How Attorneys Can Connect with Their Past Clients, Friends and FamilyApr 24, 2022
Connect with you past clients, friends and family. These are people who already know you and trust you.
How Many Advertisements Does the Average Person See Each Day?
Fifty years ago it’s predicted that Americans were exposed to 500-1600 ads per day. That is astounding right? Billboards, television and newspapers were the main mode of marketing. In 2021, thanks to digital marketing, it’s predicted that we see between 6,000 to 10,000 ads each day. We are being inundated with messages from companies. Every person on social media is selling us something. Digital marketing is dominating our lives.
Why does this matter? Well, we often assume that people remember us. Especially when it comes to our friends and family. We must realize that this just isn’t the case. We are so busy and are literally being surrounded by flashy messages and targeted by businesses. You can’t go on the internet without being advertised to. You can’t go on social media or turn on the television or radio without being sold to. Our brains have learned to quickly and efficiently block out the messages that don’t matter and pay attention to the ones that do.
What all of this means is that when a family member or friend is in need of legal assistance they may not even think of you. This is even more true for past clients. You may have played a big part in their life or you may have only had a 2 week long working relationship. Obviously, the longer you worked with them, the more likely they are to remember you. However, if it has been more than a few months since you spoke to them, you can assume they won’t think of you if one of their own friends or neighbors has a legal need.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
If you have read our blog post How To Leverage Your Existing Contact List to Increase Your Income (Why Every Lawyer Should Be Marketing For Personal Injury Cases) you already understand the importance of being your community’s go-to person for anything legal.
Do you expect to be the first person to pop into someone’s mind when they haven’t heard from you for 6 months or more? It’s impossible to think that will happen, especially when you consider that over 6 months alone, that person has seen between 1-2 million advertising messages since they last had contact with you. Often, the lawyer who gets the new case is the one who popped into a client’s mind first.
You already have a network of people who have worked with you and know and trust you. It’s your duty to remind these people, consistently, that any time they have a legal need, you are their go-to person.
Connect with Your Past Clients, Friends and Family
How you engage with your past clients, friends and family is extremely important. You need to show up and remind them that you exist. They need to see you often and consistently in order to create an association in their minds and remember you as the legal expert that you are.
It’s a little easier to do this with family and friends because you are probably already following each other on social media and see each other in social situations. It must be pointed out though, that you may over estimate their ability to understand what you do. You may lose out on a new case because a family member or friend didn’t realize that you practice that type of law. It’s your job to make it simple and clear for your contacts. They should know what you are an expert in but they should also know that you can help them even when a legal need of theirs falls outside of your area of expertise. We discuss why this is important here.
The reverse is also true and people may come to you with cases that are totally outside of your comfort zone. Instead of simply rejecting the case, learn how to earn passive income on these matters by referring the client to an attorney you have an established referral partner relationship with. We have a 5-part series dedicated entirely to this topic.
When it comes to past clients, there is a slim possibility that they think of you years after you have stopped working with them. When their legal issue is done, they move on. By not keeping in contact with these people who have worked closely with you, know you and trust you, you are missing out on an extremely powerful growth opportunity for your law firm.
How to Continue a Relationship with your Clients After Their Case Has Settled: The Beauty of a Printed Company Newsletter
Consider bringing back that old school technology, the printed newsletter.
We suggest making a plan to show up in people’s lives consistently. Many lawyers choose to do a digital newsletter. They send out a blast a few times a year or maybe even once each month. While this is better than doing nothing at all, each of us knows about the black hole of death that is our email inbox. I don’t know about you, but I get hundreds of emails each week. Even when I have the intention of going back to read something like an interesting article or newsletter sent to me, it almost never happens. The email inevitably gets buried and sent to the bottom of my inbox never to be seen or thought of again.
What our firm, Case Barnett Law does, is a printed newsletter. This has been hugely successful for our firm. I can’t tell you how many times our current clients comment to us that they love getting our newsletter in the mail. They will bring up something specific and love hearing about what is going on with us. There are a few important things to make note of when it comes to the type of newsletter you should be sending:
Keep the content fun, interesting and helpful for you readers. Sorry, but no one wants to hear about slip and fall cases or all the lawyer-y stuff like damages and liability. Remember, people don’t really care about something until it is happening to them. It isn’t because they are cold or heartless. Rather, each person is living their life, paying attention to the things that matter to them.
