As a lawyer, your digital footprint should create a positive first impression or chances are you’re toast. And, if you don’t have any “toehold” online then your toast is burnt.
These days all client and potential clients can be reached via social media and social networking channels. In fact, 98% of business decision-makers read blogs, watch peer videos, and listen to podcasts. In the legal vertical as an example, 74% of in-house counsel say they use social media in listen-mode only.
If you’re not online driving your agenda someone else is…
Today, the Internet (online, digital, social) plays a big part in how the word-of-mouth engine works. Consider:
- 81% of all potential clients are going online to check out professional services firm during the buying process
- Four out of five buyers change their minds about purchasing based solely on negative online information
- 87% of buyers say that a positive online review influences their buying decision to make a purchase
That should be no surprise if you’re paying attention to the world around you:
Today’s buyers are increasingly sophisticated. While getting a referral from a trusted friend might start the ball rolling, the [potential client] will go home and do some more research. They will probably give your website a drive-by. Maybe read a few blog posts and look to see if you’re active on their social channels. They’ll even spend a few minutes on Google to see what pops up about your firm—positive or negative. –Lee Frederiksen, Ph.D.
Because of the power of word-of-mouth, your clients have the potential to influence others to retain – or not to retain – your services. Positive and negative reviews certainly sway opinions about your law practice but so does sitting on the sidelines doing nothing. And frankly, I’m not sure what’s worse: losing a potential client to a negative review or losing that potential client because they couldn’t find any information about you online.
Don’t be conspicuous by your absence.
So, how do you avoid the toaster?
- Develop a business development plan AND execute (Cordell is a master coach).
- Decide how you want to be viewed online (present yourself accordingly).
- Demonstrate your passion and authority through your writing (blogging).
- Make sure your content narrative complements and leverages your other BD efforts.
- Know your client’s industry cold (cultivating expert-level influence takes time).
Waiting for work to come in the door is no fun. Don’t be that lawyer wishing for a positive online review. Having a well-structured online content strategy online is critical to your success.
About the Author
Kevin McKeown is empowering 8,000 lawyers to network through the Internet as LexBlog’s President. The LexBlog Network is the largest professional blog network in the world. Kevin’s career spans 27+ years. He’s a veteran of Mitsubishi International Corporation and other emerging technology/Internet companies. Kevin is also an Attorney licensed in two states and a former federal law clerk. His blog, LeadershipCloseUp, is about the collision of social networking, leadership and the business of relationships.