Many attorneys have no idea how many websites there are to help them increase visibility and reach local clients. In surveys conducted by the ABA, private practice marketing is one of the most difficult areas of running your own legal services business.
What is Avvo?
Avvo is one of the most popular legal marketplaces on the Web. At the very heart of Avvo is the opportunity for private parties to ask for legal advice on the phone, or online at a very low cost, or for free if done using their Q&A forum.
Avvo is also one of the most data-rich directories for lawyers, displaying about 97 percent of all practicing attorneys in the United States. Founded in 2007, Avvo has evolved into a review website with a proprietary algorithm that rates attorneys through customer-generated reviews, plus their internal rating system that is based on a proprietary algorithm and rates attorneys on a scale of zero to 10. Their rating is based on pulling data from public records, bar associations, regulatory agencies, and court records.
Combined, the Avvo score and the client-based rating provide those shopping for legal representation with a good and clear picture of the abilities and capacities of a potential lawyer. With over six million unique visitors every month, Avvo is the place to be to connect with high-value legal leads and prospective clients.
Is Avvo free for attorneys?
Yes, a basic listing on Avvo is absolutely free. Keep in mind that Avvo does offer premium marketing services at a cost, and many attorneys opt to activate a premium account, especially in highly competitive markets.
One of the favorite and most popular tools for attorneys is the participation in question-and-answer forums. If you decide to participate, know that there is no cost to you, but you remain legally responsible for the content posted and you have no ownership over it. The content you post becomes the property of Avvo.
How do I activate an attorney profile on Avvo?
Avvo profiles are really easy to activate or claim. Chances are you are already listed. When you are ready to be proactive in the management of your Avvo account, head to this page to claim your profile.
There are two basic paths. Create a profile from scratch, or locate your profile within their directory and claim it as your own. If you have passed the bar and have been practicing for at least one year, then chances are Avvo has automatically created a professional profile for you on their page, and all that is left for you to do is claim it. If for some reason you don’t have a profile yet, then you will have to follow these steps:
- Using the “claim your profile” page, go to the listing of lawyers with names similar to yours. At the bottom, you will find an option to create a new profile.
- Now you will need to fill out basic personal and professional information that includes your license to practice and states where you are a member of the bar. You will also need to indicate if you are currently under any disciplinary action.
- Once you are ready to activate your profile, you can claim it by creating a username, or by using popular login integrations like Facebook, Twitter, Google, or LinkedIn. We highly recommend you use either LinkedIn or Google.
How do I get client reviews on my Avvo profile?
Avvo does not discourage attorneys from asking clients to voice their honest opinion via an online review. Avvo allows users to post reviews about an attorney purely on their word, without verification against a CMS.
In addition to present and prior clients, attorneys may also receive reviews from Avvo community members who have received a forum answer or a free preliminary 15-minute phone consultation. If you are a member of Avvo, then consider including printed collateral that highlights your reviews, or creating a nicely framed poster with a printed copy of your Avvo profile. Additionally, you can include a link to your Avvo profile directly from your own website.
What can I do to get more high-quality leads from Avvo?
Avvo equips you to do something that you may already be doing in a more effective and impactful way. First impressions matter, and most legal clients believe that a free consultation allows them to best assess the capability and compassion of an attorney.
Set time aside to engage through phone, chat, and forum-based consultations with potential clients as they try to identify a lawyer who can best meet their legal needs. By engaging with Avvo visitors, you can gain traction and develop a strong profile that will pay off in the long run.
Should I look into Avvo premium?
This is a very personal decision that looks different for every solo practitioner or law firm. Consider where you are in terms of marketing capacity and billable hours, and only then will you have sufficient information to make an educated decision about the suitability of a premium Avvo account.
Avvo is just one of many free opportunities for exposure available to attorneys through third-party review engagement. Take a moment to take over your profile, and begin enjoying the benefits that come from being active on this platform and owning your personal brand.