fbq

Many lawyers offer services for wills and estate planning, but often probate gets pushed to the back end as probate is handled after death. Many lawyers may think that providing services for wills and estates will produce probate business when the time comes; either for the administration of estates or litigation.

Many lawyers offer services for wills and estate planning, but often probate gets pushed to the back end as probate is handled after death. Many lawyers may think that providing services for wills and estates will produce probate business when the time comes; either for the administration of estates or litigation.

How can probate lawyers get more clients? By marketing ads and content to executors, the personal representative, loved ones and heirs, probate lawyers can target the exact audience that will generate the greatest return of clients.

In this article, we’re going to look at exactly how to target these key individuals. It can be complicated at first to determine how to target this audience. However, we’ll look at breaking down which services – in particular – you are offering (or your primary focus). Then we’ll discuss how that affects determining your firm’s marketing strategy.

How to Get Probate Clients

Probate cases can be a profitable stream of revenue for your firm. If the bulk of your practice’s work is in probate, then consider branding and positioning your firm as probate specialists. Another opportunity is positioning your practice as specialists wills, estates, and probate law.

What type of Probate Cases do you handle?

Equally important, is defining exactly what types of probate cases you handle. The two main classes being the administration of estates and probate litigation. This doesn’t have to be an either/or decision. On the surface, there isn’t too much of an issue marketing both types of services. However, you could be known as a specialist for one type or the other. 

The importance of defining what type of probate cases you handle will determine your marketing strategy. One handles uncontested and the other handles disputed probates and authenticity of wills.

Targeting & Messaging to Key Individuals

Once you have defined the types of cases your practice handles, you can start developing ideas for targeting your audiences and promoting compelling messages to them. Marketing legal services effectively, including probate, involves targeting based on people’s life cycles and behaviors. 

Funeral Services & Immediately After Death

When a loved one passes away, the first thing the immediate family of the deceased are going to do is make funeral arrangements. Paying respects is going to be the start of the marketing process in terms of identifying market behaviors. Funeral homes, after all, are a business like any other. During this time, the deceased’s family will be:

  • Making arrangements
  • Collecting death certificate(s)
  • Notifying Income Sources (Social security, insurance and benefits providers, etc.)

This is by no means a suggestion that you should directly market or solicit at this stage. However, the information here can be used later when we discuss planning and creating content.

“Reading of the Will”

The “reading of the will” is just a myth. Created by the entertainment industry and propagated through TV and movies, most people don’t know this until they have to go through it for themselves. At such point, they will be making initial arrangements for the execution of the will:

  • Finding the original will
  • Making copies for distribution
  • Identifying the Personal Representative or Executor
  • Discussions on the distribution of assets

In other cases, a will might not exist or the surviving spouse may have assets transferred to them. Whether one of these situations occur or not, disputes may arise.

Duties of Named Personal Representative

At this point, the named representative or executor will begin to perform research and due diligence to start the probate process. This will involve the executor: 

  • Collecting information on the deceased
  • Searching property records
  • Following up with individuals and parties referenced in the will
  • Gathering tax returns, pertinent mail
  • Determining whether probate is required or not
  • Initiating the court probate process

Many people who are the executor of a last will and testament may be advised on carrying out these functions. However, many will still resort to researching their duties.

At this point in the process (in many instances), it will be determined whether probate is required or not. However, there will still be information that people are doing on how to handle the process. Depending on the state in which you practice, probate laws and requirements will vary and therefore change the line at which probate determination is drawn.

All of the information above and more can be used to determine the key individuals’ behavior patterns, research, and purchases leading up to hiring a probate lawyer. This can be used for traditional advertising channels. But this article will address online advertising and marketing methods, because it’s just so effective – as well as my specialty.

Generating Probate Leads Immediately

If you’re seeking to generate leads and clients for your firm immediately, then you can use PPC and Search Ads such as Google AdWords.

You can get started immediately after setting up an account, entering billing information and keywords into a campaign. Driving people searching for a probate lawyer in Google, Bing and other search engines is a phenomenal way to attract new business immediately. This requires the least amount of strategic planning, aside from keyword planning for ppc ads.

You can also use Facebook ads or Google Display Ads (which are banner ads on third-party websites). 

