Start Reeling More Big Fish

By Ken Hardison


I’m often asked, “How can I get more big personal injury cases?” That’s every lawyer’s dream, isn’t it? More of the lucrative multi-million-dollar verdict cases that make the headlines and can secure a firm’s financial future and solidify one’s reputation in the industry. Reeling in these cases may seem to be simply a matter of chance or luck. However, more often than not, signing large cases is about having the right messaging at the right place and the right time that resonates with the injured party or their family. Oftentimes, these cases come into your doors as a direct result of a referral by family or friends that you successfully represented in the past. Here are some strategies you can implement to increase your ability to sign more of these lucrative, sought-after big cases:

1. First step: Pass the “my mother” test:

Before you embark on any marketing strategies to land more big cases, your first matter of business is to make sure your house is in order. Ask yourself: “If my mother were involved in a catastrophic accident today, would I want my firm to represent her?” If you wouldn’t honestly feel comfortable with your law firm representing your mother and her best interests in a serious automobile accident, then fixing this problem is your first step.

2. Provide Excellent Client Service:

Many big cases are signed as direct result of recommendations by a family or friend. If you want to increase your chances of signing more big cases, then make sure your law firm is providing excellent client service- with the professionalism, empathy, and contact that communicates genuine care for each and every client.

3. Establish a robust referral marketing strategy:

There is no substitute for Referral based marketing. Time and again, it yields real results. It’s easy
for lawyers to assume that buying leads is the secret to law firm growth, but the time, energy, and effort you spend in referral marketing will produce a tremendous ROI and increase the likelihood that you will sign more big cases. When the stakes are high, people look to their friends and family for recommendations and guidance. Create top of mind awareness with your existing and prior clients so that when any of their friends or family need a lawyer, your firm’s name immediately comes to mind. Use systematic marketing strategies such as

  • sending out birthday cards, and anniversary cards marking the date their case was settled,
  • sending out hard copy and/or digital newsletters monthly or bimonthly
  • sending out hand-written thank you notes whenever you receive a referral
  • placing stickers on every piece of outgoing mail that says: “We love referrals.”
  • Add “We love referrals” to your email taglines
  • Host a Client Appreciation Cookout, Carnival, or Party

4. Leverage the 80/20 Rule to Create a Strategic Marketing Plan:

The 80/20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is a well-established business concept built around the idea that 80% of all outcomes results from 20% of inputs. Applying the 80/20 rule to law firm cases means that theoretically 80 % of your firm’s revenue are coming from approximately 20% of our cases. If you want to sign more big cases, then you must strategically evaluate where your firm’s biggest cases have come from.

  • Demographics: Start by going back 2-3 years and pulling the data from all your largest fee cases to date. Examine the demographics of your past big cases closely. Note the clients’ age, gender, race, education, and the type of job the client had. This will enable you to build out a profile of your firm’s ideal client.
  • Platforms: Think about how you will reach this group with your firm’s messaging. Use the demographics you compile to help you shape a marketing strategy designed to reach this 20%. Ask yourself what social media platforms they are likely to use, what shows they watch, and what their interests might be; What questions or concerns are they likely to have that you can answer in your firm’s marketing content. You are more likely to hit a target with your firm’s marketing efforts once you can clearly visualize the bullseye.
  • Case Classification: Identify the types of cases that have generated your highest fees. Were they automobile accidents? Med-mal cases? Nursing home cases? Dog-bits? remises liability? If they were mostly auto accidents, then look more closely to determine the type of accidents involved: Were they trucking accidents? motorcycle accidents? Examine the types of injuries sustained. Were they traumatic brain injury cases? surgical cases? herniated disc cases?
  • Craft a Marketing Plan: with Strategies aimed to get more of the types of cases that have already brought your firm success in the past. If you find that your biggest cases were dog bite cases, then create a marketing strategy to get more dog bite cases. If thy were TBI’s then create a strategy to get more traumatic brin injury cases. If they were trucking cases, then craft a plan to sign more of these specifically identified cases.
    • If you want to sign more of a particular type of case, then your job is to create a strong marketing plain aimed accordingly. Your marketing messaging should be designed to reach this specific demographic with content that speaks to them on platforms and in places where they will be.
    1. A strong and targeted marketing plan should encompass both grass roots marketing efforts as well as a litany of digital marketing strategies all aimed at the goal of reaching this specific demographic and signing more of these specific types of cases. Create content, videos, LSA’s and social media posts targeting these particular potential clients. Use SEO strategies geared to this messaging and these demographics. Craft content that answers the questions that keep this specific group of individuals up at night. Leverage content-based videos pushed out on all the relevant social media platforms that answers their questions or concerns. Become the digital “authority” on these specific types of cases. Offer a free e-book that gives them helpful information. Bring in a community professional and interview them online. The Possibilities are virtually endless in today’s digital age.
    2. Think about how you can increase your grass roots efforts to reach this specific demographic. For example, if you are seeking to sign more traumatic brain injury cases, then consider joining your local grammatic brain injury group. Give talks on how to deal with Medicare/Medicaid. Promote all your community efforts online as well.
    3. Be strategic in forming referral relationships with individuals in your community with whom these specific demographic deals with. If you want to sign more dog bite cases, then get to know the local animal control officers. If you want more motorcycle cases, start establishing relationships with local Biker groups and provide great swag to them. Sponsor their next charity Ride. As with digital marketing, the possibilities for increasing your community presence are countless once you first identify your target audience.

5. Create a Niche and Anoint Yourself as the Expert:

Sometimes it’s easier better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. If your firm’s market is glutted with law firms advertising and marketing as the trucking accident expert then you may want to look for an alternative niche without as much competition. Then set about becoming the expert in that particular niched area, as long as you are competent in that area of the law.

6. Develop a New Practice Area:

If you haven’t been able to identify a particularly lucrative area of past cases, of if you are itching to break into a new niche that will produce large verdicts and settlements, then don’t shy away from building a new practice area. If you aren’t’ willing to get up to speed in this specialty, then hire a lateral attorney who already possess the requisite knowledge and expertise and set about shaping an aggressive and targeted marketing plan for this new practice area.

If you want to build your law practice and sign more big cases, then do it! Take stock of your prior cases, do your homework, and then set about crafting a strong marketing plan designed specifically to sign more lucrative cases. It doesn’t have to be a matter of chance. You have the ability to target a specific demographic and grow a particular area of your law. There’ never been a better time to do so than today. Digital Marketing opportunities abound, as well as Grass Roots Marketing. It starts with understanding who you want to reach, and with what messaging. Once you identify the target, you will be able to craft a strong strategic Marketing Plan that culminates in more big cases.

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