Estate planning clients must be wooed. They’re not coming to you in need of immediate assistance— instead, they have the time to take their time as they consider whether or not they want to work with your firm. They don't come in as quickly, and they'll require more personal attention than many of your probate clients. Marketing for estate planning clients requires some finesse.
How do you generate more estate planning business? Here are some simple steps.
Step 1: Create quality content.
Just as your probate clients want to be able to tell at a glance that you're a great source of information, your estate planning clients want to see content that is geared toward them. Ideally, this content will help walk them through each stage of the buyer's' journey.
Thanks to your quality content, by the time they choose your firm to handle their estate planning needs, they're already satisfied customers. But the only way you’re going to entice them to read the content you make for them is if you lure them to you in the first place.
How do you do that? Create campaigns that are geared toward your estate planning clients. Provide regular snippets of information that will encourage them to call in for a longer conversation with you, if necessary.
Step 2: Make your content visible to the right audience
You’ve heard the expression, “Meet the people where they are.” Well, where are your people?
If they’re like most, they’re on social media. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to engage on every available platform. Instead, determine the age group you’re interested in targeting and analyze which platforms they frequent.
Are you looking to connect with adults between the ages of 30-49? Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are their platforms of choice. Folks over 50 are active on Facebook, but you’re unlikely to find them on any other platform. Once you’ve discovered where you’ll find your audience, start making your content available there.
So you know where to advertise; how do you do it? Digital advertising is the key. We’re in an age of extremely inexpensive advertising. In no time, you can set up your business account on Facebook or Google and start advertising for as little as $5/day.
Better yet, thanks to Facebook’s extraordinary algorithms, they’ll ensure that the people who will be most interested in your services will see what you’ve got to offer. Your high-quality content will help you rank higher on Google organically, but it never hurts to combine organic search fodder with paid advertising. (And if you need assistance getting your digital advertising strategy up and running, let’s talk.)
Another great way to ensure that your audience sees your carefully-crafted content is to engage in native advertising. This form of advertising entails creating content that matches the theme and style of a third-party site in a manner that is seamless, encouraging viewers to take in your content with the content on the site. They’re significantly more effective than old-fashioned banner ads, with consumers taking in native ads 53% more often than display ads.
Step 3: Get found.
Another important factor in your strategy to generate estate planning business is SEO, or search engine optimization. Naturally, there are estate planning clients in your community searching for a law firm to take care of their needs. But how do you notify these prospects that you’re ready, willing, and able to take their business? If you want your firm to show up at the top of their search, it's important to optimize your for SEO.
What does that mean? Well, basically, it involves incorporating high-ranking keywords into your web pages and your client content, so when they search for that keyword (say, for instance, “estate planning”), your content will be on the SERP (search engine results page). If you want to rank higher in your area, it’s vital that you engage in local SEO—incorporating local terminology into your keywords. For example, instead of using “estate planning,” you’d use, “estate planning in Oklahoma City.” The more specific you get, the more likely you are to engage with people in your area.
Step 4: Stay in regular contact
Ok, you’ve got their attention. What do you do with it? Ideally, the client will be ready to sit down and plan their estate as soon as they get into contact with you. In reality, not all estate planning clients are immediately ready to invest in a full living trust.
Perhaps they want to start with a will and, over time, add more services. Perhaps they're interested in planning for the future, because of the probate process linked with the recent loss of a loved one has really taken a toll on them, but they're not ready to start quite yet.
If you lose touch with them, you’re going to lose their business. And If you’re too aggressive, you’re going to lose them. How do you find a happy medium? You can stay in touch via e-mail marketing, personal cards in the mail, and an occasional phone call. Staying in contact with existing clients won’t just ensure that they come to you when the time is right, but it can also lead to referrals.
Step 5: Develop a solid referral and review program.
Client referrals aren’t just a compliment to you and the service you offer, it’s also an incredibly effective way to generate new business. There’s nothing that works as well as word-of-mouth. When someone hears positive things about your firm from a trusted friend or family member, they’re far more likely to entrust their business to you. Now? Reviews are almost as effective as personal referrals. 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust a personal referral from someone they know.
How do you get referrals or reviews? It’s simple: ask for them. People love to share what they think— it’s really not a hardship for them to give their honest opinion of your business. And if you’re offering exemplary service to your clients, why wouldn’t you want to encourage them to tell everyone about their experience with you?
Create a designated space on your website for clients to leave a review. Make it as easy as possible for your clients to find it so they can share their opinion. Then, prominently feature these reviews on your site for prospective clients to see what others have to say. Not comfortable taking in reviews via your website? Take testimonials from customers who have expressed satisfaction with your service. Ask the client to put it in writing and then get a signed release that will permit you to publish the testimonials on your website and marketing materials.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? That’s understandable. But truly, generating clients for your estate planning firm isn’t as challenging as it might feel. If you’d like to discuss your strategy with the experts, contact us today.
About the Author
Ashley Quintana, M.S., B.A.
Ashley Quintana is the co-founder and managing partner at Bridges Strategies. A graduate of Oklahoma State University's media management master's program, Ashley co-founded Bridges Strategies with a $10,000 investment. Two years later, the bootstrapped company grossed almost one million dollars and grew to a team of eight. In her role, she develops, leads and executes digital marketing strategies for the company's growing client base.