Lawyer Marketing Ideas:  Obtaining Referrals from Local Professionals

Lawyer Marketing Ideas: Obtaining Referrals from Local Professionals

Lawyer Marketing Ideas: Obtaining Referrals from Local Professionals

A lawyer’s step-by-step guide to obtaining more referrals from local professionals — both attorneys and non-attorneys.

Referred prospects are high-quality leads. When they come from attorneys or other professionals, the prospects usually have already been vetted by the referral source, and they come pre-sold on retaining you.

Best of all, it costs little to establish referral relationships with professionals who can regularly send you these quality prospects.

After a year of experimentation and working to help nearly a hundred small-firm lawyers establish productive referral relationships with local professionals, we have settled on the following successful approach.

Step 1: Create two lists

The first list to compile is of nearby lawyers in compatible and non-competing specialties.

We have automated the initial phase of this work, but an effective manual substitute approach is to simply Google “______ [specialty] attorney nearby” and write the lead attorney name, specialty, address, and telephone number in Excel or Sheets, putting each item in a separate column for ease of sorting.

We start with 25 attorney names, but you can compile more or fewer names depending on time available and the population density of your office location.

The advantage of using Google is that the names it supplies will be among the stronger marketers in the area and thus have better lead and client flow than less-successful marketers.

Then do the same for what we call allied professionals. These are non-attorneys who share the same client base as you. For example:

Bankruptcy: credit counselors and mortgage brokers
Business litigation: Bankers, CPAs, management consultants
Criminal: mental health professionals and rehab facilities
Estates: CPAs, financial planners, and insurance brokers
Family: marriage counselors
Personal injury: chiropractors and physical therapists
Social Security disability: chiropractors and mental health professionals

Compile these allied-pro names on a separate page of Excel or Sheets.

Step 2: Send an Introductory Letter

Next prepare a template letter for each group — one for local attorney prospects and one for allied professional prospects. Here is an allied-professional example we have used successfully:

Dear _______________:

I am an estate planning lawyer. My ________ office services ________________ [location].

My firm, described at, receives ____ [number] local leads a month and retains about _______ [number] of them as clients.

Some of those leads and clients could use the services of [a financial advisor, business litigator, etc]. I imagine you also periodically encounter individuals who need an estate planner.

I am writing to ask if you would be interested in joining together in an informal local marketing alliance. We can refer cases, periodically share what is working for us to obtain new clients, and nudge and help each other improve the effectiveness of our marketing efforts.

Towards the goal of helping each other improve our marketing, I have enclosed a private-marketing memo that hopefully provides an idea or two you can use.

If cross-referring cases as best serves the client interests you, please send me a short email and then perhaps we can set a time to speak on the phone.

You may learn more about how my firm handles referrals – both those we send and those we receive – on my referral page at http://____________.jamespublishing. com/partnerships.

Thank you for considering my proposal.

[Attorney name _____]
[Email _____________]
[Cell ______________]

Produce a personalized version of this letter on your letterhead for each prospect name on your two lists, being sure to proofread before mailing.

Step 3: Have a team member schedule a phone appointment

This step is an important element of the referral-outreach effort.

If you send 50 letters, you will likely only generate a response or two. When you place follow-up calls and send follow-up emails to 50 offices using the approach described below, you will uncover another 5-7 interested professionals.

After experimenting, here is the telephone follow-up approach we now use on behalf of the lawyers we help.

a. Front desk to front desk. Have your team member concisely explain to the gatekeeper you reach the purpose of your call, which is that your professional would like to schedule a phone appointment with the gatekeeper’s professional to discuss a potential referral alliance.

b. Obtain email address. Ask the gatekeeper for the professional’s email address so you can send an email explaining your interest.

c. Leave voicemail. Ask the gatekeeper to transfer the call to the professional’s voicemail so your team member can leave a message explaining why you want to have a phone conversation.

d. Send email. After hanging up, send an email detailing your interest in having a phone conversation to explore the suitability of a referral alliance.

Step 4: During your appointment, build trust and qualify

Your first phone call with a prospective professional referral source should have two goals:
(1) begin building trust by establishing a personal connection and conveying your competence, and (2) qualify the source by learning about the professional’s lead and client volume, type of client, and referral possibilities.

