Personal Injury Marketing: How to Grow Your Practice in 2021

April 24, 2021
By: Chris Dreyer

If your personal injury firm hasn’t revamped its marketing strategy yet, now’s the perfect time to start.

Why?

Lawyers also experienced dramatic losses during the pandemic. According to an ABA Journal report, 81% of law firms saw a drop in revenue in 2020. 

Now here’s the twist: only 22% of lawyers are changing their marketing strategies to attract more clients right now (Attorney at Law Magazine).  

2021 presents savvy lawyers with a unique opportunity to refresh their marketing strategy and go after clients no one else is reaching. 

A lot of your competition is currently stuck in limbo. Instead of remaining paralyzed by an outdated marketing strategy, you can improve your tactics and set your law firm apart. 

Why Marketing is Crucial for Personal Injury Law Firms

As the saying goes, money doesn’t grow on trees.

Nor do new clients for your business.

If you’re good, you may get referrals from your pre-existing customers.

If your goal is growth and profit, the stream of referral business you’re getting might not be enough.

A Clio report found that lawyers spent nearly 20% of their work day building a referral network. 

Without a complementary marketing strategy to convert those referrals into new clients, you may be attracting the wrong clients or repeat clients looking for you to reduce your rates. 

Let’s talk about why marketing is essential to your firm’s growth and how to do it.  

Key Personal Injury Marketing Trends for 2021

Let’s take a look at the past year to get an idea of where 2021 is headed.

In 2020, we saw a large move to digital vs. in-person interactions, changes that will continue into 2021.

Here are the most critical trends to keep in mind when creating your personal injury practice’s growth plan:

Zoom Calls are the New Normal

When lockdowns came into place all around the world, in-person meetings took a leave of…well, absence.

Zoom usage increased 67% between Jan and mid-March 2020 and has kept growing ever since.

From schools and businesses to online family gatherings, Zoom is one of the new norms as a result of 2020’s events. That’s not likely to change for a while.

If you’re not already using Zoom for calls with clients and between coworkers, it’s time to make the switch.

Content Marketing is More Important Than Ever

70% of B2B marketers say that their content marketing efforts are doing better this year than previously.

On top of that, content marketing yields around 3 times more leads than traditional marketing.

Content is part of the foundation of trust you’re building between you and your audience. Without content, it’s hard to prove why you’re an authority in your field.

If you haven’t already hopped on the content marketing train, make sure to get on board before you fall behind.

Video Marketing is Gaining Traction, Fast

From TikTok’s recent explosion to the pre-existing video marketing avenues like Youtube, it’s increasingly apparent that video marketing is the future for brands everywhere.

Videos allow for a higher level of connection between you and your audience than might otherwise be possible through other content avenues.

Attorney at Law Magazine reports that video marketing strategies can increase consumer emails by 127%, profile views by 169%, and product understanding by 127%. 

Influencers Have a Lot of… Influence

More than ever, consumers rely on influencers to help them make purchasing decisions.

An Influencer Marketing Hub survey showed that 59% of brands have a standalone budget for content marketing, and 75% of them plan to dedicate a budget to influencer marketing in 2021.

Influencers are effectively brands in and of themselves, so they can relate to their audiences in a more direct way than brands selling products and services.

So keep that human touch in mind when marketing your brand too.

Preparations Before Handling a PI Law Firm’s Growth

Refreshing your marketing campaign will grow your business, but you have to be able to answer this question before you start:

Is your business prepared for that growth?

The most extravagant castle could crumble from a strong gust of wind if the foundation isn’t built well. 

Keep reading to learn how you can prepare to scale your personal injury firm.

How to Run Your Practice Like a Business

One of the most common problems we see with struggling law firms is the mindsets undergirding their systems. 

Alter your perspective, and take the following steps to prepare your firm for an influx of business.

1. Figure Out What You Can Automate & Delegate

Traditionally, if you want something done in your law firm, you had two options:

Do it yourself.

Or…

Have someone do it for you. 

On a small scale, this can work wonders. The bigger your practice gets, the less sustainable this becomes. 

