Reputation Management for Lawyers

reputation management for lawyersReputation management for lawyers is crucial for keeping a continual flow of new clients. What’s your online review score? Does it square with your firm’s actual services? Reputation management is about aligning your public image with your professional practice. FORWARD Lawyer Marketing has provided this service for many types of law firms: divorce lawyers, estate planners, personal injury attorneys, criminal defense lawyers, and more.

Even law firms that rely almost solely on word-of-mouth should cultivate and maintain a positive online image. Why? Simply put, you should establish a good reputation online because it persuades people to hire you. Poor reviews can severely hamper your ability to gain new clients. We work with law firms to increase their reviews on all major platforms including, Google, Yelp, Facebook, and legal review websites like Avvo, Justia, and Martindale.

Online Reputation Management Establishes Credibility

Reputation management is all about ethos. You need people to trust you. If people don’t trust you they will not hire you.

It gets complicated because people make credibility-based decisions on multiple factors. Everything from the fabric of your suit to the degrees on your wall could enter the equation. Of course, that also includes information on the internet.

For example, a potential client might get a personal recommendation to hire your firm. However, that potential client might also check your website, your online reviews, your social media accounts, and so on.

The Information About Your Law Firm Is Out There

Online information is widely and instantly available. To make matters more complicated, nearly anyone is free to offer up a public review or opinion. Law firm reputation management is the art of making every piece of information work in your favor.

Want to learn how it would work for your unique practice? Do you have a specific challenge you need help with? Feel free to contact FORWARD Lawyer Marketing for a consultation at any time. Otherwise, read on for the following topics:

  • Specific online reputation concerns
  • Why online reputation matters
  • How lawyers build an internet reputation
  • Creating a credible website
  • Facebook and other social media
  • Google My Business
  • Online interactions with clients
  • Starting fresh — online reputation from zero
  • Generating leads from good online reviews

Reputation Online Versus in Your Professional Circle

Your in-person reputation is built on several things: case results, communication style, professional conduct, and more. Online, most of the same things matter. So what’s the difference?

The major difference between an online and in-person reputation in law is the format. In person, people usually talk about you in the context of casual conversation. Online, it’s a different story.

Online reputation is basically composed of reviews people have written about your law firm. These are usually publicly posted on third-party websites. Many people pay a lot of attention to the ratings on these sites when deciding who to do business with.

This written-spoken divide seems like a minor difference, but it introduces a whole new set of variables. How does the third party mediate the discussion? What motivates people to write about you, and is it the same thing that motivates them to recommend your services to their friends?

Why Online Reputation Management Matters

Online reputation is basically the collection of all your reviews. It’s what people are writing about you.

However, it doesn’t usually pay to have that information just sitting there. Active management of reviews should help with these four key business development processes:

  • Tracking: Management gives you an overview of how you appear online.
  • Growth: Part of reputation management is encouraging good reviews.
  • Interaction: Respond to reviews whether good or bad.
  • Remediation: Negative reviews can be dealt with in various ways — more on that later.

Your reviews are a resource. Active management is how you make the most of them.

How Lawyers Build Internet Reputation

As an attorney, you have options when it comes to building a reputation online. Depending on the size, location, offline reputation, and focus of your practice, some of these options will be more profitable than others.

In short, your techniques would depend on your goals and your unique situation. FORWARD Lawyer Marketing builds and manages the online reputation of law firms in a variety of ways, including:

  • Establishing and optimizing Google My Business profiles
  • Setting up Local Services Ads
  • Creating and managing social media accounts
  • Coaching or managing responses to online reviews
  • Providing live-chat and chatbot services
  • Designing professional websites
  • Cross-publishing website articles on other outlets
  • Producing video content
  • Professional photography services
  • Remediating false or exaggerated reviews

Creating Reputation Through Web Design

Good web design goes a long way. Potential clients will probably consider the professionalism, appearance, and relevance of the content on your website when deciding whether to hire you.

Of course, you also need to give your leads the opportunity to hire you. This sounds obvious, but it is easier said than done.

Our analytics often show that people behave erratically online. They visit pages and then leave immediately. They partially fill out contact forms and then abandon them. Good web design should do more than present a positive image. It should empower you to follow up on the leads your advertising and search engine optimization efforts provide you.

