We all recognize that referrals should make up a large percentage of any thriving law firm. That includes referrals from other professionals that send you clients because of your relationship, expertise and results.
Unfortunately, most professionals have only gotten referrals from a small handful of colleagues and friends, and have never invested in strategies to consistently grow professional referrals.
Why Invest in Professional Referral Marketing?
- Professional referral leads are typically more qualified, having been at least partially vetted by your referral source
- Referral-driven prospects close at a higher rate and are less likely to shop around since they already have a higher level of trust in you
- Unlike other marketing where you have to keep marketing to generate leads, securing a solid referral source can become a consistent stream of new leads and customers
- There is very little competition in this arena, where it is easy to identify target referral sources and connect with them.
However, most firms overlook this opportunity and spend little/no time or resources growing your most profitable lead source. They would rather put all of their marketing dollars into an increasingly cluttered, “advertising-to-the-masses” arena, and go toe-toe with bigger spending competitors to build a brand, name recognition, and direct response leads.
The biggest obstacle for growing referrals isn't a lack of desire. Most practices want to get more referrals. They just don't have the time or knowledge to 1) effectively target and reach the right providers, 2) position themselves as an authority, or 3) utilize the Internet as a means to grow and nurture their online community of referral sources to stay "top of mind." But when done right, this can be a feeder of steady, high quality new cases.
“Within two months of the campaign, I was able to connect with a lawyer who referred me around 40 new cases!”
Gabriel Sanchez-Sepulveda, Esq.
How to Grow Your Network of Referring Professionals
Building your online community of potential referral sources starts with planning and strategy. Invest the necessary time upfront to solidify a plan that is both manageable yet aggressive enough to generate results.
- Understand your practice and brand. Only then can you effectively identify who makes for the right customers and their referral sources. Don’t underestimate the value of doing this right, as it will contribute to other aspects of your referral marketing.
- Update your LinkedIn profile. Most attorneys develop their profile with their target consumers in mind. That's fine for Facebook, but LinkedIn is different. Make sure the branding, messaging, resources your provide builds credibility with a professional audience. The goal is to create a profile that projects authority and likeability to other colleague attorneys and potential referral partners.
- Develop a Strategic List of Target Referral Prospects. With a premium profile, we are able to use keywords, geography, titles, industries, firm size, etc. to identify the most likely referral prospects and create your target outreach list.
- Create a campaign. Develop strategic invitations and follow-up messaging with links to your online resources, including key pages of your website, to build credibility with your new contacts and generate phone conversations.
- Consistently Invite and Engage. An active referral marketing campaign consists of 1) sending out hundreds of invitations to connect each month (we actually send out 1,000); 2) after they accept, immediately sending follow-up messaging to convert them into a telephone conversation, and 3) sending helpful, ongoing thought-leadership messaging to stay "top-of-mind" and build authority.
- Track Your Results and Activities. As we build your new list of new contacts and communicate with them, it is important to track the activities of your most engaged referral prospects, and stay top of mind.
How Much Activity and Time Is Required to Generate Results
Before you engage in a referral marketing campaign, you need to understand:
- How much time and resources are necessary to generate results,
- What level of results could I anticipate, and
- How long will it take to see results?
Of course, every campaign will vary based on the firm, but these are some examples of what we do and the results we have seen.
- 1,000 Targeted invitations sent every month (50 each weekday)
- 500+ Follow-up messages sent every month
- Online tracking of all the activities and new contacts
- Average number of new connections per month: 300
- Average number of potential referrers that request a conversation: 30+
Are you ready to build a network of referring attorneys? Call me at 303-396-1209 today! I am happy to discuss your referral marketing options and share actual client results.