Think about it:

At some point during your firm’s growth, the number of tasks you need to be completed is going to be too much for just one person.

So you’ll have to bring another person into the fray.

And if the growth continues, eventually, you’ll need yet another person.

And as more people join the team, efficiency may go down. More people means more meetings, more human error, and more communication required to get everything done.

All of these hurdles take away from your bottom line.

There’s another way to make up for that lack of efficiency while still growing. 

Using automation.

Automation isn’t the end-all-be-all for your business — you’ll still need humans to put in some work. But automation can take care of plenty of time-sucking, menial tasks (think data entry or call scheduling).

So before you even think about scaling at mass, make sure you’re delegating tasks that humans should do and automating those that machines can handle.

2. Improve Internal Processes

The next step is to make sure the internal systems and processes are ready to handle growth.

Ask yourself, “Where are the rough patches in the current process, and could they handle more work volume?” 

After careful consideration, you’ll likely find that some areas aren’t running optimally.

Make sure you streamline overcomplicated tasks, remove unnecessary steps, and ensure your team is ready for the extra workload marketing is sure to bring.

Once your internal processes are ironed out, you’ll be ready to delegate.

3. Perform a Marketing Audit

Before you invest anything else into a marketing channel, stop and self-evaluate first.

Perform a marketing audit to answer these questions about your current marketing strategy:

  • What’s working?
  • What isn’t working?
  • What can be improved? 

Let’s cover those critical questions before you start changing up your marketing strategies.

What is Your Most Effective Marketing Channel Right Now?

Take a look at where most of your current leads are coming from.

Is there a specific platform you tend to get the most business from?

Are any of those avenues more consistent than others? Are you getting a low conversion rate from any of your marketing channels?

All of this info might seem like a lot, but it’s crucial to help you best decide your next steps.

What’s Your ROI from Each Marketing Channel?

Here’s another important one:

What is your return on investment for each marketing channel?

Here’s a classic formula you may use to calculate ROI:

Is the channel with the highest ROI also the one you’re investing in the most? Why or why not?

And when I say “invest,” I’m not just referring to capital. Investment (cost) is not just about the money. Consider the time and resources you need to get a client from cold to close and how those vary between each marketing channel.

Are Your Firm’s Employees Effective with Converting Leads into Clients?

Remember, you can have all the leads in the world, but without a good conversion rate, you still won’t be able to float.

Don’t just ask yourself if you’re getting leads. Ask yourself how effective your firm’s employees are at converting those leads into (hopefully loyal) customers.

4. Design a Website for More Effective Marketing

The next step towards more high-quality clients is your website.

Your firm’s website is going to be one of the first impressions for any prospect, so make sure it’s a good showcase of your business. 

According to Law Technology Today, 70% of lawyers have found new clients because of their websites. 

Think about the following elements when designing your personal injury firm website:

  • Focus on Ease of Use & Navigation – If a prospect can’t figure out how to navigate and use your website, they probably won’t be working with you anytime soon. So start with a well-designed, easy-to-use website.
  • Pay Special Attention to Your Landing Pages – Your landing pages are the first impressions for any visitors, so make sure they’re as polished as can be. Use your page design to encourage your call-to-action.
  • Showcase Your Best Testimonials – Make sure to showcase your best testimonials front and center on select web pages for your site.
  • Keep It Simple – A minimalistic website is more comfortable to navigate, looks more professional, and won’t scare away new potential leads.

Use SEO to Get More Personal Injury Clients Online

SEO, or search engine optimization, is one of the most effective ways for a personal injury firm to get more clients.

Why is that?

SEO allows you to create a marketing platform that keeps building on itself and works passively. The SEO you deploy right now will bring in new clients a year from now and down the line.

Local SEO is Especially Important for Lawyers

Local SEO (SEO designed to attract prospects in the same geographical area as you) is critically important for law firms because most of your clients will be local.

Local SEO also tends to be less challenging than competing nationally or worldwide since your competition pool is smaller.

