Buying personal injury leads is definitely a very good way to grow your practice, assuming the leads are of decent quality and the intake process and people to handle them are properly in place. It’s certainly not the end all be all to marketing your personal injury practice, but it can and should be layered in with other forms of marketing and advertising. Your practice should be marketed in a very multi-faceted way, and buying personal injury leads is one facet of this strategy. There are a number of things that work in conjunction with lead generation and if done properly, can really increase your firm’s growth.
Let’s break marketing your law practice into three categories:
- Getting you cases now
- Branding your law firm in your community
- Increasing your referral base
There are things that will hit all three categories, such as Google Pay Per Click or television advertising, where your brand name is out there, people may see your ads and call immediately, and the clients you get from those ads become part of your referral base and may send more business your way down the road. The problem with this is generally cost. To advertise in places where you’ll have success, the buy in is usually pretty high, especially for PI attorneys, so usually there’s a lot of vetting and expensive trial and error involved, as well as either taking the time or spending the money to really analyze the data and make informed decisions to improve the ad performance. Within that, there also are discussions to be had around ROI, cost per signed case, and factoring in how much branding is involved in advertising on a local TV station and does that brand awareness offset a higher cost per case, but that’s another post altogether.
Then there’s something like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which almost hits all three, but the ramp up time makes it difficult to see any cases in the first six to 12 months, so this is like a hybrid branding play that transitions more into an advertisement down the road.
There are pure branding/referral plays, such as sponsoring a 5k run in your city, donating to local charities, or attending/sponsoring events at your local bar association.
Then there’s lead generation.
Lead generation isn’t on its’ face going to help you with any branding or referrals, at least not directly. However, what it is going to do is give you a great supplement to build your own revenue and your case load while you’re getting all of these other things in place, all the while adding to your client list, which does have a secondary effect on referrals and branding, as you’re building out your universe of people who know you, have worked with you, etc. Those people can and ultimately will tell friends and family about their experience, and can refer their friends & family your way if they’re ever in need of a personal injury attorney.
Search Engine Optimization
Putting together a good SEO campaign is going to cost a lot of money. And no matter how much money you spend, it’s going to take many, many months, and in some cases, years, before you ever see any results or tangible return on that investment. Lead Generation can help with that, because you’re plugging into another company’s already established marketing efforts. So, you’re just saying, “Hey, I’ll buy the leads that your website produces,” as opposed to saying, “I’m going to build the website, get the people there, focus on converting them, etc.” You’re outsourcing that entire big and expensive piece, which there’s a lot of heavy lifting to be done up front, to another company. In doing so, you’re building your caseload, you’re growing your revenue, and you’re expanding your brand in the local community.
If you’re good at budgeting and re-investment, the profits from your cases derived from personal injury lead generation is funding you to be able to build a nice website, hire content writers, start doing some paid advertising, maybe do some local sponsorships, and other things that take capital. The investment with lead generation and more importantly, the ramp up time between when you make the investment and when you start to see a return, is going to be a lot whole less with lead generation than it is with something like search engine optimization.
Email List Marketing
The other way that a personal injury lead generation company can help you supplement your marketing efforts, is that everybody you speak with from the leads you buy, even the ones that you don’t sign… maybe they get a free consultation and either they don’t have a case that you’re interested in taking, or they decided they want to file it themselves or whatever happens that it doesn’t materialize, that person is still now connected to you, they know who you are. Hopefully you impress them on your call and now you’re top of mind. If you’re smart about it, any leads that you buy should be added to your email list so that they get your newsletter. You can try to find them on social media and add them to your social media networks and continue to grow organically again, by expanding your footprint in the local community. Any attorney I’ve ever spoken to has told me that most referrals are going to come from previous clients. So, if by using a lead generation company will increase your number of clients, by default as your interest Increasing that number of clients over the months and years that you’re buying leads from lead generation company… in turn that is inherently going to build up your referral base, it’s going to build up your email list, it’s going to build up your social media presence, etc. So by leveraging your purchased personal injury leads, you can have the secondary & tertiary effect of organic growth and branding.
I recently had a conversation with a younger attorney, in the first year or two of building his practice. Obviously budget was a bit of an issue, he didn’t really have the money to sink into the pricier marketing investments like Google pay per click and pay upwards of $200 per click just to send people over to a website that he had built on a budget and hadn’t done a whole lot of conversion rate optimization work on. He certainly didn’t have the $10,000 to $20,000 a month that you would need to properly compete from an SEO standpoint. And he was doing okay on referrals alone, since he had worked at a law firm before that and had some contacts from there, had some previous clients, and was wisely keeping his overhead low. He was getting some referral business and was starting to build that up and was looking to make a small investment that hopefully would grow into more capital that he could use to make bigger investments with longer term payoffs. And in general, that’s a really good time to get into using lead generation to grow your personal injury practice. When you‘ve got the doors open, you’ve hung your shingle, you’ve settled a few cases that probably came in from a referral. But that’s not going to keep you entirely busy and sustain an entire practice, certainly not going to allow you grow into a really successful firm. But if you take your referral business, you close some cases, you make some money, you take that money and you reinvest it into lead generation, that’s a reasonably low buy in way to start to increase your caseload via something other than referrals without making giant commitments of time or money.
Now, if you’re working those leads properly, you’re converting a decent amount, you should see return on investment within a few months. But before the settlement checks even started to come in, you should be adding these people to an email list, friending them on social media and things like that. And then as the settlement money and the contingency fees start to start coming in, aside from buying more leads, you can then also take a percentage of that money and start investing in your own, more expensive, drawn out and involved marketing campaigns. So if you’re doing this right, you should be getting more referrals as you’re doing it, creating a snowball effect of cases, referrals, and branding.
In conclusion… buying leads in and of itself shouldn’t be the standalone marketing strategy for any law firm. But if it’s done right, it can certainly be an incredible supplement and in many cases, an integral piece to the puzzle of marketing your law firm.