Referrals still drive growth for law firms across the country, but there’s an element to the process that might not be on your radar – online marketing.

Online reviews matter

Across almost all industries, 86 percent of customers read online reviews before they patronize a business. And it can get personal – nearly half of adults in the US have Googled a person before doing business with them. Of those, 43 percent found something to negatively influence their decision, while 56 percent found something to make them more interested in doing business.

The value of online legal profiles

Now that online image has become a crucial component of business decisions, attorneys are focusing more and more on their social media and legal profiles. They craft professional legal profiles that highlight skills and experience, and they put those profiles on their firm’s websites as well as on sites like Avvo and Lawyers.com. That way, when an interested client looks up reviews about them, that client also sees content that the attorneys have created.

Lawyer advertising has been legal since 1977, but the rise of the Internet has made it essential. As an attorney, you are now faced with the choice of crafting your online presence or falling behind the times. Today’s clients need to know that you are plugged in and current with what’s happening in your field.

Your website as a starting point

Even when someone personally recommends your services, potential clients will probably go to your website to learn more. It’s in your best interest and theirs to make sure that they can find the information that they need. Your polished website should include:

  • Current and developing practice areas
  • Significant verdicts and decisions
  • Any published professional work
  • Curated client reviews

If the idea of asking for client reviews makes you uncomfortable, Avvo has a published guide on how to do it. You can also link to reviews on your legal profiles, but it’s also a good idea to host some on your website.

Manage your online profiles

You probably already have profiles, whether or not you created them yourself, on sites like Avvo and Lawyers.com.  Your firm also probably has a profile on Google My Business. These sites have become online communities where clients can share their experiences and view the reviews, practice areas, and experience levels of different lawyers.

If your profile has formed without your input, clients can still see what others have to say about you, but you have no hand in the process. Fortunately, these sites make it easy for you to take control of the kind of information that the public can view about you.

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