As a lawyer in today’s age, you now need to be aware of your reputation, especially on the Internet, more than ever. While it may be tempting to take shortcuts, both on and offline, you’ll have to put in good, old-fashioned work to achieve a great credibility with former clients and future ones. If you’re looking to create a solid reputation as a lawyer, consider some of these do’s and don’ts for reputation management.
Don’t: Devalue the Power of Relevant Directories
Not that long ago, when people needed a particular product or service, they’d flip through the Yellow Pages. Now, through, online directories have taken over as a source of information for potential customers and clients; even Yellow Pages has a website for easier accessibility to information. To make sure potential clients can find you, do a quick Google search to see where you land. If you don’t already show up on Yelp, Google’s local listings, Citysearch, or others, claim your profile. That way, you’ll establish yourself as a credible lawyer and those considering your services can find your accurate contact information.
Do: Consider Paid Ads
You may feel like you’re cheating the system if you pay for ads in a directory or in a Google search, but, in fact, paid ads could pay off for your law firm. When you pay for ads, you have complete control of the dissemination of your content. With some simple keyword research, you can find out what potential clients are searching for when they need a lawyer, and you can target your ads to fit those needs. Paid ads don’t replace online directories, but they do enhance your online presence.
Don’t: Buy / Create Fake Reviews
While buying reviews or even creating your own may seem like an easy way to seem more established to your potential clients, but this move will ultimately prove to be counterproductive for your company. If you are caught creating a false review, you could face some serious penalties and disciplinary bar actions. You’re engaging in false advertising, as well as being deceitful, which law standards forbid.
Do: Get Feedback from Clients
Instead of creating fake reviews, ask your customers to evaluate your services. This will help you find areas upon which you can improve, and it will get you a real-life review with credibility. Many Internet users can spot a fake or purchase review, so, when your clients post what are easily identifiable as authentic reviews, it will show others how valuable you are as a lawyer.
Don’t: Forget About the Value of Verbal Reviews
While it’s true that many of your potential clients will first learn about you online, you can’t forget to manage your word-of-mouth reputation, too. When clients have a good experience with a lawyer, they will likely tell their friends or family who they know need a lawyer in the future or immediately. These verbal referrals are still as important as they were years ago.
Do: Stay on Good Terms with Former Clients
You want your clients to be satisfied, but you also want them to give you a good recommendation to garner more cases in the future. Even the smallest gestures, like a quick phone call or handwritten letter checking on how they’re doing following their cases, will show your former clients how much you care for them and give an indication of what type of lawyer you are. Just remember: small, personal gestures could pay off for years to come.