Todays market is dramatically different for the legal profession. The internet coupled with a severe economic downturn has made for a serious dillema on the part of a small firm. It take three to five times the advertising budget of five years ago to increase and maintain a lucrative client base. Competition is keen with many new concepts for leads appearing on line every week. The pooled funds for advertising concept of an Attorney referral Service makes sense now more then ever. Let me put it in perspective for older firms that have not come around to the 21st century yet, in 1995 there was no internet. Many law firms that I have spoken to do not have a website. Some have no easy access email yet.
An attorney referral service advertises the referral service, not each law firm member. If the service limits the number of attorneys by geographic area and legal category these pooled dollars can be a very effective way to beat the competition. Depending on the rules for each state a Referral service may be just a client connect internet based option or may do print, direct mailers, T.V or phone book advertising. Choose a service with a good internet campaign that utilizes many targeted legal categories and cities within your geograhic area. An attorney referral service pools the resources and advertises on your behalf. Many individuals are frightened and confused with the overwhelming lawyer ads. They prefer an easy choice thru an intermediary such as a lawyer referral service or client connect program. Referral services will usually charge a monthly membership as does an on line directory. These pooled resources allow for extensive marketing campaigns that a small firm could not manage on their own. It is a cost effective concept.
If your practice is in a major metropolitan area like Miami, Fort lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa, New York, Atlanta, Charlotte,Detroit, Denver, Los Angelos or any other large city you have seen the competition.
If your are a personal Injury attorney it is worse. You must compete against chiropractors and pain clinics advertising for auto accident cases. Many of these barter patients out to lawyers.In south Florida there are two mega firms, Morgan and Morgan and Gordon and Donar. Their catch phrases like "for the People" and' For the injured" mesmerize the public. Morgan and Morgan has 170 employees. How can a small firm compete? There is also the new medical legal , chiropractic, pip oriented referral services like 411 pain and 1 800 need help. On the west coast of Florida there is Ask Gary.
These services gain thru the $10,000 pip they bring in with every auto accident they "refer" to a lawyer. How can a small Personal injury firm compete with those advertising dollars. 411 pain is in 47 states and Ask Gary , I believe three.
The large firm in the Atlanta area is Nugent. But all states are currently dealing with the new craze of medical auto accident clinics on T.V. Medical practices like 411 pain seemingly have an endless flow of cash funds . The company has spent more than $13.2 million on advertising, according to court documents. This is not hard to understand when you start adding up all those pip cases and medical payments for treatment. They also use the pooled resources of all the chiropractic clinics which are part of their network." Pooled "appears to be the key concept.
The bottom line is the pooled resources allowed them the advantage. A bonafide lawyer referral service uses the same concept of pooled resources. The members of the service represent many categories of law which can make the pool quite large. If these resources are handled correctly it can benefit all its members providing the pool is limited by city and legal category.
A professional Bar compliant lawyer referral service or on line internet cooperative marketing program thru an attorney network can offer suprising results and be the answer in this economic environment.
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