5 Tips for Getting Ranked for Local Searches

Follow these suggestions to enhance online visibility among your local market: 

Tip #1: Google My Business

You need a squared-away Google My Business Profile.

Top-ranking GMB listings pull in 42% of clicks from local clients.

GMB is one of the essential pieces of local SEO. You’ll see a GMB profile on the right side of your search anytime you look for a local business.

Without a properly-optimized GMB, it’ll be harder for customers to find you and Google’s algorithm isn’t as likely to pick up on your website.

Tip #2: Ask for Reviews from Local Customers

Another factor that Google’s algorithm looks for is user-created content.

Things like reviews and ratings on your GMB profile are pretty high up there when it comes to vital ranking factors, so don’t hesitate to ask satisfied clients to leave you a review online.

Tip #3: NAP Citations

NAP Citations, or Name, Address, and Phone Number can also impact your SEO rankings.

When your business appears online, results will usually include basic information like your address, phone number, business name, and hours.

Ensure that all of these details are correct. Don’t let a popular listing go to waste because prospects were calling the wrong number or couldn’t find your website.

Tip #4: Target the Right Keywords to Get the Cases You Want

SEO isn’t just about picking the most popular keywords and then hoping for the best.

Going after keywords for their high search volume, isn’t always best for a personal injury firm to target.

Why?

It’s almost impossible to get ranked for them. Even if you do, the most common keywords aren’t the ones with the most search intent behind them.

If you want the most ROI out of your SEO endeavors, don’t be afraid to target them with more specific long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords might not get the insane volume that short-tail keywords do, but the traffic they do get tends to be more invested in the issue.

For example, which person do you think is more likely to turn into a lead for a PI firm in Amarillo, Texas? Someone who types “personal injury firm” into Google or someone who types “personal injury firm for car crashes Amarillo texas”?

The latter searcher is likely more invested and more likely to convert once they land on their website.

Tip #5: Use Content to Attract Personal Injury Clients

Your goal isn’t just to get more leads onto the site. You also want to convert and then retain those leads.

To do this, you’ll need a site that provides enough value for them to stay. A great way to do this is through your blog.

According to Hubspot, marketers that focus on blogging receive 13X the return on investment than companies that don’t.

If your blog’s goal is to help your leads and clients, they’ll keep coming back for more. Free, useful information is an incredibly efficient way to build trust and generate leads. 

 How to Use Email Marketing for Your Firm

When used correctly, email marketing yields some of the highest ROI out of any marketing channel. 

According to Lawyer-Monthly, that’s because 79% of people actually receive your emails. That’s a significantly higher number than the 6% of people who will see your Facebook posts. 

Oberlo found that on average, each dollar spent on email marketing returns $42.

Here’s how you can start email marketing for your own firm: 

  • Build an Email List. You can use PPC campaigns, a high-quality blog, or even a product giveaway to increase opt-ins for your email list.
  • Create a Scheduled Newsletter. Send out a regular newsletter every week at a scheduled time to keep your audience in the loop with current events and useful tips for personal injury clients.

Design a Sales Funnel for Captured Leads

Capturing emails is a great start for a sales funnel. 

Start with a lead qualification or determine whether the lead is worth moving down the funnel.

Once qualified, nurture the relationship with newsletters and content campaigns. 

This path should have a detailed (but flexible) plan from start to finish — and it should be repeatable.

Once you have a repeatable, automated, and effective sales funnel in place, let the machine do its thing.

Re-engage Past Clients

A sales funnel doesn’t necessarily end at the close, nor does it end when your business with a client is over.

A great marketing plan includes ways to re-engage past clients and keep them in the know.

Re-engaging past clients does a few things:

  • First, it allows you to get their business if they need another personal injury attorney.
  • Second, it keeps you at the top of mind, which means more referrals if any of their colleagues need someone for a similar issue.
  • And third, it helps you maintain a squeaky clean reputation — on and offline.

PPC: A Better Option for The Short Term

PPC, or pay-per-click advertising, is another great advertising channel for multiple reasons.