The best calls will have your prospect talking 2/3s to 3/4s of the time while you steer the conversation with planned questions so you learn basic information about the professional and his practice. We give the following starter checklist to attorneys making their first calls to referral prospects:

– After preliminary introductions, ask your contact for some background on his or her firm / business. Opening with a question gives the contact a chance to discuss company history, vision, goals, etc.

– What marketing tactics does the person utilize? How are they working? Do they relate in any way to what you are doing at your firm?

– Discuss your various lead flows and what clients/referrals you both are looking for. Are there crossover opportunities?

– Can you leverage our content in any way? Perhaps you could put some hard copy flyers in your contact’s office and vice versa, for example, or we could feature them in your next newsletter issue. We can also brand a booklet for them if they are interested in what we have to offer.

– Finally, be sure to make a personal connection as much as possible. Referrals are great, but professional contacts often have other positives that could help your firm down the line outside of pure back-and-forth referrals. We always encourage our clients to try to make a friend first, and a referral partner second. Perhaps you can ask about the contact’s hobbies or other interests; anything to make some type of bond. Maybe you have some interests in common, including favorite spots around town, etc.

Step 5: Meet

Ideally your phone conversation will end with a scheduled meeting date and location where you can continue the conversation. Consider starting at either the professional’s or your office and then heading out for lunch or a snack.

At the face-to-face meeting, continue learning more about the professional, the practice, and its clients or patients. Consider asking the following business-oriented questions as opportunities arise:

– How did you get started?
– What do you enjoy most about your work? Least?
– Have you had any big recent wins?
– What are your favorite kind of clients?
– What would be the ideal referral from my prospect and client base?

Be prepared to answer the same questions, for after an answer is given many of the questions will be thrown back at you.

Be ready to talk about the clients you represent, the problems they face, why they occur, and the solutions you provide. Practice concisely describing the type of client you represent and ones you want more of. Be ready to answer the question, “Who should I refer to you?

Be sure to listen more than you talk. This is important. If you come prepared with questions and the mission of listening, the meetup is more likely to go well.

After the meeting, make notes of the personal information you learned so you can ask relevant questions about family, challenges, or work the next time you talk.

At this first meeting, you want to work on connecting instead of selling. The referrals will follow if you make a solid connection.

Step 6: Follow up with a give

Relationship building is about helping, so listen closely during your conversations with the professional for opportunities to provide assistance.

We provide the attorneys we are helping with large collections of booklets they can offer to their new prospective referral sources. And we brand the booklets in the professional’s name. This offer is nearly always well received. Our attorney booklets can be viewed by clicking here.

We also have booklets that non-attorney professionals can brand and then give to their clients or patients.

Instead of content, maybe you know someone who can help the professional with a challenge mentioned. Or maybe you can do a bit of research and send some helpful links. Even if not directly helpful, your effort to assist will be noted and appreciated.

Step 7: Thank and inform the source

If and when you do receive a referral from the professional, be quick to send a thank you. Handwritten and postally-mailed cards stand out because so few people send them. Including a small gift relevant to some personal information you learned will earn even more goodwill.

Equally important is providing a periodic status update on the referred client … especially with the first few clients.

If you like the clients being sent and want more of them, the surest way to keep them coming is to acknowledge their receipt and confirm they are being well taken care of.

Step 8: Keep in touch

To keep your new referral relationship strong, you need to stay top of mind. Easy ways to do this are:

– Add the professional to your newsletter circulation list
– Send holiday and birthday cards
– Invite the professional to your holiday party
– Friend the professional on Facebook

Of course, these standardized touches won’t have near as much of an impact as doing something personally targeted, whether that is scheduling periodic meetings, getting together socially, providing assistance with a special challenge, or sending your own referrals.


1. How can I ask multiple members of the same profession or legal specialty for referrals? I won’t be able to provide comparable numbers of referrals to all of them.

This hurdle mentally trips up numerous attorneys, but it need not. You can provide value to referral sources in other ways:

– Introductions to good vendors
– Introductions to other referral sources
– Information about helpful marketing channels
– Immediate access to you for the professional’s referrals

Or you may over time become friends and the one-way flow of referrals may not turn out to matter to the professional.

