Consumers are getting smarter. The days of a customer blindly believing whatever a law firm tells them, without doing any additional research, are over. We now live in an age in which prospective clients want to learn more about your firm, but also don’t really trust what you have to say. That’s not to say that the content on your website doesn’t matter, because it in fact still matters a great deal. But, what perhaps matters more is in your practice’s overall online presence, and what former clients have to say about their experience with your firm.
Grabbing the attention of online consumers in the ultra-competitive digital age takes a lot of time and energy, and those efforts will be fairly pointless if you aren’t able to backup your marketing campaigns with positive testimonials from real human beings. That’s why if your law firm doesn’t currently feature case studies or client success stories on its website, it’s time to get to work! In this blog post, we’ll discuss what makes case studies such a powerful marketing tool, and offer some legal marketing tips on how to best showcase the stories of former clients.
Case Studies Are The Secret Marketing Weapon Hiding In Plain Sight
We can’t take credit for the clever phrasing in the header of this section. Those words came from Rodney Warner, a marketing professional who has developed website content for law firms all across North America. Earlier this year, Warner shared with us why he is such a big advocate of attorneys creating case studies for their firms.
“They break down psychological and intellectual barriers,” Warner said. “They show the firm can help and has helped others in the past. It shows they’re trustworthy and can get the job done.”
If you are skeptical of the power of a fellow consumer’s voice, think back to any purchasing or hiring decisions you’ve made over the past few years. We’re guessing most of you have changed your mind about adding an item to your Amazon cart, after scrolling down and reading a series of one-star reviews. We’d imagine most of you would feel uneasy about asking a plumber or electrician with no online reviews to come inside your home. A company can brag all day about what they do well, but it’s going to be the opinions of other buyers that push you across the finish line on a purchasing or hiring decision.
This couldn’t be more true, when it comes to something as important as hiring a lawyer. When selecting someone to help guide you through potentially life-altering legal issues, seeing the phrase “most respected” on a homepage isn’t going to be enough to drive you to hire a firm. Now seeing the stories of others who have had successful experiences with that firm before, that can actually make an impact.
How To Create A Great Case Study For Your Firm
A case study is only a powerful marketing tool if it actually includes quality content and is showcased in the right fashion. Here are eight tips for assembling case studies that will actually get you new clients.
Tip #1- Pick The Right Subject
There’s a lot to consider when deciding which former client to feature in a case study. Is this person someone my target clients will find to be relatable? Did my firm make a significant impact on this person’s life? Is this person someone who will come off well in an interview, and offer valuable quotes? If the answer to the previous three questions is yes, you may have yourself a quality case study candidate. Once you decide on someone to reach out to for a case study, the next step of course will be to find out if they are interested in participating in one. Make sure that the client you’re interviewing actually had a good experience with your firm, and carries appreciation and enthusiasm about your services. Remember, getting positive end results doesn’t always mean the client liked you. Also, don’t bother attempting to tell a client’s story, without them being involved in the process. It isn’t likely to go over so well, and kind of misses the point of what a case study is all about, which is to hear thoughts from an actual client.
Tip #2- Remember To Tell A Story
When reading your case study and deciding on whether or not to pursue using your firm, it will be helpful for a new lead to see a client’s full journey with your firm, from beginning to end. Begin your case study with some background information about the featured client, before segwaying into the events that led them to hire you as their lawyer. When interviewing a former client for the case study, ask them to share some of the emotions they felt while going through their legal struggles, as well as their first impressions of your law office. As the case study continues, take the reader through your client’s legal process, and some of the decisions your firm helped them make that lead to a successful case outcome. The more inside info you can provide on what it’s like to be a client of your firm, the more secure consumers will about going with your practice.
Tip #3- Showcase Results
The legal industry like many industries is a results business. While the experience you offer clients is becoming increasingly important, prospective customers still value a successful legal outcome above all else. So make sure in your case study to document what exactly you were able to do for your client, as well as how your efforts changed your customer’s life for the better. Sometimes the results will be tangible things like money or property, which will certainly be attractive to many prospective clients. Other times, the results you brought a person will be peace of mind during a tenuous time or the ability to keep on living their life to the fullest. Whatever the case may be, be sure to show what’s waiting for potential clients on the other side of that finish line.
Tip #4- Use Images
Including images in a case study can accomplish a few important things. The simplest thing it can do is break up large blocks up text in your case study post and make it more readable. Including photos of your client also makes it much more likely that the reader will care about them, as seeing the face of a person tends to be much more powerful than simply seeing a name. A photo of the client and members of your firm together will of course make even more of an impact.
Tip #5- Create Video If You Can
If you have a client that is well-spoken, consider asking them to share their story on camera. Adding a video element to your case studies will give site visitors more options in how they choose to digest your testimonials. Many people would prefer to watch a two-minute long video than read a 700-word blog post, and videos generally tend to be more impactful and memorable to a prospect. If you are going to go the video route, make sure you have the time, equipment, and budget to do it right. Sloppily executed or cheesy looking videos will lose you new leads.
Tip #6- Display Your Case Studies In Prominent Places
You wouldn’t buy a painting, only to hang it up in the attic. If no one is going to see it, what’s the point? Make sure new prospects don’t have to work too hard to come across client success stories when visiting your website. Either include a case studies button in the header of your homepage, or mention case studies in an easily visible spot in one of the top few folds of your homepage.
Tip #7- Don’t Stop At One
Not much to expand on here. The more people publically recommending your firm, the better.
Tip #8- Share Your Stories Across Multiple Platforms
Social media pages, customer emails can also be great places to share client success stories. You’ll likely need to re-format your content when sharing it across different platforms, but expanding the potential audience reach of a case study is definitely worth the effort.