It’s time for my next post on how to market your law firm in 2020 and beyond successfully.
My last article looked at why attorneys should leverage LinkedIn before attending networking events.
While I know most lawyers believe that going to networking functions is an effective form of building referrals, the truth is that LinkedIn is often a better networking opportunity.
In this article, I’m going to look at how to improve your revenue that most attorneys continue to neglect – getting good online attorney reviews by clients.
Getting more positive reviews will lead to you converting more of your current web traffic into consultations. This means that, instead of spending more money to get more web traffic, you can increase your revenue without increasing your overhead.
Let’s get to it.
How Reviews Can Keep Overhead Costs Down For Law Firms
I’m going to tell it to you straight: Your lack of good online reviews is hurting your bottom line.
A study found that online reviews are the second-highest factor that influences consumer buying decisions. And while it may have been a study for online products, this holds true for services like ours too.
Another study found that before deciding whether to make a purchase, as many as ninety percent of people feel online reviews influence their decisions.
It’s important to understand how this impacts a law firm’s profits. So let’s use an example.
Joe & Jill Attorney: How Online Reviews Affect the Bottom Line
Let’s say that Joe Attorney has no good online reviews (or worse – only negative ones), and he spends $100 on online advertising such as pay-per-click.
He receives ten clicks at $10 a pop. Six of those people who clicked will examine his lack of reviews and, as a result, five will forego calling Joe’s office.
This means that, at best, Joe is going to get five phone calls for his $100.
Now apply the same math to Jill Attorney, who has plenty of good online reviews to back her up.
Her $100 may very well convert all ten of those clicks into phone calls, but, for argument’s sake, let’s say eight of them convert.
This means that Joe’s online reputation is forcing him to pay $20 per call ($100/5 calls) while Jill is only paying $12.50 per call ($100/8 calls).
In other words, while Jill’s online reputation is arming her with a much lower client acquisition cost, Joe has to pay $160 just to keep up.
Multiply this out over a full year, and you can see how Joe’s higher overhead costs are going to put him out of business.
The thing that I find to be absolutely insane is how the Joe Attorneys of the world deal with this problem.
Rather than getting good online reviews, they jump straight to increasing their advertising budget and never focus on their online reputation.
So, Joe’s failing to convert the clicks that he gets into phone calls, and rather than fixing the problem, he’s simply going to spend more money on more clicks. (Hint: those extra clicks probably won’t convert well either.)
As the market for legal services continues to shrink, Joe is going to find himself asking for change, just like this guy:
While Jill will find herself looking like this:
It’s simple math. If you want to raise your bottom line, you need good online reviews.
Now, let’s look at how to go about getting them.
Using a Two-Step Approach to Get Better Online Reviews
Lawyers struggle to get good reviews for a few big reasons.
First, most never actually ask their clients for the review in the first place. For obvious reasons, this is a huge problem…
Second, the ones who do ask do it in the wrong way.
Getting clients to go online and say good things about you requires a two-step process.
Before I explain that process, I need to get a big point out of the way.
Do not ask a client to leave you an online review unless you know they’re actually going to say something nice about you. As painfully simple as that sounds, you’d be surprised at how many people miss it.
Now let’s get to how to actually ask for the review.
The first step in getting good online feedback is to ask the client if they’d be willing to leave a good word for you online. So start by picking up the phone and calling them.
You’re already halfway there at this point.
If they’re willing to leave you some good online feedback, let them know that you’ll send them an email with the links to do so.
Immediately after hanging up the phone, move to step two.
You need to send them an email with links to your review sections on Google, AVVO, and Facebook.
(Just so this article doesn’t get too long, I’ll spare you on why it’s best to focus on just those three.)
When you send the email, make sure the links go straight to your review sections and not the general pages. In other words, the link to Facebook should go to the part of your page where they would leave a review, and not simply to the main section of the page.
If you follow the approach of a phone call immediately followed by the email, expect to see a much higher success rate than other firms.
Should you focus on your AVVO Rating? Here’s how lawyers should handle their AVVO Rating.
The Bottom Line to Good Online Attorney Reviews
And that’s all there is to it, it’s really that simple.
Step One: Ask if they’d be willing to put in a good word.
Step Two: If the answer is yes, immediately follow up with an email with the review links.
I can’t stress enough that you need to have the phone call immediately, followed by the email.
Not taking both steps will lead to a far lower percentage of people actually leaving reviews. This, in turn, would cost you money.
Why do you think so many attorneys neglect their online reputations? Please chime in through the comment form below.
Want to know another way to boost your online reputation? Check out our guide on how to better utilize social media for your law firm.