Lawyer reputation management is crucial to maintaining and growing a client base.
Just as in other industries, cultivating a positive online reputation helps your firm stand out among competitors. Today, pretty much everything is online and accessible by anyone, including potential clients. They’re reading information about your firm and assessing your capabilities based on what they see online.
- Research shows that 35 percent of all search traffic is local, and those consumers are looking at a business’ reputation and reviews before they decide to visit.
- Approximately 33 percent of all legal consumers turn to online resources first to find information on lawyers and attorneys.
In the world of legal services, lawyer reputation management isn’t just a “good-to-have”; it’s a must.
By managing your reputation, you can strengthen your online presence and positively shape how your firm comes across on the Internet, and subsequently, in person. Otherwise, reputation issues may weaken your firm’s credibility and lead to declining client acquisition rates and lack of repeat business.
Needless to say, a lawyer with a negative reputation and a stream of bad reviews is going to struggle to find new clients.
To grow your reputation, you’ll need to follow industry best practices. Here are some basics to help you get started:
Lawyer reputation management best practices
Manage your online reviews
Monitor your online reviews so that you are aware of what’s being said about your firm or your practice. If you’re not sure exactly where clients might be talking about you, this list of lawyer review sites is a good place to start.
No need to fear client reviews. According to the 2018 Online Reviews Survey, the legal industry actually has the second-highest overall star ratings. These reviews and ratings can help potential clients find you as they go about their research process.
If you do get negative feedback or a low-rated review, think of it as an opportunity for your firm to respond, communicate openly with clients, and change the online conversation for the better.
Claim your business listings
Your law firm or practice is already probably listed on a dozen or so review sites, local business directories, social media platforms, and online yellow pages.
Plant your flag on these digital properties by claiming your business listings. This allows you to actively manage the information displayed on those sites, as well as gain visibility in places where potential clients are looking for information.
Promote your firm on social media
Sometimes, claiming your business listings isn’t enough. To grow your network and boost your lawyer reputation management strategy, you have to engage with existing and potential clients on social media.
Not only is social media marketing a way to demonstrate your thought leadership in the legal world; it’s also a proven channel for connecting with clients. It may not generate as many leads as your other marketing efforts do, but promoting your practice or firm on social media goes a long way in helping you improve your digital reputation.
Encourage clients to share their feedback
One great way to build your reputation is by engaging with existing clients and asking them for their feedback.
Doing so helps foster goodwill and demonstrates that your firm or practice cares about what clients think. It can also lead to the generation of more online reviews, amplifying your online presence and boosting your lawyer reputation management on the strength of positive client experiences.
Not sure how to ask for reviews and feedback? Read our helpful guide.
Distribute client satisfaction surveys
A more specific way to ask for feedback is by creating and distributing client satisfaction surveys. These surveys enable you to gauge the client experience and understand your firm or practice’s reputation.
One advantage of client satisfaction surveys over direct review requests is that you can act quickly, spot dissatisfied clients and detractors, and resolve issues well before they become public on online review websites.
Add reviews to your lawyer website
Use your best client reviews to your advantage. Add them to your website as a kind of social proof that clients need to have trust and confidence in your practice.
You can literally copy and paste the reviews on a page on your website, but a more effective way is to use review widgets.They’re a simple web application or tool that makes it easy to bring dynamic review content from your review profiles onto your own website.
Even if you don’t personally maintain your own lawyer website, you can share the embed code of the review widget to your webmaster.