Be true to your brand a.k.a. be true to yourself. Please don’t try to be someone you aren’t. I can’t tell you how often we see lawyers copying each other and it never goes well. You are unique. You have your own message. That is what you should focus on. Stop looking at what everyone else is doing and look inside yourself. This isn’t about marketing. This is about you being honest with yourself and with your clients. When you know who you are, what you stand for and what you are passionate about, share that message with your clients, friends and family. This will create real human connections and people will not only remember you, they will trust you.
Start with the goal in mind. In our newsletter we aim to educate, inspire and entertain. Some newsletters never have any legal articles. Other times we may have an article about a recent case that closed or a client testimonial. These types of articles simply serve to remind people that we are experts in our practice area and we only publish them periodically. Most months we have an inspiring cover article and we often include a blurb about something our kids are up to or a recent camping trip we went on. We do seasonal recipes and share tips that are helping us in our own lives.
Be consistent. Your readers should know that every single month you will show up in their mailbox. This keeps them feeling connected to you. On your end, this helps you stay in front of them and (hopefully) if they, or someone they know, needs legal help, they will come to you. The beauty of a printed newsletter is that it hangs out in people’s homes. Sure, some people may throw it away the same day it comes but it’s still there, right in front of them. Other people may hang on to the copy if they want to try out a recipe of something else we have highlighted that month.
Practical Ideas to Stay Connected and Continue to Help All People When They Have a Legal Problem
Another way we stay in contact with our past clients is through greeting cards. You can choose to send birthday cards, holiday cards or anything else you can think of. We also send cards to existing clients just to say hello and wish them well. These things matter, especially in a time when technology rules our lives and we are busier than ever before. It feels good to open a nice little handwritten note and see that someone cares about you and took the time to show it.
Wether you love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. Some people may choose to use these platforms a lot and others may not want to use them at all. We feel that it’s important to have some sort of online presence. The goal here should be to figure out what you are going to use social media for.
It’s a monumental waste of time to post with no goal in mind. Decide what channels you want to be on (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) and what you want your page(s) to be for. For example, is your Instagram page something you want to be on consistently? If so, you probably want to target other attorneys and work on building up referral partner relationships. You may wish to use your page as a way to gain credibility and land things like speaking engagements or be highlighted on other people’s pages. You will be aiming to position yourself as an expert that other lawyers can refer cases to. If you don’t want to pursue this type of marketing you can definitely get away with a social media plan that is less time consuming so you can focus your time and energy on other marketing ideas.
How Lawyers Can Use Instagram In A Meaningful Way
At our firm, we decided to use our Instagram page as a sort of online portfolio for potential clients. Websites are confusing and often have too much information. Because we focus on word of mouth marketing, we don’t mess around with SEO or really pay attention to our website. I am not saying that your website isn’t important or that doing pay-per-click isn’t good. This is just a preference and it’s something you have to decide for yourself. For us, our time and money is spent better in other areas. Unless you are going to be able to compete with the firms spending millions of dollars each year in this arena, it may be good to steer clear. I will be writing an entire blog post on attorney websites soon.
We’re building out our law firm IG as a place to refer existing clients. Pretty unheard of… for now. :) I’m sure lots of you will dig this idea since it’s way less time consuming (and more enjoyable) but extremely beneficial. In this approach, we are using IG not to get new clients but simply to connect with our current clients. Additionally, clients will remain our “friends” long after we stop working together and this will help us stay in front of them and continue our relationship. This will fulfill our mission of staying connected with past clients which I discussed above (see how I came full circle here?).
What should you include on a Portfoliogram? I’m trademarking that name here… I like it…. “Portfoliogram”. You heard it here first folks. Your page should be a mix of all the things that matter to you. I will discuss what you can include on your law firm’s Instagram page in an upcoming post, Instagram for Attorneys: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
Dig deep and find what you are passionate about. Share that message with your tribe to connect a deep and meaningful connection with them. Figure out a way that works for you, and stay in front of people who know, love and trust you.
Other Blog Posts in This Series
Lawyers! Get Your Phones to Ring More in 2021: Part 1: How Lawyers Cant Connect with Their Current Clients
Lawyers! Get Your Phones to Ring More in 2021: Part 3: How Attorneys Can Connect with Other Lawyers
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