Long the province of roadside billboards and bus stop benches, attorney advertising efforts followed a simpler, well-defined course. As with everything, however, the manner in which attorneys sought out new clientele was irrevocably changed with the advent of the internet. When a particular venue is the “Go To” location for garnering business, you would be foolhardy not “Be There” when the potential client comes looking for representation. Knowing this, attorney firms, of all sizes, need to learn the tips necessary for holding your SEO agency accountable for results. Let’s look at the options available for holding your SEO agency’s feet to the fire, and then we will discuss the limitations that govern such advertising activities when it comes to Bar Association best practices.
The Dubious Advantages of Buying Leads
Anyone who has ever sifted through another’s trash in search of a small golden nugget has a rough approximation of the inherent value of buying leads from lead generation services. Typically long on promises during the signup process, a tally of the value promised quality leads is often nonexistent once you are up and in operation to evaluate the potential leads. These leads are normally collected in bulk, and there is little or no effort to go into targeting them for the legal field, let alone your particular expertise field of expertise.
Paying top dollar for subpar leads is no way to build a successful practice, but many talented attorneys adopt this approach because they are simply not good at marketing their own firms. Thinking that throwing money at a problem is going to unlock your marketing problems is probably going to leave your expectations wanting and deflated.
Rather than dipping to the bottom of the lead generation pond, consider looking for those with expertise from the inside that might translate into viable leads. As an example, an agency with connections in a field of law that you specialize in can be an award-winning lead generator. Let’s see the advantages found in securing an “inside connection.”
The Inside Connection
When casting about for legal representation, potential clients are more likely to value a recommendation from a trusted network association than they would the random billboard, bus bench, television commercial, or radio spot. As such, if you can develop an inside connection with a large network of potential clients, the possibility of them reaching out to your firm before launching a generalized Google search for a random attorney is heightened considerably.
Leads generated from these sources are an excellent way to build or expand your client base. Also, by evaluating the quality and quantity of these early inquiries, it is easy to hold them accountable to help get you leads. You can easily evaluate whether their claims and promises are deemed truthful, continue the relationship, or make the decision to walk away in the event these leads fail to pan out as hoped.
Rather than outright buying leads from a third-party source, which may not pan out in terms of any type of viability, an excellent way to garner online leads is to join the online conversation. Known as White Hat marketing efforts, joining the conversation involves guest blogging on legal topics that might be of interest to a potential client for example. While it is true that you must have an online web presence to survive in today’s algorithm-driven world, you have a number of routes to arrive at your destination, and buying leads by bulk might be a rough patch of pavement to travel.
The Legal Restrictions of American Bar Association Rule 7.2
Under the American Bar Association’s own ethical rulings, specifically, Rule 7.2, attorneys can avail themselves of third-party lead generation, which is to include internet-based clientele leads. That being said, however, such lead generation cannot be accompanied by a recommendation for that lawyer’s services. That is to say that the lead can absolutely inform potential leads of your availability, they cannot make any claims as to your expertise. These findings are in balance with rulings that note that lawyers are not permitted to pay others for recommending their services. Under the wording of the rule, communication that contains any type of endorsement or vouching for your services would be unethical and against the association’s guidelines and rules.
Call the Experts in Legal Marketing at Gladiator Law Marketing
Here at Gladiator Law Marketing, our mission is to provide superior legal marketing services within the legal field. Regardless of the size of your law firm, you need outstanding support when it comes to developing, changing, and maintaining your legal website to guarantee superior performance. Contact us today so we can begin to optimize your legal website to ensure a steady flow of interested browsers looking for your legal services.