The Importance of Influencers in Legal Marketing
Whether you are a regular on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, you have probably become familiar with influencers. These are social media active (and savvy) individuals who have generated a large following (friends, followers, etc.) and leveraged that audience for their own commercial (financial) interests. Influencers of a different sort can be a tremendous source of new work for lawyers.
It didn’t take the sellers of consumer products long to take advantage of the rising popularity of social media and its new popular “stars.” What started simply as free merchandise for an endorsement was quickly leveraged into cash. Now, there are grown-ups who make a living – a darn good living – simply from their social media presence. Being an “influencer” is now a recognized occupation. But you don’t have to be a social media influencer or pay a social media influencer to incorporate influencers in your marketing efforts.
Every lawyer has his or her own potential influencers. Everyone is an influencer at some point. And everyone has opportunities to be influencers if they are properly equipped. Statistics show that 67% of potential clients first ask friends, family, and coworkers for a recommendation for a lawyer. Those friends, family, and coworkers become influencers when they respond. Your job is to identify those friends, family, and coworkers, and prepare them to be influencers.
Who are these influencers?
They are people who know you. They are your friends, family, associates, coworkers, other lawyers, and people you are in some other group with (church, civic, social, recreational). And they are people who know your work, such as former and existing clients, other lawyers, business associates, and the like.
The problem is that most people stop there. “All these people know me and know that I am a lawyer, so surely they would recommend me.” There are two problems with that assumption.
1. First, do they know what all you do?
If you have never done anything for these individuals, they likely have no idea what you do. You may have told them somewhere along the way something that you do at work, but does that capture all that you are able to do?
2. Second, if you have done some legal work for a potential influencer, how do they know that you do other things?
How many times have you heard or experienced a friend or family member referring a great piece of legal work to a competitor say, “I didn’t know that you did that kind of thing”? As lawyers, we do a poor job of communicating what it is that we do and are capable of doing. In addition, these potential influencers are inundated with information from and about other lawyers. And you aren’t the only lawyer with whom they are familiar.
So how do you equip your potential influencers?
With regular reminders of who you are and of what you do. These communications don’t have to be in-your-face sales jobs. Just a simple touch that puts you and your abilities in their mind with enough frequency that when they are asked, they’ll recommend you. You can do this with your social media presence, emails, personal visits, and other marketing tools.