Marketing is mostly about what we say about ourselves. But how can your prospects know if it’s true? This is where reviews come into play. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your credibility, and credibility is essential for lawyers.
In fact, recent researches show that the majority of people are more likely to hire a lawyer who has online reviews, especially millennials — 81% of them will make the decision based on your online reputation.
Google likes it when you have reviews, whether on Google or on other platforms that point back to your website. The more reviews you get, the higher the chances of achieving top Google rankings.
Sometimes clients go through a long research process before they contact a lawyer. Other times, they just look for someone in their area, and when they see listings with numerous positive reviews, they just contact the attorney with the most positive reviews.
You may think getting online reviews is out of your control, but that is not the case. There are things you can do to get more reviews, and there are also marketing tools that an agency can use to help.
The most important thing that you shouldn’t forget is you should continuously work on getting as many reviews as possible. You won’t be able to make each of your clients leave you one, but if you manage to get one review out of every four clients you’ve worked with, you will be doing very well.
It simple: ask. Make it a policy to ask every happy client to leave you a review and the sooner, the better. In fact, you can mention it as soon as you sign your client: say you’re extremely motivated to deliver excellent service, and not only because he/she is an important client for you, but also because you would love him/her to leave you a review online.
Then remind your client about that review any time you see he’s impressed with your service, and mention it again once you’ve won the case or have settled the issue.
Finally, have your digital marketing agency set up an automated tool that will request reviews from your clients who have not done so (ask us or the agency you trust).
It’s similar to how lawyers used to ask for recommendations, only reviews are much more powerful: they will help you get clients for years to come and reach many more people.
It’s also a good idea to explain to people how and where to leave you reviews.
Google. Google reviews are extremely powerful, but it’s not that easy to leave them. For whatever reason, Google has made the process difficult, so you may need to work extra hard on getting great Google comments. (google how to do it, and send the instructions to your clients via email or text message)
Yelp. Many lawyers underestimate the importance of Yelp listings, but what most of your prospects know is that Yelp reviews can’t be “rigged”. They have created a strong algorithm that filters out many reviews, so when you have high credibility on Yelp, that’s extra validation for your services.
Avvo, or another online law directory. Avvo is currently the biggest online directory for attorneys and often comes on top of search results. Avvo reviews are usually very specific, which may play an important role in converting a prospect into a paying client.
Facebook. You may think it’s not the place to focus on if you’re a lawyer, but it is the easiest place for people to check you out, so don’t ignore it.
If you’re not even sure how to leave a Google review, you’ll find it difficult to explain that to clients. But that’s not all.
A marketing agency can’t directly ask your clients to leave you reviews, but what we can do is remind them to do it. We’re talking about a very gentle, respectful approach, of course, but you’d be surprised how effective it is: the moment you solve someone’s problem, they forget about you, so reminders work wonders.
Another thing an online marketing agency can do is claim your listings in various directories and get instant notifications anytime someone leaves a review: positive or negative. This monitoring is extremely important, because you don’t want to leave negative reviews unaddressed.
We can also design simple how-tos that help clients leave you reviews on various platforms, and offer them a variety of places where they can go and post: Google, Yelp, Avvo, Facebook and others.
No matter how hard you try, you will get negative reviews sooner or later. In fact, that’s why some lawyers are wary of claiming listings and dealing with online reputation — they know that people are much more likely to complain about something than they are to praise it.
But negative reviews are nothing to worry about. Here’s what to do about them:
Comrade is a Chicago based digital marketing company that specializes in website design and marketing for attorneys. Read more about our reputation management service for law firms
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