Most of the marketing you see from attorneys is Push Marketing. It’s loud, attention grabbing, and, often self-centered. It’s exhausting to both the clients and the attorneys sending it out.
Unfortunately, that’s just a necessary evil of marketing your law firm... Right?
Don’t you have to play ‘the salesman’ to make new connections with potential clients?
No, of course not!
The alternative is Pull Marketing. Pull Marketing draws prospects in without the hard sell. One of the most effective ways to pull clients in is with a solid referral strategy.
When used correctly, referral marketing has three key advantages over traditional Push Marketing:
- Make connections with more prospects
- Use your existing relationships
- No “sales-y” pitches
The Problems Every Lawyer Has When Asking For Referrals
The first key in a referral marketing strategy is to create an endless chain of referrals. At the risk of oversimplifying, creating an endless chain of referrals is ensuring that every interaction you have with a client or prospect leads to another referral.
While building the referral chain will grow your client base, it’s an uncomfortable process for most lawyers.
Sometimes, lawyers will bluntly ask their existing clients for referrals. This creates relationship stress because it flips the roles in the lawyer-client relationship. A lawyer is supposed to represent their client as an advocate. By asking for a referral, the lawyer is asking the client to be the advocate by sending them prospects.
Your clients know you’ve got a business that needs to grow, but it’s still awkward for them listen to a sales pitch. Worse yet, for many lawyers it’s just as awkward to be the one giving the sales pitch.
Because of this, lawyers either refuse to create a referral chain or they go about it reluctantly. To avoid giving a sales pitch in person, lawyers often try a more passive strategy like asking for referrals through email. But emails are easy to ignore, making them ineffective, so lawyers eventually give up on the idea.
The strategy we’re going to use solves this awkward referral dilemma. Instead of flipping the relationship and putting yourself in a sales role, you can still be an advocate for your client. Most importantly, this strategy will help you position yourself as an advocate for your client’s referrals.
The 3-Part Referral Strategy
In addition to creating a referral chain, there are two critical components you need to include for a successful referral strategy.
The first is Content Marketing. This is publishing content that holds real value to clients and prospects. This can be an Ebook, blogs, email campaigns, etc. The point is to get something valuable out there.
The second is Contrarian Positioning - positioning yourself as the anti-salesperson. It’s often less effective when used in person, but when combined with Content Marketing and Referral Chaining, it completes our referral strategy.
All three keys are essential:
- Without Contrarian Positioning, you’re just pushing your content on prospects and can come across as too sales-y.
- Without the Referral Chain, even if you’ve created content and positioned yourself correctly, it will be useless because nobody will see it.
- Without Content, there’s no pass-along value and clients won’t share your material with prospects.
So the question for you is this: does your content have all three? Do you have a framework for making sure your marketing accomplishes it each time, every time?