For one, it’s an efficient way to get quick opt-ins and sign-ups in the short term. It’s also a powerful way to increase brand exposure. Small Biz Genius writes that Google paid ads can increase brand awareness by up to 80%

Here’s how you can use this advertising strategy to grow your firm. 

How to Bring in More Clients with PPC

Let’s talk about the steps it takes to create a high-performing PPC campaign.

Design a High-Converting Landing Page

One of the most crucial pieces of a PPC campaign is the landing pages involved.

If a visitor clicks on one of your ads, the first page they see should be a shining example of your firm. 

If you don’t make a great impression or give a worthwhile offer on the landing page, the rest of your campaign is moot.

Use Google Adwords 

Google Adwords is one of the most popular PPC networks for personal injury firms and other businesses worldwide, and for a good reason.

When someone looks for a personal injury firm, the first place many of them begin their search is on Google.

And the first thing that someone sees when they perform a search on Google?

That’s right, Google Adwords campaigns.

Google Adwords gives you the opportunity to show up in front of thousands of searchers from surrounding areas.

Use Facebook Ads

Another great place to advertise is through Facebook.

A little look into how detailed you can make your demographics with Facebook Ads.

While you aren’t getting the opportunity to pop up in front of people as they search for law firms, you can target individuals who fall into your ideal audience anyway.

Facebook Advertising allows you to get down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to your audiences, including data like income per household and common interests. 

Speaking of social media — let’s talk about how you can use platforms like Facebook as valuable marketing assets, too.

How to Use Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Practice

A massive amount of people use social media on a near-daily basis. 

Statista estimates that the number of social media users will increase from 3.78 billion people in 2021 to 4.41 billion people by 2025. 

Those numbers include most of your prospective clients. 

That makes special media platforms the perfect avenues for you to connect with your audience.

With that being said, each social media platform has its own best uses. So let’s cover the top few platforms, what they’re suitable for, and how you can use them to effectively market yourself.

Facebook

Marketing a personal injury firm on Facebook is probably the most common route there is when it comes to social media.

Facebook is great for building a following and appealing to broad audiences since 2.7 billion people worldwide use it (Statista). 

The second reason it’s so good for audience-building is the massive amount of data that Facebook collects along with its integration with Facebook Advertising (remember the PPC strategy). 

Twitter

While not as popular of choice as Facebook for personal injury firms, Twitter can still be a very useful addition to your marketing suite.

Facebook is great for audience building and getting more data to improve your marketing campaigns, but Twitter’s strength is in directly engaging with your following.

When marketing your firm on Twitter, put a strong focus on engaging through retweets, comments, and direct messages. Don’t forget to network with other non-competing lawyers and firms too.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the ultimate social media platform for professionals. That’s why LinkedIn reports that 94% of B2B marketers use it to promote their content. It’s also how it came to be ranked as the #1 social network for lead generation.  

When marketing your firm on LinkedIn, put a strong emphasis on building professional connections and sharing valuable knowledge that highlights you as the expert in your field.

While you may not be connecting with as wide an audience as you might with Facebook, any law firms that see your position as the “Personal Injury Case Expert” are all the more likely to send referrals your way or build partnerships with you.

When marketing on social media platforms, remember that it’s all about relationship building.

Your goal on social media isn’t to sell; it’s to bring people into the fold and get them started on your customer journey.

How to Build and Promote Your Law Firm’s Reputation 

There are tons of personal injury firms out there.

Choosing between them isn’t always an easy task. That’s why prospects will look for what other people are saying online.

And that’s why your reputation is paramount to your success.

Make it a point to manage your reputation across the web, from social media platforms to law firm directories. 

It’s your job to let prospects know that they’re making the right choice by working with you.

Online Review Sites for Lawyers to Use

  • Facebook

Facebook is one of the first places that many of your prospects will look for you and your past work. As a platform with 2.7 billion users, it’s pretty important that you keep a good reputation on it.

  • Google My Business

The reason you need to keep your GMB profile with a good rating is pretty simple. It’s the first thing anyone sees when they search for your profile online.

