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The most successful lawyers who do the most sophisticated work usually dismiss the web as a way to generate business. They believe that anything worthwhile must come from a referral, and that anything else is junk. Some of the best campaigns I’ve ever had are the result of my client’s competitors having this mindset.
Here is why referrals aren’t the only way for law firms doing complex work:
• A referral source only provides the name of the attorney they know, not necessarily the best. If I need brain surgery (likely), I can ask my primary care physician in Canton, GA who he would recommend. Maybe he knows the top brain surgeon in the country, which is who I want. But that’s unlikely. Smart potential clients recognize that they can find the very best lawyer online by running a Google search and reviewing credentials. They also understand that the great lawyer or accountant they use for one thing doesn’t necessarily know the best _________ they may need for something semi-related.
• Doing unique work is an advantage. It’s extremely difficult to generate business for a DUI lawyer on the web. There are often hundreds of attorneys doing that type of work in the same geographic region, in addition to enormous price competition. But there are far fewer patent trade dress litigators… even nationwide. That makes the Internet a great place to gain visibility and new clients.
• Other top firms believe that the web cannot generate quality business. Their close-mindedness is something that should be exploited, not copied.
Google Adwords campaigns (aka Pay Per Click marketing) are great for firms involved in very sophisticated matters. They provide unlimited flexibility in budget, targeting, and duration. And when done correctly, they naturally weed-out unwanted leads because ads simply don’t show for simple search phrases. Best of all, pay per click marketers only pay when someone clicks on their ad.