Survival of the fittest. It’s a well-known phrase that calls to mind the struggle of life in extreme environments like the Serengeti or Darwin’s theory of natural selection. But it can also be applied to the ultra-competitive world of personal injury.
At $33 billion a year, according to the IBIS World’s U.S. Market Report, personal injury claims are expected to continue an upward trajectory. Moreover, as claims grow, so do the number of PI attorneys, making the competition more intense than ever.
As a small personal injury law firm, how do you go head-to-head with your larger counterparts in this fierce and evolving market? For starters, you must have a clear understanding of your legal consumer.
Personal injury consumers act with urgency. In fact, 79% of personal injury consumers who contacted an attorney or law firm did so as a first action, according to the Thomson Reuters U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey.
In other words, they don’t have the time for extensive research or to wait for a response. Consumers may be suffering from physical and emotional pain and want to find an attorney with a proven track record they can trust. Your marketing efforts should meet them on their initial search and win their confidence through an optimized intake process and expert reviews.
What’s the best way to market a personal injury law firm?
Successfully marketing your firm involves more than just deploying a silver bullet. With less resources at your disposal than the larger firms, staying competitive will require a strategic and fully integrated marketing plan. But what is integrated marketing?
Simply put, it’s using multiple online marketing tactics in a unified effort to connect with prospects and to create a more consistent and robust online presence. We understand that the sheer mix of possible starting points can seem overwhelming, so here are some ideas on where you can focus your initial efforts.
Employ a mobile-optimized online presence
As previously mentioned, personal injury consumers are in a hurry. The ability to access your firm from any device available is crucial not only to their well-being but also to your business. For this reason, your website must be optimized for mobile through responsive design, ensuring that it will maintain a consistent look and user experience, whether on desktop, tablet, or mobile.
Additionally, without a fast and easy way to contact your firm, potential clients may move on to the next attorney. Placing a contact button at the top of your mobile site with your firm name and a brief description of your unique services can prevent consumers from making a hasty retreat.
And because search engine optimization plays a crucial role in your firm being found, consider having a dedicated search consultant who can walk you through the process, make sure your firm is found first, and monitor your results. Also, pay attention to load time as customers will wait only three seconds before moving on with their query.
Showcase your expert reviews and legal accolades
We’ve all searched for reviews at one time or another. Whether it’s choosing a new physician or seeking advice about a local restaurant, we want to know what others have to say. The same is true for personal injury legal consumers. They are especially concerned with experts and former clients’ opinions because their livelihood and recovery depend on it. In fact, 43% of PI legal consumers say reputation is the most important factor in choosing an attorney, 14 percent higher than the average consumer.
In an industry where reputation matters, leverage what past clients thought of their experience with your law firm. In addition, showcasing your awards and successes prominently on your website shows potential clients they can trust you with their case. If you have been selected to a Super Lawyers or Rising Stars list, consider adding a badge to your website at no cost. These are the kinds of distinctions that clients want to see, and you’ve earned the accolades, so show them off.
When conducting research, we’ve all come across an upset consumer who didn’t think the business responded quickly enough or with enough professionalism. Personal injury consumers have urgent issues and stressful circumstances. But PI attorneys are litigators in and out of depositions and court. You don’t necessarily have the time, or staff, to handle all incoming calls or emails. But that doesn’t mean legal consumers are willing to wait. In fact, 49% of consumers expect a response from a law firm in less than 24 hours, according to the Thomson Reuters U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey.
To succeed with personal injury consumers, you need the right client intake process in place. Chat and call answering services can help bridge the gap between client expectations and the time attorneys have to respond. You want to make it as easy as possible for prospects to become your clients whether you’re actually available or not.
Trust the experts
Creating the proper mix of marketing tactics can seem like too large a task when you’re busy getting the best possible outcome for your clients. If you’re feeling low on time and strategies, FindLaw can help. If you need assistance with your website or turning prospects into clients, our FindLaw marketing professionals can provide you with the right solutions at the right price point.
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