custom website connected directly to MyCase. Automate client intake, integrate contact forms, and accept payments all through your site.
- Automated workflows—Use triggers to create a task, event, or document. Remove redundant administrative work with customized, automated workflows.
Try out MyCase for 10 days with a free trial to see firsthand how it can improve your conversion and lead management.
Interested in seeing more posts like this? Our “For The Record” email newsletter shares insightful content focused on increasing law firm profitability, improving work productivity, boosting client intake, and more. Enter your email address in the right-hand sidebar near the beginning of this article to subscribe.