Most Clients Find Their Lawyers Via the Internet — How to Make Sure it’s You They Find

Law Firm MarketingAccording to a survey by FindLaw, 38% of clients find their lawyers via the Internet, and 29% still rely on a referral by a friend or relative. By comparison, in 2005 a full 65% relied on referrals by a friend or relative, and only 7% looked to the Internet.

However, applying a little logic reveals that these numbers are misleading for a couple of reasons. For example, my primary practice areas are media law, defamation and anti-SLAPP. If a potential client was looking for my services, how many of their “friends and relatives” would know and be able to recommend an attorney in my practice areas?

“Oh, Jane, I’m so glad you called. Yes, I have a wonderful anti-SLAPP attorney to recommend. I also know a really good antenna zoning lawyer if you ever need one of those.”

Yes, friends and relatives might have all kinds of recommendations for attorneys who handle divorce, personal injury, bankruptcy and breach of contract, for example, but as to narrow practice areas, that 29% of potential clients who seek a referral from a friend will end up searching the Internet, bringing the total closer to 67%.

Additionally, I receive referral calls on a weekly basis from other attorneys who found me on the Internet. They have a client who has been defamed, and they want to provide a referral, so they take to the Internet to find a defamation attorney. Those clients who responded to the survey by saying that they found their attorney through a friend, may not realize that their friend or their friend’s attorney found the attorney on the Internet.

Finally, another recent survey found that 80% of potential clients will use the Internet at some point in the process of selecting an attorney. Even if someone does recommend an attorney to a friend, that friend will likely research the attorney on the Internet before making a decision.

But with all that said, even if the survey is absolute gospel, don’t you want to get your share of that 38% of clients who find their lawyers via the Internet?

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Most Clients Find Their Lawyers Via the Internet
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According to a survey by FindLaw, 38% of clients find their attorney through an Internet search, and 29% still rely on a referral by a friend or relative. By comparison, in 2005 a full 65% relied on referrals by a friend or relative, and only 7% looked to the Internet.
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