The Rules To Getting Clients Online (Part 2)
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the first three rules to getting clients online. Here are a few more to help you get started.
Don’t Flaunt Pointless Awards
“I think I found a good lawyer to help us with our case that will shape the outcome of our lives. I hope he’s Martindale Hubbell A/V rated,” said no one ever. There are ratings that are important to the public, like having that big “A” in your window from the health department if you sell food. People know what that is. It also has a logical rating scale. Telling your potential clients that on a scale of 0 to best, you are “AV” means nothing. Lawyers are the only ones who know what an AV rating is, and not all of them. In fact, the same can be said for a lot of lawyer awards.
I’m not saying don’t mention your awards. I’m saying don’t mention them in a way that assumes your client base understands what it means and don’t assume they appreciate the significance of the award. Don’t just put in your bio “A/V rated lawyer.” That means nothing. Say “received highest ranking for ethical and professional standards by one of the nation’s most prestigious attorney ranking systems” or something.
Be Wary of False Awards
I routinely get letters in the mail from some form of national lawyer association telling me that out of the 1.2 million lawyers in the United States, I am in the top 30 of something and I just need to pay $5,000 to be listed in their magazine and website. I was flattered the first time I got one of those letters that a 4th year lawyer would be recognized in such a way. Then, I took 30 seconds to Google that organization and found out that it was a total scam. If I had paid the $5,000 to get that award and listed that on my website, imagine if a client saw that award and decided to google it. That would do more harm than good.
Claim Your Online Presence
I‘ve talked about having a robust social media presence too many times to count. For those of you with no social media presence at all, don’t worry. You don’t need to worry about investing lots of attorney time into all the snapchats and the twitters. You should, however, claim your Twitter, Facebook Business page, Avvo, and Yelp profiles. If your website says you are the best, but when I google you, I can’t find any other information about you, I’m going to be suspicious. That’s just how people shop around these days. They expect to find things about you online. Would you buy a TV on Amazon if it said it was the best, but had no reviews, while virtually every other TV has lots of reviews? That would make you suspicious that it’s maybe not the best TV like it claims. Fill out your basic contact info and upload a picture. Clients are much more likely to trust you enough to reach out to you if they know what you look like.
How often should you update your social media? As often as you can, but even if you don’t update it, at least claim your pages. I would personally rather hire a lawyer with zero tweets than 45,000 tweets because I would need someone who could focus for most of the day and not chat online with their friends for an hour a day on Twitter.
Remember to always focus on your audience. How are they going to find you? What are they going to think when they do find you? Are they going to be impressed or bored and skeptical? Target your efforts to keep the audience in mind and you’ll do fine.
Jeff Bennion is a solo practitioner at the Law Office of Jeff Bennion. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of San Diego’s plaintiffs’ trial lawyers association, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. He is also the Education Chair and Executive Committee member of the State Bar of California’s Law Practice Management and Technology section. He is a member of the Advisory Council and instructor at UCSD’s Litigation Technology Management program. His opinions are his own. Follow him on Twitter here or on Facebook here, or contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published at Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:50 +0000
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