A new study by Hinge Marketing surveyed 1,000 purchasers of professional services – including legal – to determine how prospects check out professional providers as prologue to making a decision.
This chart gives the details:
Note that less than 1% said they don’t check you out. Which means just about everyone looking for professional services does some sort of online or peer research prior to making the decision to hire.
The most common way that prospects check you out is to look at your website. What is your current site telling them about you? Are you addressing the problems your prospects have up front? Or do you talk about yourself – your great office, your smart lawyers, etc.?
People buy emotionally and justify logically. Your website must appeal to their emotions, showing empathy for their problems and providing information on how you can solve these problems for them.
Prospects look for three things: Benefits, Value and Results. Address all three and you will have convinced them that you are the one they need to hire for their legal issue.
Note that Google search and social media also rank high as tools prospects are using to check you out. Google yourself to get an idea of what they are seeing; if it’s not much then you need to pay some attention to repairing and monitoring your online reputation.
The Hinge Marketing report found that the 70% of those surveyed use LinkedIn to check out a prospective professional services provider. Since LinkedIn is the go-to social network for business, this only makes sense. How’s your LinkedIn profile looking? Do you have recommendations from other clients or peers? Do you have a video on your profile page? Is there a good photo of you? If not, get busy!
This study is just one more indicator (of many) that attorneys need to pay as much attention to their online reputation as their offline reputation. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll be paying the price.