Elena Tahora* – Reputation management for lawyers is now more crucial than ever. With so much information available on the internet, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. So, how do you work on a positive reputation to maintain your authority as a lawyer?
Customers today are no longer convinced by fake testimonies and Shutterstock images.
The truth is that they are able to see through everything marketers present to them. This is why lawyers must treat your audience with enough respect and dignity to turn visitors into loyal clients.
It is not difficult to create brand awareness if you are good at what you do. Good lawyers can easily set up and sustain a good reputation, both online and offline, provided they deliver exceptional services to their clients. Today, all businesses rely heavily on online reputation.
This is why it is important for all professionals, including lawyers, to practice good online reputation management methods. A lawyer’s reputation depends on his legitimacy, qualification and his dedication to satisfy his clients.
Here are a few tips on how lawyers can build a solid reputation to accomplish great professional success:
As a lawyer, it is your responsibility to routinely search your business and product names to assess how well you rank.
There must not be any negative reviews or gossip about your recent work or clients. If there is any such content, follow up diligently to get all negative material removed from a forum or a site.
Develop a Personal Website
You will rarely be trusted unless you have a decent website to flaunt your capabilities. You can purchase a domain in your name or come up with a catchy name for your law firm.
Updated content and a decent design will help people connect with you, as an optimized website helps to increase your visibility and supports your reputation.Adding content from a variety of channels is the best way to incorporate good quality content on your site.
Do not showcase any fake information on your website or you will permanently damage your reputation.
When you establish a business website, complement it with a business blog. A blog section offers a great space for posting important information or any news or updates you want to share with your clients.
Come up with relevant content that your audience is likely to search for. This way you will be able to highlight your services without promoting or advertising them.
Do not forget to add testimonies and reviews (even if they are not too many) to your website. Online reputation management is incomplete without reviews from trusted sources.
Encourage your past clients to rate their work experiences with you. This will give a glimpse of the professional services you offer to your past and existing clients. Moreover, have an active listing on Yelp, Zagat and Foursquare.
SetUp Social Media Sites
Visitors are likely to search for social media tabs when they arrive on your website. This is why it is important to link your website to your social networking channels. It takes no time to establish Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn accounts.
Undeniably, social networking can help lawyers engage with their users and connect with their target audience to establish their reputation. These are also good channels for users who want to know about a lawyer’s expertise or specialty.
Work on Your Reputation Consistently
Building a good reputation is not a one-day task for lawyers. You must be able to create a business you are proud of and a credible reputation will follow along the way.
However, just like all other professionals, lawyers also need to nurture their reputation constantly to prevent any damage. It also helps you add real-time pictures of your work-place and the people who work for you.
If you are running a one-man show, create a unique bio with your picture that highlights the legal services you provide. List them separately on your website to avoid any confusion.
Make sure your website is glitch-free and all social media profiles load without delay. Register all accounts under the same name and include your own or your law firm’s name in the URLs.
Follow a regular posting schedule. If you fail to update your content regularly, your audience will think you are pursuing your law career as a hobby and not a profession.
Use automation tools or a free service, such as IFTT. You can also schedule an RSS feed and create a Tweeting schedule to publish regular legal news. Here are a few channels where you can showcase your services to build a convincing reputation.
- YouTube– Set up a profile on YouTube. Create videos to provide legal advice or offer your take on the latest trends in the law industry that directly affect lawyers and their clients. Make sure your video redirects the viewers to your website or a ‘contact us’ form.
- SlideShare – Old but still influential, SlideShare has landed many professionals successful deals. You can add a simple and small presentation to reveal how you can help as a lawyer.
- Google Plus –Who doesn’t have a Google+ account in this day and age? Use it to highlight your skills and legal expertise in your profile.
- LinkedIn – This professional networking giant is one of the best ways to showcase what you can offer to your clients. Make sure you add all important contact information and ask for positive testimonies from your clients and colleagues.
- Lawyer Specific Directories – Apart from a pleasing website and regularly updated social media channels, there are tons of directories that exclusively work for promoting lawyers. Sign up for these and fill up your profile with accurate information.
Seek Professional Assistance
You can reduce the hassle involved in managing your reputation by seeking professional assistance. An experienced SEO firm can help boost your reputation online. All you need to do is look for an SEO company that offers online reputation management. So, how will the SEO professionals work to improve your reputation?
- The SEO company will create new pages related to your law firm. The pages will feature relevant information. The company will then promote these page so that they show up at the top of the search results. In this case, if a person searches for reviews of your firm, they will not be able to view any negative reviews. This is because the pages with the negative reviews will be pushed off the first page. To put it simply, they will push the negative content out of the way.
- Moreover, they will push positive content to the top. Rather than your potential customers viewing negative reviews or useless information, they will see positive content that is informative and provides value, and also reflects you firm in a positive light. This will help with organic SEO and you will appear on top of the search results for a variety of keywords.
Regrettably, providing false information has hurt the entire community of lawyers in the past. For this reason, people now find it difficult to invest their time and money in a lawyer they are not familiar with.
Promote your law firm or individual services by reviewing all positive and negative reviews for your brand. According to Dr. Cutajar from CSB Group, staying up to date will give you the opportunity to handle any unpleasant events promptly so that your reputation does not suffer.
Being proactive is the key to handling your reputation, rather than dealing with negative reviews after they are posted. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
Law firms must always keep in mind that a bad representation online will have an impact on revenue in terms of lost business and missed opportunities. Even more troubling is the fact that law firms can miss out on hiring top talent or would be required to pay significantly higher salaries to attract great employees.