2. What else can I do to generate referrals?

a. Start your own networking group. List the many different categories of professionals, vendors, and suppliers that your clients need. Enlist one in each category and organize a monthly meeting. Rotate the hosting location among the members. You will over time to get to know each other and the referrals will start flowing. If you are the organizer of the group you will likely receive the most referrals.

b. Arrange workshops. Like every industry group, professionals love to mingle with their peers. Target your #1 allied profession and put on informational programs for them in either a local hotel or your office if you have space. Evening times work best, especially if food and drink are provided.

c. Stay in touch with past clients. Too many lawyers ignore their past clients, and so are quickly forgotten by them. A monthly emailed newsletter costs little to circulate, and will cure that problem. Trust on this; regular contact with your past clients will generate referrals that would not otherwise be provided. We have seen it happen over and over.

3. I don’t have time to implement your suggestions. Can I outsource this work?

We offer a $595/month marketing service called Legal Referral System that is done-for-you. On your behalf we:


Referral outreach
1. Compile lists of local attorneys and allied professionals
2. Contact them with phone and email
3. Schedule phone appointments with you and those interested in discussing a referral alliance
4. Prep you for the call
5. Follow up the calls that go well with gives and regular contact

Past-client communication
6. Draft and send newsletters
7. Circulate shared-booklet emails
8. Solicit online reviews and feedback


Lead generation
9. Create effective lead magnets
10. Build and install sales funnels

Lead conversion
11. Write impressive shock-and-awe packages
12. Promptly follow up responses
13. Draft and send lengthy nurturing series

New-client communication
14. Draft and send welcome kits
15. Write and send reassurance series

Cancel anytime. If you cancel in the first 30 days, we will promptly refund your first payment with no questions asked.

Build A Referral-Based Law Firm

145 pages of proven, use-them-today, tips and tools

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Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms


Lawyers have begun to embrace the marketing and referral tools long employed by effective digital marketers, but small law firms have a long way to go before they catch up, let alone begin to innovate.

To help you accelerate your adoption of proven marketing and referral techniques, we provide these examples of tools we have successfully implemented at a variety of law firms as part of our Legal Referral System.

We hope the examples inspire you to adopt similar tools at your firm, and that they work as well for you as they have for other small law firms.

I. For prospective clients

Most small-firm websites lack engagement devices and follow-up series, which means many of your website visitors don’t become prospects who otherwise could have, and many prospects who don’t immediately retain you never become clients.

The addition of any of the following six items will help plug these leaks of prospective new clients.

A. Book slide-in

The most effective way to engage website visitors is to offer a high-value lead magnet. A well-written book is the highest-value item you can provide. We use the following six books:

Creative Marketing Ideas For Law Firms

Your book can be offered as a fixed element on your website, or in more intrusive fashion. Generally the more intrusive the offer the higher the response rate. A slide-in at the bottom of your website that activates when exit intent is shown has proven highly effective. And a narrow bar across the top as pioneered by HelloBar also works well.

Or your book can be offered at the top of your website, as we do on with our book How Small Law Firms Can Obtain More Referrals.

Creative Marketing Ideas For Law Firms

Website visitors who request your book should then be:

1. Asked a couple qualifying questions
2. Shown a thank you page offering your services with a link to set an appointment with you
3. Placed in a nurturing series

All three of these standard sales funnel components are explained and illustrated in the next section.

B. FAQ bar

A second type of lead magnet that will have broad appeal to your website visitors is a collection of answers to frequently-asked questions. Rather than providing each FAQ on your website as so many firms do, you are better off placing all of them in a PDF booklet and offering the booklet for download.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

Why do it this way? So you can gather contact information from website visitors, ask them qualifying questions, and place them in a nurturing series.

If you instead display FAQs on your website with no contact information required to read them, you never learn who is taking the time to review your FAQs and your prospect list never grows.

Ideally, you will offer your FAQ booklet as the first step in a multi-level sales funnel. The prospect who wants your booklet will first be asked to provide name and email. Next will come:

1. Qualifying questions

We like to ask two questions, both multiple-choice. The first concerns the nature of the legal issue, and the second asks about urgency and interest in speaking with a lawyer.

The answers to these two questions allow you to rank the prospects and adjust the attention you subsequently provide according to the attractiveness of the prospect.