  • Yelp

The original king of online review sites, a bad review on Yelp is just as bad for a PI firm as it is for a restaurant.

  • AVVO, Justia, & Findlaw

As you probably know already, these online marketplaces for law firms are well known and highly trusted. Make sure your reputation on each of these platforms is in tip-top shape. 

In any given directory, you’ve generally got two options:

Free listings and  Premium (or paid) Listings.

But that begs the question: 

Are Premium Placements Worth It?

Premium listings can be profitable for law firms, but you’re generally better off utilizing one of the aforementioned marketing channels instead.

These channels shouldn’t be your primary source of business, anyway.

You can see some short-term gains, but organic traffic and PPC are much more consistent and sustainable long-term investments of your time, energy, and money.

Personal Injury Referrals: How to Get More Leads

For many firms, referrals are a lifeline. According to Clio’s 2019 Trends Report, 59% of people rely on referrals from someone they know to find legal counsel.

Prospects sent to you from referrals are easier to convert because there’s already a pre-established level of trust.

If you want consistent referrals, though, you’ll need a process.

Engage with Past Clients to Encourage Referrals

One of the easiest ways to get referrals is by regularly engaging with your previous clients.

Previous (satisfied) clients are usually happy to send more business your way. It’s a win-win-win for all involved: They get to help a friend or colleague out, you get more business, and the referred prospect gets a top-tier personal injury firm to work with.

Create Strategic Referral Partnerships with Non-Competitors

Another lesser-used (but not less effective) tactic is to partner up with people in similar fields.

Think about it. If you’ve put in the work to create professional friendships and relationships, a partnership between certain firms is in both your best interests.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say Devin-the-attorney works specifically with criminal cases, and you work specifically with personal injuries.

What happens when someone comes to you with a criminal case or to Devin with a personal injury case?

Typically, you’d have to send them away, or recommend a law firm off the cuff.

With a partnership, you could rely on Devin to send you the personal injury cases he doesn’t want to deal with, and he can count on you to do the same.

Implementing a Performance-Based Personal Injury Marketing Campaign

You can consistently improve your marketing efforts with performance-based adjustments. Here’s how:

Track KPI for Different Marketing Channels

KPI, or Key Performance Indicators, are critical when it comes to improving your strategy.

Each marketing channel may have a slightly different set of KPI, but the central tenets stay the same:

Find out what areas are working well, which areas aren’t working so well, and figure out how you can fix them.

Some key KPI for your campaign may include:

  • ROI
  • Lifetime Client Value
  • Total Revenue
  • Landing Page Visits
  • Landing Page Bounces
  • Click-Through Rate

Testing, Testing, Testing

While it isn’t always pretty, trial and error is the name of the game when it comes to marketing, especially with channels like PPC advertising.

Don’t be afraid to test out new strategies and tactics. 

If the new tactic works, great. If it doesn’t, that’s just more data you can use to improve your campaign. 

Double-Down on the Most Effective & Efficient Methods

Once you’ve collected all of that data, it’s showtime.

Take what you’ve learned from your campaign analytics and testing, then use it to go all-in on the things that work best.

And once you’ve restructured your campaign to take all of that testing into account?

Rinse and repeat.

Marketing isn’t a one-and-done deal; it’s a game of constant improvement, bold innovation, and tireless persistence. 

If you ever find your marketing efforts are stagnating, it’s time to test again and find more of what works.

Update Your Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Personal Injury Practice in 2021

That was a lot of information, we know. 

Let those options motivate you to get started. 

The sooner you begin experimenting, the closer you’ll be to figuring out what works best for growing your personal injury practice

The following marketing strategies are a great place to start: 

  • An SEO website for your practice 
  • Content marketing 
  • Social media 
  • Email marketing 

Ready to revamp your personal injury marketing but don’t want to undertake this project on your own? 

We’re here to help. 

Contact us to get a free proposal for a marketing campaign crafted by our team of expert personal injury SEO strategists.  

Did we leave something out of this guide? Leave your questions in the comments below.

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