You build reputation and recognition online slowly, one impression at a time. The right web design elements, combined with the right advertising campaigns, can help keep potential clients aware of your firms’ name. Feel free to contact us to learn more about this — please ask about “remarketing for reputation”.

Building Social Media Reputation

Social media is increasingly important for online reputation. In terms of professional networking, most attorneys have a relatively robust LinkedIn — but there is also usually room for improvement.

Other social media services also deserve attention, as they can help drive client attention and establish you as an authority. Specifically, your law firm’s Facebook page is probably an important and underutilized resource.

We provide comprehensive social media management for attorneys. Some of our services include:

  • Linking social media posts with other advertising campaigns
  • Branding social accounts for instant recognition
  • Managing Facebook ads and remarketing campaigns
  • Publishing video and photo content
  • Managing Facebook reviews

The end goal is to create and maintain an active Facebook page that truly represents your law firm. At the very least, this usually entails encouraging positive client reviews and keeping a posting schedule.

We also provide services that target various other social media outlets, such as Twitter and YouTube. Each of these has unique opportunities, and they can all integrate seamlessly — with the right tools and techniques.

Google My Business Reviews

Google My BusinessGoogle My Business is the most important online reputation service for any law firm that wants to generate leads from internet search results. This review score follows you across Google. It shapes public perception of your firm, determines your eligibility for Local Services Ads, pops up on Google Maps — and that’s just the star rating.

The reviews themselves are also readily available for anyone who wants to read them. If you encourage your best clients to leave positive reviews, this can be a boon. It can be a burden if people decide they want to leave a spurious account of their experience with your firm.

That’s where we come in. If people have unjustly damaged your online reputation, we can go through all of the proper channels for you to remedy the situation. Google wants their platform free of fake reviews and malicious actions, we just help speed the process along.

Interacting With Past and Potential Clients Online

Sometimes, the direct approach is the best way to deal with negative reviews. We have extensive experience communicating with people online. We know the most effective ways to get people to remove reviews that damage your online reputation.

In fact, even if your reviewer does not back down, we can still make your firm look good. Here are some of the techniques we employ:

  • Outnumbering bad reviews with good ones from other clients
  • Responding cordially to the negative review, stating why it is inappropriate or irrelevant
  • Contacting the negative reviewer directly if the review is justified and ethical guidelines allow it

Nearly all of your prospective clients online will check your firms’ reviews on Google My Business. A few negative entries should not stop you from getting the business you deserve.

Building Online Reputation From Nothing

Another challenge that we come across relatively often is the blank slate. Social media has been around for a long time now, and new accounts tend to raise suspicions if they are not set up properly.

If you’re a practicing attorney, you have a professional network. You have a reputation. FORWARD Lawyer Marketing can help you translate that into Google reviews and social media. We have a variety of techniques to help you gain followers, make connections, generate positive reviews, and establish credibility on social channels.

Generating Leads From Good Online Reviews

Once you have a solid social media and Google search foundation, it’s time to start using it to your advantage. There are almost endless opportunities to generate new business out of positive reviews and good online reputation, such as:

  • Setting more accurate expectations by realigning your brand with reviews you’ve received
  • Inviting potential clients to read your reviews before contacting your firm
  • Using goodwill on social media to spread your firm’s publications
  • Maintaining relationships with past clients by publicly responding to positive reviews
  • Include your favorite review quotes on your website
  • Repost positive reviews to social media

Contact Us Today

Reputation management for lawyers is a complex, case-specific process. FORWARD Lawyer Marketing can help. Please contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss your unique goals and law firm marketing challenges. Call us at (888) 590-9687

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Why Work with FORWARD Lawyer Marketing?

  • We are a team of seasoned professionals who understand the legal marketing space and how to drive results for your specific area of practice.
  • We shoot it to you Straight. No cheesy sales pitches or false promises. After understanding your practice and its goals, we’ll develop a custom solution tailored to your needs.
  • Our personal approach to your practice is what sets us apart from other agencies. Think of us as your own in-house marketing manager, without the salary.
  • Established in 2013, we have worked with hundreds of firms nationwide helping them establish and improve their online presence.