Law firms rely on referrals. What is the importance of referrals in legal marketing today?
This is where referrals help. Of course it works much better for my target group if a third party has something positive to say about me or my service. When I tell a potential customer how great my offer is, they usually nod in a friendly manner. I haven't convinced him yet.
Own statements are like advertisements. All viewers know that this ad was paid. Purchased content from the advertising company is hardly perceived as a sign of quality. As a side note: By the way, this is increasingly a problem of influencers. The millennial generation that grew up with Instagram and Co. have long understood how this business works. Studies have shown that this generation no longer pays attention to influencers who advertise products, as these recommendations have become worthless due to the payment behind them. Nowadays, advertising serves to convey emotions and helps brands stay present.
But back to the recommendation: Essentially, the referral helps a potential new customer to evaluate the past performance of a provider. An M&A firm, for example, can demonstrate through clients in successfully completed transactions that these projects were completed to the satisfaction of the client. It proves the expertise, experience and success of the firm. That gives security.
This is the good news for all law firms that rely heavily on it. However, the chart below shows a decline of almost 5% in the number of buyers who have made recommendations (2018 vs 2013)
It would certainly be wrong to understand these statistics as an increasing lack of willingness to give referrals. It is much more probable that new customers nowadays increasingly resort to evaluation using technical aids. There are studies that show that today over 70% of purchase decisions are made with the help of digital sources. Clients look for information about the evaluated service companies themselves. Due to the increase in technological aids, the target group has a much greater opportunity to check for themselves whether the marketing claims of the companies can be substantiated or not. The need for reference calls is decreasing. The decrease shown in the above chart is therefore not related to the willingness to provide referrals, but rather to a declining need.
After all, you never really know what to expect in a referral. Projects that go wrong are hardly ever made public. It can therefore be assumed that the recommendations were deliberately chosen.
Digital marketing has overtaken traditional marketing in many areas. The expansion of the network, the management of the existing network of relationships, the communication with existing and new clients is now also done digitally to a large extent.
Today LinkedIn is the leading digital platform for business networking. It should be noted that "leading" probably refers in particular to the number of users. There is great potential to reach a large number of professionals with your own content and messages via this platform. The large user mass naturally comes with it a lot of content that not everyone is interested in. You often hear "LinkedIn is like Facebook". And that is certainly not only wrong. But it does not mean that you can do successful marketing through LinkedIn by clever behaviour and relevant content. Even those who are annoyed by "Facebook-like" content are happy about exciting content that helps them to get ahead.
The advantage of this development is that the increase in available information does not only lead to potential clients knowing more about the evaluated companies. Conversely, it is also an opportunity for the companies to communicate the relevant information and messages to the target group.
Here's 4 reasons why law firms are made for digital marketing!
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