2. Thank you page.

After the qualifying questions, the next page the prospect sees should be one that:

– Says the FAQ booklet will appear in their email inbox shortly
– Provides some information about the lawyer, along with a photo
– Offers to provide information tailored to the prospect’s situation during a call
– Prominently displays the lawyer’s contact information alongside a response form that requests a call from the law firm

A percentage of prospects who download the FAQ booklet will call the law firm or submit the response form requesting a call.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

3. Nurturing series

Every prospect who requests the FAQ booklet is automatically subscribed to a follow-up series of emails so that you remain top of mind.

Many prospective clients who visit your website are not yet ready to take action, but some of them will be ready in the weeks and months that follow. You want your name, contact information, and helpful content to be what they see at that time.

Texting has proven highly effective. If you want to insert an occasional SMS text message in your follow-up series, ask prospects for cell numbers.

Our follow-up series contain 15-30 letters with an educational focus that is designed to demonstrate the lawyer’s expertise. Some of the emailed letters are linked to educational booklets branded in the lawyer’s name.

C. Landing pages

Too many lawyers direct their pay-per-click ads to their home pages. Instead, you should link your ads to a simple landing page that offers only two choices – either accept or decline your offer.

Allowing only a yes/no decision … instead of permitting a responder to wander the many pages of your website … will materially boost the response from your pay-per-click ad.

We don’t build landing pages for law firms’ pay-per-click campaigns, and so don’t have one of our own to show you, but display a few good ones we found as examples. Whoever is managing your pay-per-click campaign should not only build you a landing page, but should be A/B testing variations to learn what works best for your particular ad campaign.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

D. Niche booklets

We find a respectable number of general interest booklets and mini-books offered on the websites of small law firms, but what is still missing are booklets tightly aimed at a prospect’s particular problem.

Finding a booklet directly on point will halt most prospects’ search for a lawyer. They will assume that you, the author of the helpful information, has experience with their situation and so are the right lawyer to handle the problem.
Here are some sample niche titles to illustrate:

– Techniques for Avoiding Home Foreclosure
– When Medical Bills Become Overwhelming

Business litigation
– If Your Contract is Breached. Rights and Remedies
– When Your Business Partner No Longer Contributes

– Arrested for Assault? What You Need to Know
– Sexual Assault Charges: Penalties and Defenses

– Passing Your Business Onto the Next Generation
– When You Have a Problem Heir

– What Will Happen to Your Business if You Divorce?
– Fathers’ Custody Rights

– Evaluating Your Bicycle Accident Injury Claim
– Intersection Auto Accidents: Claims and Defenses

Social Security disability
– Claims for Mental Health Disorders
– How SSA Evaluates Back Injuries

If you develop a niche booklet, it should be offered using the same sales funnel described previously in section IB.
If you don’t have time to develop your own collection of niche booklets, know that we custom create them at no extra charge as part of our $495/month Legal Referral System. Details can be found at

E. Nurturing series

Every law firm should have at least one follow-up series of emailed letters for prospects who don’t immediately sign up. The sophisticated law firm will have one series for each of the following groups:

– Book or FAQ downloaders
– Pay-per-click responders
– Response form replies
– Appointment no-shows
– Appointments who don’t retain

Your letters should be educational, not salesy. Educational letters will demonstrate your expertise, provide needed guidance, and show you care. Here are a few examples:

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

F. Webinar funnel

A more advanced technique for attracting, engaging, and converting prospects is offering one or more on-demand webinars. They need not be long; you will obtain higher viewership producing several tightly-focused and short webinars than one or two longer ones.

Our webinars typically run 7-10 minutes and contain 10-12 slides.

As ours do, your webinar should offer a booklet or other lead magnet at the webinar’s end, the lead magnet’s thank you page containing your photo and contact information should note that you can provide a personalized assessment at no charge, and your webinar’s viewers should receive a follow-up nurturing series.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

II. For past and current clients

A. Newsletter

This old workhorse still delivers. Staying in touch with past clients will bring you more referrals from them than if you rarely-to-never contact your list.

If your budget is tight, send your newsletter by email. An emailed newsletter is what we provide as one element of our multi-faceted Referral system.

