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    How to Hook Legal Clients Before They Need You


      During a presentation about the difficulty of real estate agents hooking home buyers who will only need their services once or twice in a lifetime, an agent in the audience saw it as an opportunity:

      “I know home buying and selling can’t be a habit. That’s fine. But what if I make a habit of doing something else related to home buying and selling?”

      Lawyers can say the same since no potential client wants to make the need for legal services a habit. However, when they do need a lawyer, you want to be the one they call. But you have to hook them before they need you.

      The speaker, Nir Eyal (@nireyal), who authored the excellent, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, detailed the experience in How Two Companies Hooked Customers On Products They Rarely Use, suggested two ways to build a habit around an infrequently used product [or service]: content and community.


      Another real estate agent shared her plan to create a site and mobile application with articles, videos, and financial calculators so that every time someone in her neighborhood has personal financial questions, they would turn to her site. She then becomes a trusted expert in the community to whom home buyers will turn when they’re ready to purchase a home.

      General counsels mirror this sentiment – how they use content to find and validate law firms for outside legal work.

      What do you write and talk about? The possibilities are endless, but start with these core few:

      • Answer a question or solve a problem – Start with a blog post and expand into a Q&A section on your site.
      • Give tech tips – productivity and legal apps and process you use in your daily practice. Remember you need to attract colleagues for referrals as well as clients.
      • News jack – Report on/analyze new Supreme Court decisions, laws, and regs that affect your clients.

      Repurpose content to other formats, including website/blogs, webinars, newsletters, e-books and white papers, infographics, and videos.

      For additional insight on how lawyers can do this, see: Law Firm Marketing: Build Your Brand With Content, Social Media and SEO and Kevin O’Keefe’s A blog is where a lawyer’s personal brand begins.

      See, also: 50 Shades of Content Marketing for Law Firms


      Another agent shared his habit-forming idea for using community to build his business:

      “What if I start an email list or website for people who live in my neighborhood? Every couple days I’ll let people know what’s going on in their area — local happenings, high school sports, things like that. Then, if they want to go to games together, they’ll coordinate through the online group.”

      He wanted to become the hub that connected his community, including referrals which increasingly come from social connections. Share your writings, talks, and thoughts on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

      Check out Social Media Lessons for Law Firms From Law Firms where firms share how they use social media and content marketing to highlight expertise, build new business and expand relationships with existing clients.


      Together, content and community will help you gain exposure as a trusted expert and hook referral sources and potential clients before they need you.

      In another article I read recently, Companies that publish are growing at “breakneck speed” John Grimley (@JohnGrimley) quotes Neil Patel and shared his perspective:

      Content marketing is a modern marketing must-have, but for companies to do it right they must create value (in content form) for the right people to see. As [customers and potential clients] engage with this content, it brings them closer to a conversion. And these conversations lead to more client engagements.

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