While TV ads, radio spots, billboards, and referrals can still get you cases, more and more prospective clients are looking online to find a lawyer. Your first impression with your next client will likely take place online. Many consumers report that a lawyer’s online reputation is one of the most important factors when choosing whether to hire them.
This is just one reason why managing the online reputation of your firm is incredibly important. The reviews you get on Google and other sites can help your firm or hold it back. You need a strategy for online reputation management. Effective online reputation management can improve your firm’s image and your number of new clients.
Managing your firm’s reviews on lawyer-specific sites, such as Avvo, FindLaw, and Lawyers.com, can help you attract leads from people who are serious about retaining legal counsel. These platforms offer a chance to catch the eyes of millions of monthly visitors and convert leads. Reputation management should not be an afterthought in your legal marketing efforts. It should be a primary focus. A smart tactical approach to online reputation management can turn your online ratings into a tool for attracting even more clients.
Consider the following five practices for managing the online reputation of your firm:
Claim Your Profile on Avvo
Avvo.com has a vast directory of all kinds of lawyers. Users of Avvo.com can find attorneys in their area by searching for their city, state, or zip code on the home page. Users can also search based on the type of lawyer.
Every attorney listing on Avvo contains contact information, number of years they have been licensed to practice law, an Avvo Rating, and client reviews. Users can see the lawyer’s star ratings, as well as endorsements from other lawyers.
If you would like to remove an Avvo review, you can get the moderators to remove it in certain situations. For example, if you believe a review is infringing on your copyright, you may file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice to Avvo.
Ask for Customer Reviews
Customer reviews may be the most influential factor affecting your law firm’s online reputation. Chances are you read reviews before purchasing a product or service. Your prospective clients do as well. Many turn to reviews to determine whether a firm is good or bad. In fact, many people won’t even take action until they have read reviews online and trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation from a friend.
Most people won’t take the time and effort to write a review unless they had a particularly bad experience. However, negative reviews of your firm are likely not an accurate portrayal of your legal services. Negative reviews won’t sink your firm, assuming you have positive reviews to balance them out.
How you get more reviews? Just ask. Don’t prompt your clients on what to say, and don’t influence their review in any way. Never pay for reviews. Most people will write a review if you ask them.
The best time to ask is shortly after an appointment with a client. Make it easy for them to leave a review by requesting one through email, with a direct link to your website or a third-party site like Avvo or Google.
Point to Video Testimonials
There are few things more persuasive in the eyes of a prospective client than watching someone like them tell their story. You don’t have to hire a film crew. Video testimonials can be just for your website or social media, and you’ve got everything you need with a smartphone and a willing client.
Make Use of Content Marketing
Publishing high-quality content on your site is an effective way to establish yourself as an industry leader and boost your credibility. When you engage in content marketing, you can answer legal questions prospective clients need answers to and search for. Write articles that are at least 500 words long. Include keywords that users commonly search to find the information they need. Publishing your own content is a way to engage in online reputation management because it allows you to use your own voice on the legal topics in which you are well-versed.
Provide Top-Notch Customer Service
The best way to get good reviews is to provide excellent customer service. When you get feedback from clients, make sure you listen carefully to them. Be receptive to clients’ comments and make changes accordingly. Thank your clients after their case has been resolved. Keep in touch with them, so they know you appreciate their business. Satisfied clients typically lead to referrals.
To learn how Client Chat Live can help manage the online reputation of your law firm, call (808) 495-0231 or visit our contact page.