The most important point to remember about newsletters for past clients is to limit your discussion of both the law and your law firm. We track open and click-through rates by article, and our statistics show that you will obtain much higher readership with broad-interest and helpful-service articles like these:

– Save at the Grocery Store
– Recipe: Watermelon, Tomato, and Strawberry Salad with Burrata
– Recipe: Hawaiian Chocolate Bread Pudding

– 8 Habits for a Better Night’s Sleep
– Beginner’s Guide to Running
– Healthy Eating 101

– Affordable Home Security Tips
– Indoor Gardening Tips
– Spring Cleaning Tips

– Back-to-School Safety Tips
– Tricks and Treats: The History of Halloween
– What Do Your Valentine’s Flowers Say?

– 16 Ways to Live a Happier Life
– How to Be Better at Parties
– Make Someone Happy; Send a Thank You Note

If despite our advice you choose to provide legal-specific articles, focus on information that can be used by clients who you have already helped. A bankruptcy lawyer can deliver tips for restoring credit, an estates attorney can detail asset protection techniques, and a family lawyer can suggest ways to keep shared custody arrangements functioning smoothly.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

B. Reassurance series

If you have a time gap between client signup and visible work from your firm, some of your new clients will grow concerned about the apparent lack of activity. You can keep those nervous clients happy with a series of emailed letters that explain:

– What is happening behind the scenes
– How the process will unfold
– When the client will hear from you or a team member
– Common questions that will arise along the way
– What the client should do or not do during the startup period

Your reassurance series will reduce the number of questions your team needs to answer, and minimize the number of calls and emails coming in from new clients.

Best of all, you can write the series once and use it over and over.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

C. Shared booklets

This contact with past clients consists of a short email from you that contains a link to one of your booklets. The email asks the recipient to forward the booklet link to a friend, family member, or colleague who can benefit from the information.

Here are two examples in each specialty from our lengthy sharing series:

– 9 Questions to Ask Before Filing Bankruptcy (5 pages)
– Quiz: Do I Have Enough Debt to File for Bankruptcy? (7 pages)

Business litigation
– 5 Questions to Review with Your Attorney Before You Decide to Sue (4 pages)
– The Breach of Contract Case (14 pages)

– When Your Loved One is Arrested (5 pages)
– 19 Things Your Criminal Defense Lawyer Wishes You Knew (10 pages)

Drunk driving
– Charged with a DUI? Write These Items Down (2 pages)
– Was That a Lawful DUI Stop? (2 pages)

– 34 Common Estate Planning Traps & How to Avoid Them (29 pages)
– What You Should Know About Wills (8 pages)

– 21 Initial Questions About Divorce (8 pages)
– Shared Parenting During & After Divorce (32 pages)

– Common Mistakes Made by Personal Injury Claimants (4 pages)
– When the Adjuster Says… He Really Means… (7 pages)

Social Security disability
– 18 Common Mistakes Made by Unrepresented SSD Claimants (11 pages)
– 65 FAQs About Social Security Disability Benefits (27 pages)

Ideally, you will have a series of these shared-ebooklet emails so you can send one to your past clients every 2-3 months.

And if you are interested in more referrals … and who isn’t … you will adapt these emails and booklets to professional referral sources as we describe in the next section.

III. For referral sources

A. Allied professional solicitations

If you adopt a marketing recommendation from only one section in this mini-book, this is the one to implement.

Creating referral relationships with local professionals costs little-to-nothing monetarily, and if done using our content-based technique, takes much less time than the cold-calls and coffees recommended by legal management advisors.

Begin by compiling a contact list of related professionals with offices near yours. The more, the better. Here are examples of professionals who have overlapping clients or patients:

Bankruptcy — credit counselors, real estate agents
Business litigation — business brokers, CPAs, financial planners
Criminal — counseling agencies, rehab facilities
Drunk driving — mental health professionals, rehab facilities
Estates — CPA, financial advisors, insurance brokers
Family — financial counselors, marriage counselors
Injury — chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists
Social Security disability — mental health professionals, physical therapists

Next create a series of outreach letters proposing a referral relationship. Your letters should begin by detailing your lead and client flow so the recipients know you have the potential to send them referrals.

We strongly encourage you to include helpful content with your letters. Your response rate will materially improve, and equally important, your initial contact will be more positive if you have started out by assisting the letter recipient rather than requesting referrals.