Facebook ads can be effective for many lawyers. However, the advantage to display ads, is that you can plan out advertisements based on some of the behavioral patterns we mentioned above. Taking these behavioral patterns and combining it with custom intent audiences will allow you to target people who are most likely looking for probate either actively or some point in the near future. This can be advantageous if you want to reach your target audience before they even perform a Google search for a probate lawyer.

Facebook ads are better suited in this scenario to re-target people who have already visited your site but didn’t take action (calling or contacting your firm for an appointment/consultation).

Create a Pipeline for Sustainable Probate Clients 

Generating new clients and leads immediately for your firm might be exactly what you need right now. With that said, when it comes to growing your firm for years to come with probate work and attracting as many new clients as possible, you’ll want to implement a much more robust marketing strategy to keep new business coming through the doors.

Using ads including search and display, as mentioned above will still be an important component of your overall strategy. However, we want to build more than a funnel. For law firms serious about their growth with probate, you need a pipeline.

Your pipeline should be content-centric. Consider taking all of the parts of the potential clients’ behaviors, as outlined earlier and creating blogs around this. People will be searching for information starting in the funeral arrangements phase all the way through to the final moments leading to determining if they qualify for probate, should hire a probate lawyer and ultimately hiring one.

Loved ones and personal representatives are going to be doing research for the weeks or months leading up to hiring a probate lawyer and specifics about laws in their state and procedural info to manage and settle these affairs. Your firm should be creating and publishing content that can help them to this effect. 

Content Probate Lawyers Should Create to Get Clients

Content should be written but is recommended to be in both written and video format. This will expand the opportunity to be found through answers to questions that people are searching for online as well as video through popular channels like YouTube and social media. Help loved ones and executors through all the phases outlined above and ones that were not. The phases above were meant as a starting template or scaffold. Think about your clients’ past behavior, from the beginning of the journey up to the point of hiring a probate attorney.

Integrate the Content with Your Pipeline

Once you have written and published your content on a blog, it will take some time for it to rank in search engines like Google. While waiting, you can publish this information on YouTube in video format. Once your site and blog start seeing traffic from your content marketing efforts, start re-targeting people on Facebook with more video content. Remind them you’re there until they’re ready to make the call and hire your firm.

The difference between an advertising and marketing channel and a pipeline is that you want to create as much cross-over and synergy across channels as possible. This way, you’ll become the authority on probate and likely in their eyes, the only lawyer in town providing the gold standard in probate administration and/or litigation.

How can probate lawyers get more clients? By marketing ads and content to executors, the personal representative, loved ones and heirs, probate lawyers can target the exact audience that will generate the greatest return of clients.

In this article, we’re going to look at exactly how to target these key individuals. It can be complicated at first to determine how to target this audience. However, we’ll look at breaking down which services – in particular – you are offering (or your primary focus). Then we’ll discuss how that affects determining your firm’s marketing strategy.

How to Get Probate Clients

Probate cases can be a profitable stream of revenue for your firm. If the bulk of your practice’s work is in probate, then consider branding and positioning your firm as probate specialists. Another opportunity is positioning your practice as specialists wills, estates, and probate law.

What type of Probate Cases do you handle?

Equally important, is defining exactly what types of probate cases you handle. The two main classes being the administration of estates and probate litigation. This doesn’t have to be an either/or decision. On the surface, there isn’t too much of an issue marketing both types of services. However, you could be known as a specialist for one type or the other. 

The importance of defining what type of probate cases you handle will determine your marketing strategy. One handles uncontested and the other handles disputed probates and authenticity of wills.

Targeting & Messaging to Key Individuals

Once you have defined the types of cases your practice handles, you can start developing ideas for targeting your audiences and promoting compelling messages to them. Marketing legal services effectively, including probate, involves targeting based on people’s life cycles and behaviors. 

Funeral Services & Immediately After Death

When a loved one passes away, the first thing the immediate family of the deceased are going to do is make funeral arrangements. Paying respects is going to be the start of the marketing process in terms of identifying market behaviors. Funeral homes, after all, are a business like any other. During this time, the deceased’s family will be:

  • Making arrangements
  • Collecting death certificate(s)
  • Notifying Income Sources (Social security, insurance and benefits providers, etc.)

I’m by no means encouraging you to directly market or solicit at this stage. However, the information here can be used later when we discuss planning and creating content.

