How will next generation (millennial) clients buy legal services?

As digital natives, the millennial generation is coming into its own. As the first generation to grow up in the digital world, their behavior and desires are different than past generations. With the Internet available 24/7 and being seconds away from reading hundreds of expert opinions, millennials are responding differently to purchasing legal services. These differences will present a very real challenge for law firms. Traditional marketing will not work to attract the attention and dollars of today’s millennials. Digital natives (millennials) bypass the typical literature, flyers, ads and sponsorships. Instead, they’re using the tools they grew up with to find the answers they need, right now.

How can your law firm effectively market to millennial clients of legal services? By understanding that millennials are digital natives, learning what they like, and how they communicate.

Strengthen Your Online Presence

While 70% of typical legal clients contact an attorney when they’re faced with a legal issue, less than half of millennials do. When millennials need legal help, they become Perry Mason (even though they don’t know who he is) and do their research. They whip out their IPhones, check Yelp, read reviews, and assess the different options available to them. Listen to this, over 63% of millennial consumers use the Internet to find an attorney. Millennials gravitate toward DIY solutions because of the power of the Internet.  They are willing to scroll and scroll until they find what they need—and the Internet provides the ease and efficiency to do so from the comfort of their own home.  Remember, “Digital Natives”.

Be Active On Social Media

Does your firm use Facebook, Instragram, and Twitter to promote and market your legal services? If not, you’re missing out. In order to stay relevant with millennials and Gen Z (Digital Natives), your company must be where they are spending time: social media. When needing legal counseling or advice, 37% of millennials used Facebook in their search. Millennials are digital ninjas with social media.

Because they grew up with social media and know how to use Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook like the back of their hand, millennials are more comfortable with using apps to find what they need. By creating eye-catching visuals, interesting blog posts, and fun videos, millennials will be more likely to engage with your service. They trust companies that speak in their language (aka tweeting, Instagram posts, YouTube videos, etc.)

Millennials spend over 3 hours per day on social media.[1] Posting just once a week won’t cut it if your company wants to stay relevant to millennials. Make an effort to consistently post and also engage with millennials. Social media is a two way street. Invite millennials to tweet back with their opinion, post their questions on Facebook, and get involved. This engagement shows that you care, and will set you apart as a company that cares, which is really, really important to millennials or digital natives.

Millennials value authenticity almost as their number one value. And the right kind of social media is a way for your company to bridge the gap, let them get to know you better, and for them to understand you want to help them. Use social media and show you’re not some faceless company, but real people, with real personalities, with real services and solutions.

Provide Value and Data Through Blogging

While less than 20% of legal customers consider blogs important, over 40% of millennials consider blogs to be a key factor in choosing an attorney. Blogs are a vehicle to express personalized and unique messages. Your company blog should reflect your voice, values, and unique solutions in a way that resonates with millennials. With a blog, you can better communicate with millennials without being pushy. Millennials can read through sale pitches and get an authentic read on your voice before they lean in. However, an interesting blog post that is engaging and provides helpful solutions is much more likely to build their trust.  Remember; again, make your story and value resonate to your audience the way they want to receive it. 

They Use Others’ Opinions to Make Buying Decisions

Millennials are tough sells. When considering an attorney, millennials consider reviews to be twice as important compared to average customers. What started with reviews of the best Mexican food on Yelp and the most durable video cameras on Amazon has now turned to almost every industry online. Millennials trust online reviews in legal services as well because, well, digital natives value authenticity. They see reviews as an honest, no BS assessment of legal services because (in most cases) reviews are unfiltered, unbiased, an independent of a company’s influence. And they’re more willing to trust a strangers’ experience using a product or service instead of first trying it out for themselves. They also can tell who is just plain bitter and a “crazy” so they can make a determination of credibility.

May we be as bold to suggest that reaching out to past clients and politely asking if they’d be willing to leave an online review is a calculated strategy that will pay off. Be personal in your request, so they feel it’s genuine and not some email blast. Suggest what you would like them to write in your review. What part of the experience would a potential millennial buyer be looking for answers in? Ask them to write about that. Be transparent and let them know you value their feedback, and that it will really help.

Legal services will always be needed. However, the way they’re being used and marketed is changing. Pay attention to how digital natives communicate. Think about what they want: authenticity, social proof (online reviews), transparency, and helpful solutions presented in a way they understand. When you understand what digital natives want, you can market your service so it appeals to them.

Looking to bridge the generational divide in the workplace and engage your millennials? Check out the recent launchbox article “4 Ways to Coach Millennials to Drive Results and Engagement.”

 

All facts in this article were pulled from the 2017 FindLaw Report titled Reaching the New Generation

 

 

 

[1] http://www.tnsglobal.com/us/press-release/tns-millenials_study_111915