Your content can help either (1) the professional or (2) his or her clients or patients. For the former we use marketing advice that comes in a private memo. We pass along proven tips for obtaining more clients or patients.

For the latter — helping clients or patients, we provide booklets like those listed in section IIC. Here are two more examples in each specialty from our booklet library:

– 9 Mistakes to Avoid When You Are Having Money Problems (4 pages)
– FAQs and Tips on Settlement, an Alternative to Bankruptcy (5 pages)

Business litigation
– 93 Frequently Asked Questions About Contract Disputes (58 pages)
– Is Arbitration the Best Way to Resolve Your Contract Dispute? (5 pages)

– What to Expect When Visiting a Loved One in Jail (4 pages)
– FAQs: Dealing with the Criminal Justice System (24 pages)

Drunk driving
– Quiz: Should I Fight My Drunk Driving Charge? (12 pages)
– 99 Drunk (or Drugged) Driving FAQs (56 pages)

– Estate Planning FAQs (41 pages)
– Defining Your Estate Planning Goals (7 pages)

– Minimizing Turmoil During Your Divorce (6 pages)
– Finding Hidden Assets in Divorce Cases (39 pages)

– 11 Factors that Impact the Value of Your Personal Injury Case (7 pages)
– Common Insurance Adjuster Ploys (3 pages)

Social Security disability
– Quiz: Will You Qualify for SSD Benefits? (10 pages)
– Can My Doctor Help Me with My Claim? (4 pages)

A series of outreach letters will receive a better response than one letter, for building trust and demonstrating expertise take time. After you have generated both, you may receive a response like this one sent to our Referral System subscriber that we slightly redacted:

Subject: Re: 12 Tips for Successful Post-Divorce Co-Parenting

Hi __________,

I received your newsletter on post-divorce co-parenting and I LOVE it.

I have a private practice as a Child and Family Therapist in _________ providing play therapy to kids and parent coaching to their parents, including co-parenting with separating and/or divorced couples. Bio and website here at ________. I’d love to connect with you soon so that we may be a resource for one another.

Back to the newsletter … I find myself wanting to give the first four pages to my parents as they navigate this divorce and co-parenting process. First, with your permission, I would love to have the option to disseminate these tips to my families – of course including your name and business as authors and as a resource. Might you have a stand alone document that I can post for families that provides only the tips?

Let’s get together! Please send me some times and/or dates that work for you. Mornings work best for me 🙂

Grateful for you!


B. Webinar funnel

This proven response-generator is used by many businesses, large and small, but few law firms. In fact, we have never seen a complete one on a law firm’s website … whether aimed at prospective clients or prospective professional referral sources.

The description and examples that follow are for webinar funnels aimed at the latter. We find webinar funnels especially helpful there, as we are attracting sophisticated practice owners who have likely been approached before about referral relationships.

We aim at a particular problem encountered by the practitioner’s patients or clients, and delve into it deeply, working hard to provide value the practitioner can use. That value is delivered both in the webinar and the booklet(s) offered. All are branded with the host attorney’s photo and contact information.

When the webinar is watched, name and email are obtained. When the booklet is downloaded, a phone number is collected. Equally valuable, answers to qualifying questions are gathered, with one of the answers providing a gradation of interest in establishing a referral relationship. This allows you to focus your time on the most interested prospective referral sources.

Whether you or a team member follow up with the responder or not, he or she will receive a series of follow-up emails providing more helpful information and keeping you top of mind.

Here are a couple examples of webinar funnels we have created in cooperation with two of our Referral System clients. We charge nothing extra for either our development work or the attorney’s use of these funnels.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

An easy-to-produce variation of the webinar funnel is placing a video on your landing page. Seeing and hearing you establishes familiarity and build trust. And if you answer a few commonly-asked questions, you demonstrate expertise. All are critically important when you are creating referral relationships.

Whether you opt to develop a complete webinar funnel or simply add an on-demand video aimed at your target lay or professional prospect, we encourage you to test the technique.

C. Booklet funnel

If you prefer writing to speaking when creating marketing pieces, you might choose a booklet funnel over a webinar funnel. Both work, whether used to solicit prospective professional referral sources or prospective clients.

