If I tell you how great I am at something, you should naturally be very skeptical. If a stranger tells you about how good I am at something, you might be slightly less skeptical. If someone you know, whose opinion you trust, tells you–you’re likely to be a lot less skeptical.
And yet, when we look around the web, it seems that many lawyers have this inverted.
“I have 35 years of experience.”
“I have successfully litigated over 100 trials.”
“I have served as the President of my State Bar association.”
“I am dedicated, passionate, and will fight hard for you.”
“She got me the money I deserved.”
“She got me an acquittal.”
“She helped me through a very difficult experience.”
A little better, right?
My friend, she’s good
“Gyi, remember how scared I was when I was arrested? She was my lawyer. I have complete faith in her.”
“Gyi, you know my brother recently dealt with a situation like this. He hired her. He was very happy with the result.”
“Gyi, we’ve known each other for a long time and if I was ever in your situation, she’s the one that I would hire.”
Which one would you hire?
A perfect world
In a perfect world, all you have to do is to provide exemplary client service and all of your happy clients would go out and sing your praises. They would email their friends about the great job you did. They’d go online and leave positive reviews and ratings. They’d thank you on Facebook.
The real world
In the real world, most of your clients won’t even know how to sing your praises (aside from perhaps telling friends who inquire). They won’t know that they can leave a testimonial or a review online. In the real world, many people who require your services won’t be comfortable talking about the circumstances with which you helped them.
But in the real world, you also have to play a role in the communication of the value of your services. You have to build, nurture, and solidify relationships. You have to help happy clients understand how they can appropriately sing your praises, offline and online. You have to marshal the evidence of your knowledge, skill, and experience without saying that you’re knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced.
Do it ethically. Do it honestly. But do it.