To stay on top in the legal field and build your presence online, you need to focus on law firm reputation management. Begin your search by stepping into your client’s shoes first. Ask “What are they searching for?” Do so in incognito mode so what you’re browsing does not influence your research. Don’t use your regular browser or it will skew your results.
That’s because Google won’t give you a bona fide idea of your law firm’s reputation. To use incognito mode, click CTRL, then click on Shift + N at the same time on your keyboard if you regularly use Windows. If you use Macbook, click on Command + Shift and N at the same time.
You can also find the incognito mode in Chrome by clicking on the three vertical dots at the top of the taskbar. Keeping things more secret will give you better results when it comes to law firm reputation management research.
Law Firm Reputation Management Searches
Look up search terms that are variants of your firm’s or colleagues’ names during law firm reputation management searches. For instance, you might use terms, such as “John Smith, Lawyer,” or the “Law Office of John Smith.”
When you do this, you might come up with local listings, such as on Mapquest, or see your listing on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Yelp.
Queries return different results. That is why you need to use variants when searching. During your research, you’ll hopefully find good reviews. If this is the case, you can begin building your brand without worrying about damage control.
However, if your search shows some negative comments or bad reviews, damage control is needed. Look at it as your opportunity to shine. Turn those unfavorable results upside down on their heads. That means you’ll need to be proactive.
Set up your site and add your name and firm’s name to directory listings. Ask clients you know, who are happy with your services, to leave reviews. Show respect and respond to negative comments. Be active in producing positive PR and content for your firm.
Ask Your Client to Tell their Story
When requesting reviews, you might ask some clients to tell a story about their experience with your firm.
Ask them to relate the legal problem they faced, how your firm solved it, and how everything turned out. Even if the reviewer does not add much detail, it still will tell people they actually went through the experience.
In these types of reviews, you might add client-identifying details – such as the name of the client and the type of court case. While not everyone will feel comfortable about giving this type of account, some clients won’t mind relating their experiences. If they agree to give their story, feature their photo to add authenticity to the review.
Add Screenshots of Public Reviews
To gain more trust for your legal website, you might add screenshots of public reviews on your platform as well. If you know a client is extremely satisfied with your legal services, reach out to them for feedback right away.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, delegate the task to a legal assistant or paralegal in your firm. Ask for a review on one website. Don’t give a client a long list of options. Otherwise, you might scare them off.
Strategies for Posting Good Reviews
A good strategy to follow is to have a client review included on a site where your ratings are weaker – one where you may already have a negative review.
Or, you might consider having the review included on a platform where you display a strong profile – one where you want to build your recognition and brand.
Use an Automatic Funnel
You might also consider using an automatic funnel for review purposes. Have a page built on your site that asks clients about their overall satisfaction with your firm. If they give a positive response, link them automatically to a review platform so they can add their comments.
On the other hand, if the feedback is less positive, add a feedback form so a client can privately give you information about their dissatisfaction.
How to Ask a Client for a Review
So, what should you say when you request a review?
Here is a sample email asking for feedback:
Thank you for allowing us to help you legally. Would you mind offering some feedback about your experience so we can share our legal services online or improve our offerings? Thanks very much for giving us the chance to serve you legally.
Not every client will agree to offer feedback even if they enjoyed the client-attorney relationship. They simply may not feel comfortable sharing their personal info. Other clients may not feel too confident about how they write while others may not have the time.
Regardless of whether or not a client leaves a review, you still should persist in asking for feedback. Real testimonials allow you to build your legal reputation and support your legal services in a more transparent and reliable way.
According to the American Bar Association, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback early, as clients are often surprised and pleased that you care about their response. Doing so strengthens and builds professional relationships and prevents any future problems with legal support and services.
Fake Testimonials Aren’t Allowed
People who give testimonials need to do so based on their own perceptions and feelings. Usually, algorithms can catch made-up testimonials. For example, Yelp’s spam filter can catch fake or spammy reviews.
Also, more than one review from the same physical location will cause a red flag to go up. That’s because, in some instances, servers read the reviewer’s IP address. If more than one review comes from that address, they will send out an alert.
Therefore, you can’t embellish your law firm’s activities. In most cases, you’ll end up getting caught. It’s better to request feedback privately. Doing so leads to more positive comments and also increases word-of-mouth leads.
Keep in mind that most states have rules that don’t allow offering something of value for a good legal review. Some states, like Missouri, require that lawyers use disclaimers when they use paid testimonials on their sites.
Turn Your Law Firm Reputation Management Over to a Digital Marketing Agency
To stay on top of your law firm’s reputation management, you need to work with a digital agency that covers reputation management for law firms. They’ll be able to keep you up-to-date on your locale’s advertising rules to make sure you comply legally.
They can also find out your current status in the legal field by checking Bing and Google search results on a regular basis. Using services, such as Google Alerts, will also keep you on top of what people may be saying.
Contact Attorney Marketing.Online about Reputation Management Services
You should make law firm reputation management a priority, as doing so will help you build your brand and credibility. Call Attorney Marketing. Online to improve your standing online. Contact the agency today at (888) 992-9529 for all the details.