A booklet funnel as we create them merely substitutes a written product for the webinar described in the immediately-preceding section. Qualifying questions, thank you page proposing a referral relationship, and a follow-up series are still included.

Sophisticated legal marketers will pursue professional referral sources with both the booklet and webinar approaches because different prospects will respond to different appeals.

Your booklet funnel can be promoted multiple ways – postal letter to local professional referral sources, eblast to your list, using a referral web page on your website (see section IIIE), in a flyer distributed at one of your talks, in a guest post, or _________. The promotion possibilities are numerous.

Here is an example of a booklet funnel we created at no charge for a personal injury Referral System subscriber who wants to establish more referral relationships with local chiropractors.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

D. Referral web page

A simple but important foundational element in all your referral relationship creation efforts is a web page that emphasizes how you treat referred clients as VIPs.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

Referral sources want to know that the clients or patients they send your way will come away satisfied. Since few clients can accurately gauge the quality of the lawyering that your provide, you can create this satisfied feeling by going over the top in ways that any layperson can judge:

– Next day appointment availability
– Warm greeting using name by front desk person
– No waiting before meeting with the attorney
– Attorney lets the referred prospect know that referrals from ______ receive VIP treatment
– Post-meeting, a handwritten thank you card is mailed to referred prospect, perhaps with movie tickets included
– Extra communication is provided throughout representation
– At conclusion of the matter, another handwritten thank you card is sent, maybe with a gift basket of some type

Similarly, the referring source should also receive special handling. A handwritten thank you card should be mailed asap after the referral is received. Upon retention, an email can be sent that provides status and maybe a few sentences about what will transpire next.

What is important with both the referred prospect and the referral source is that you stand out as someone who cares deeply about referrals and takes good care of them.

E. Local attorney solicitations

Depending on your specialty, establishing referral relationships with local attorneys can be as productive as relationships with local non-attorney professionals. For example, the following specialties can be fruitful referral sources:

Your specialty — Referring specialty
Bankruptcy — Divorce
Criminal — Bankruptcy, business divorce
Estates — Business transaction, business litigation
Family — Bankruptcy, business, criminal
Injury — DUI, Social Security disability
Social Security disability — Injury

Our favorite attraction technique, due to its wide appeal to the type of attorneys who will be interested in referral relationships, is to offer marketing information tailored to small law firms. We do this three ways:

1. Private marketing memos

After building a list of local attorneys in the right specialties, we send a series of 3 letters inquiring about interest in a referral relationship and accompanied by a several-page memo containing marketing tips tailored to small-firm attorneys in consumer specialties.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

2. Marketing mini-book funnel

Using the same booklet funnel technique previously described in section IIIC, we offer a lengthy mini-book branded in the Referral System subscriber’s name.

As with that funnel, our marketing book funnel includes a solicitation eblast, landing page, lead magnet, qualifying questions, thank you page proposing a referral relationship, and follow-up series.

We send the solicitation eblast to both the list of local attorneys that we compiled, plus any names the Referral System subscribing attorney has.

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

3. Marketing newsletters

Referral relationships take time to establish and enlarge. You have to obtain that first referral and do a great job with it, and then continue the cultivation to obtain another referral and increase the monthly and annual volume from each source.

Just as staying in touch with past clients using a newsletter helps generate referrals, so does a newsletter tailored to professional referral sources.

Your newsletter can take a variety of forms. It can be a tips letter focused on providing marketing advice, since that may be how you first attracted the referral source. Here is an example of a marketing newsletter we use:

Creative Marketing Ideas for Law Firms

Or your newsletter can provide information in your specialty that helps the referral source with his or her clients or patients. A few examples of those types of topics are:

Bankruptcy — For credit counselors: Tips for Rebounding from a Financial Setback
Business litigation — For CPAs: Advice for Business Owners Considering or Facing a Contract Lawsuit
Criminal — For mental health professionals: When Your Patients Get Into Trouble with the Law
Estates — For financial advisors: How to Help Clients Facing a Financial Reversal
Family — For marriage counselors: 10 Steps for Rebuilding Your Marriage, My Advice for Married Couples After Handling Umpteen Divorces
Injury — For chiropractors: Advice for Injured People Considering Filing an Insurance Claim
Social Security disability — For physical therapists: Tips for Injured People Considering Filing a Social Security Disability Claim