“Reading of the Will”

While the “will reading” is just a myth, created by the entertainment industry and propagated through TV and movies, most people don’t know this until they have to go through it for themselves. At such point, they will be making initial arrangements for the execution of the will:

  • Finding the original will
  • Making copies for distribution
  • Identifying the Personal Representative or Executor
  • Discussions on the distribution of assets

In other cases, a will might not exist or the surviving spouse may have assets transferred to them. Whether one of these situations occur or not, disputes may arise.

Duties of Named Personal Representative

At this point, the named representative or executor will begin to perform research and due diligence to start the probate process. This will involve the executor: 

  • Collecting information on the deceased
  • Searching property records
  • Following up with individuals and parties referenced in the will
  • Gathering tax returns, pertinent mail
  • Determining whether probate is required or not
  • Initiating the court probate process

Many people who are the executor of a last will and testament may be advised on carrying out these functions. However, many will still resort to researching their duties.

At this point in the process (in many instances), it will be determined whether probate is required or not. However, there will still be information that people are doing on how to handle the process. Depending on the state in which you practice, probate laws and requirements will vary and therefore change the line at which probate determination is drawn.

All of the information above and more can be used to determine the key individuals’ behavior patterns, research, and purchases leading up to hiring a probate lawyer. This can be used for traditional advertising channels. But this article will address online advertising and marketing methods, because it’s just so effective – as well as my specialty.

Generating Probate Leads Immediately

If you’re seeking to generate leads and clients for your firm immediately, then you can use PPC and Search Ads such as Google AdWords.

You can get started immediately after setting up an account, entering billing information and keywords into a campaign. Driving people searching for a probate lawyer in Google, Bing and other search engines is a phenomenal way to attract new business immediately. This requires the least amount of strategic planning, aside from keyword planning for ppc ads.

You can also use Facebook ads or Google Display Ads (which are banner ads on third-party websites). 

Facebook ads can be effective for many lawyers. However, the advantage to display ads is that you can plan out advertisements based on some of the behavioral patterns we mentioned above. Taking these behavioral patterns and combining it with custom intent audiences will allow you to target people who are most likely looking for probate either actively or some point in the near future. This can be advantageous if you want to reach your target audience before they even perform a Google search for a probate lawyer.

Facebook ads are better suited in this scenario to re-target people who have already visited your site but didn’t take action (calling or contacting your firm for an appointment/consultation).

Create a Pipeline for Sustainable Probate Clients 

Generating new clients and leads immediately for your firm might be exactly what you need right now. With that said, when it comes to growing your firm for years to come with probate work and attracting as many new clients as possible, you’ll want to implement a much more robust marketing strategy to keep new business coming through the doors.

Using ads including search and display, as mentioned above will still be an important component of your overall strategy. However, we want to build more than a funnel. For law firms serious about their growth with probate, you need a pipeline.

Your pipeline should be content-centric. Consider taking all of the parts of the potential clients’ behaviors, as outlined earlier and creating blogs around this. People will be searching for information starting in the funeral arrangements phase all the way through to the final moments leading to determining if they qualify for probate, should hire a probate lawyer and ultimately hiring one.

Loved ones and personal representatives are going to be doing research for the weeks or months leading up to hiring a probate lawyer and specifics about laws in their state and procedural info to manage and settle these affairs. Your firm should be creating and publishing content that can help them to this effect. 

Content Probate Lawyers Should Create to Get Clients

Content should be written but is recommended to be in both written and video format. This will expand the opportunity to be found through answers to questions that people are searching for online as well as video through popular channels like YouTube and social media. Help loved ones and executors through all the phases outlined above and ones that were not. The phases above were meant as a starting template or scaffold. Think about your clients’ past behavior, from the beginning of the journey up to the point of hiring a probate attorney.

Integrate the Content with Your Pipeline

Once you have written and published your content on a blog, it will take some time for it to rank in search engines like Google. While waiting, you can publish this information on YouTube in video format. Once your site and blog start seeing traffic from your content marketing efforts, start re-targeting people on Facebook with more video content. Remind them you’re there until they’re ready to make the call and hire your firm.

The difference between an advertising and marketing channel and a pipeline is that you want to create as much cross-over and synergy across channels as possible. This way, you’ll become the authority on probate and likely in their eyes, the only lawyer in town providing the gold standard in probate administration and/or litigation.