A multi-pronged approach materially raised the quality of personal injury leads coming into the firm, without reducing the quantity.

In the personal injury world, there’s a lot of competition for cases, according to Jonathan Rosenfeld, the founding lawyer at Rosenfeld Personal Injury Lawyers in Chicago.

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Rosenfeld knew he needed something that would make his firm stand out among all the other personal injury firms in the Chicago market. Not only that, he knew he needed a way to bring in qualified leads, because focusing on quantity was generating a lot of low-quality leads.

Rosenfeld’s firm became “very focused on quality over quantity when it comes to case leads.” So they adopted social media, including launching pages for the firm on the most popular social sites, and creating a community-based way of sharing and distributing social content and information.

This case study takes a close look at what Jonathan Rosenfeld and his team did to generate more qualified leads and grow their practice in a big way.

The Challenge

Many of the personal injury leads are low-quality and end up taking more time than they’re worth.

“Low-quality case leads are a dime a dozen and really only divert resources from cases that need attention,” Rosenfeld says. “I find that too many attorneys focus on generating a specific number of leads, when they forget that quantity doesn’t always translate well to profitability.”

Rosenfeld wanted something better for his firm. He wanted to be able to attract and retain good new clients, without having to go through a lot of weak prospects to find a few good ones.

His firm needed to find a way to:

  1. Stay on the leading edge of personal injury lawyers—especially in Chicago
  2. Attract qualified leads
  3. Turn the qualified leads into new clients and cases

The Actions

1. Get On Social Media Pronto

Make it your business to get your company on social media. This can include sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, as well as blogging on your company website.

“Blogging has been incredibly important both in attracting new clients and keeping in contact with our current bases of clients,” Rosenfeld says. “While we originally looked at social media as a way to disperse this information, we’ve quickly learned that social media is really a tool to engage other attorneys and consumers on a topic.

“Developing a presence on social media is similar to a relationship with anyone,” he says. “You must be willing to lend a hand and support other people on the particular platform. No one wants to support a one-way street. You must be willing to accept the fact that you need relationships to expand your profile and reach. You can’t do it alone!”

When the Stryker Hip recall happened, Rosenfeld and his team launched StrykerHipFAQ.com to get people the facts they needed. A big part of Rosenfeld’s success in drawing attention to this micro-site was the relationships he had cultivated through social media.

“When I launched StrykerHipFAQ.com, I was able to establish the site relatively quickly because my supporters on various platforms, such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, were willing to help spread the word and engage with us,” he says.

By placing a focus on quality versus quantity—with both leads, relationship-building and his firm’s online marketing efforts—Rosenfeld Personal Injury Lawyers was able to grow its business.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to manipulate rankings from outside sources, but social media is one of the areas that you have control over,” he says.

Here are some ways Rosenfeld recommends you get started:

Devote Time to Social Media. “Social media needs to be a regular part of any marketing program,” he says. “Devoting time to sharing material and engaging over a longer-term horizon is crucial to success.”

Make A Commitment. “Bottom line is make a commitment and stick to it when it comes to a social media program.”

2. Focus On Quality Over Quantity

Rather than looking for “quick fix” strategies that would likely fizzle out or not be in alignment with the results Rosenfeld and his team were looking for, they instead placed their content-marketing focus on quality over quantity.

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For example, when he launched his Twitter account, rather than trying spammy strategies or just following back everyone who followed him, Rosenfeld made it his mission to grow his followers organically by sharing quality content.

“I share all types of original content that we create: articles, blogs, court filings, videos, and infographics,” he says. “However, my primary goal is to share quality content from all sources. I regularly share material from other attorneys, non-attorneys, and general news sources who produce strong content. It’s very important to share a broad-base of material as you lose credibility when you are solely sharing material from one source.”

Using the slow, steady, “quality over quantity” method, it took Rosenfeld “around 2 1/2 years” to get the 12,000 followers he has currently.

“While followers may be an indicator of popularity, I don’t get too hung up on it,” he says. “I’m more interested in getting a crew of followers who engage.” 

3. Mix Business With Pleasure

When it comes to the content you choose to share, be sure you’re mixing business-related items with items that are more interesting and personal.

“I try to share a mix of material that is related to professional and leisure topics,” he says. “I find that you can attract a more diverse base of followers if you are sharing an assortment of material.

“Because there are a limited number of lawyers who are active on social platforms, if you are interested in growing your number of followers, you need to tap into the non-lawyer demographics. Besides, it’s usually a lot more fun to share a clip of your favorite sports team than the latest court decision.”

The two takeaways are that you should share a mix of content from a variety of sources.

4. Bring Community Into It

The most surprising thing Rosenfeld did using social media that generated qualified leads for his business is creating Facebook groups related to important trends in his practice.

“Probably the most effective use of social media to directly generate leads is the development of groups on Facebook,” he says. “I’ve sponsored several groups including one on nursing home neglect and metal hips. In both groups we quickly got people involved who were able to share their situation with others and ask questions.”

His team saw a need for there to be a place for people to commune over the personal injury topics that mattered to them, once they “realized how many of our clients were coping with a particular situation.”

“We organized, named, and promoted the group to our existing clients through email and blog posts,” he says. “What we found is that people who are faced with a particular injury or situation really take comfort in sharing their experience and concerns with others.

“When we start a group, we may encourage some of our existing clients to share their experiences or we may share some news on the topic,” he says. “What we don’t want to do is create an environment where we are pushing our own content. We lose credibility and people lose interest when they view it as an attorney who is promoting their own agenda.”

If starting a Facebook group around a topic your audience cares about is of interest to you, Rosenfeld suggests giving it a try.

“In about five minutes you can get a group started on Facebook,” he says. “Initially you may share some material on the topic and invite some people to participate. Once you have 25 people who have joined you can customize the URL of the group. Not only does the customization help people locate the group, but it can also help from an SEO perspective and some of the groups can actually rank organically in search results.”

The Results

1. 12,000 Twitter followers; 776 YouTube Subscribers; in 5,444 People’s Google+ Circles; and 1,662 Likes on Facebook

“We’ve found that by regularly generating quality material– articles, blog posts, and infographics—on specific topics results overall in more qualified leads and eventual cases,” Rosenfeld says.

He also believes that social media may now be influencing the search engines.

“Increasingly, I think there’s some empirical evidence to suggest that social shares and authorship profiles are something that search engines use in ranking their results,” he says. “Consequently, the value [of social media] cannot be denied.”

2. Leads From The Facebook Groups

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“Indirectly, we’ve received a number of leads from these groups as people recognized we were committed to these cases and had a large amount of information [to share],” he says.

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While the return on investment of social media will be different for each firm, there’s definitely evidence that it can help generate leads.

“Think of it as a conversation” that helps engage people, gets them interested in what you’re offering, and connects them more deeply to your firm, instead of as a direct way of earning business.

“No one wants to engage or be around someone who is just out there pushing their own agenda,” Rosenfeld says. “Share material, listen to what others say, and generously go out of your way to provide additional information when requested. People can easily identify those who are genuine from those who are out to promote their cause.”