Tuesday, February 24, 2009

10 Tips for Other Attorneys to Market Themselves Better Online

I am always taken aback when I come across an attorney who is not a part of the online marketing game. A huge portion of my law firm’s clients come from online outreach. To help some of my fellow attorneys boost their business and their name brand awareness, I have put together my top 10 tips for other attorneys to help market themselves online.

1) Create an Avvo.com profile

Avvo is a Web 2.0 property completely dedicated to lawyers, law advice, and lawyer reviews. This is a great place to strut your stuff and show others how much you know about the law. Answer questions, review other’s advice, and make a free profile for yourself and your practice.

2) Maintain a blog

Writing—and most importantly, maintaining—a blog is a great way to both give helpful advice and generate high quality customer opportunities. You can either put an actual blog on your site, or sign up for a free blog service such as Blogger.com. However, once you start the blog, it is important to make sure you do not forget it and post at least one entry every week.

3) Create social community profiles

Having a profile on social communities such as MySpace, FaceBook, or LinkedIn will help you connect with both other lawyers and potential clients. Keep the page professional though, and be sure to have all of your contact and business information on the pages.

4) Answer questions on advice sites

Becoming a notable legal expert is just a click away. By answering questions of potential clients looking for guidance, you are becoming regarded as a trustworthy expert in your field. There are tons of advice sites out there, but I would suggest starting off with Yahoo Answers, LawGuru.com, and Avvo’s advice section.

5) Send out e-newsletters

Sending out an e-newsletter is a great way to let clients, potential clients, and business colleagues know what you are currently offering. It is also a great way to monitor what people find the most intriguing. By adding a few tracking parameters to any hyperlink in your email, you will know which articles are the real attention grabbers.

6) Network, network, network

There are plenty of great ways to network with other professionals to get the word out about your services. One very helpful and easy way to network is to join your local chamber of commerce. If you do not have time for an extra monthly meeting, there are always more networking events available, do not pass too many of them up! When you do go to a networking event, bring a pocketful of business cards, a well-practiced pitch, and a friendly smile.

7) Google yourself

Do you ever "Google" a person or a business to see what kind of life or business they run? Well, do not hesitate to think others will do the same with your name and business. Make a habit of routinely "googling" yourself and your business, and see what comes up.

8) Refresh your website

In order to get online visitors to become clients, your site needs to be fresh and modern. If your site design is more then two years old, then you should probably consider having it redesigned. Web design is constantly evolving and you want to make sure your site’s design stays current. Additionally, you will also want to keep your site updated with blog entries, news, pictures, advice, etc. so that users know you are making a strong effort to be active online.

9) Stay in touch with clients

Keeping in touch with former clients will always benefit you in the future. Always collect your clients full contact information (including their e-mail address) so that this will be possible later down the road. You can use a list of client e-mails to send out an occasional "new tips" article, or news about your firm. Even if they do not need your services at that time, they may know some one else who does.

10) Regular press releases

Using free press release sites online to get the news out on your firm and your lawful opinions is a great marketing tactic. Create several "articles" of advice, news, and helpful hints to post on the sites later on. Press release sites always have an about section for your firm and website link. Ideally, you should try to draft and release at least one press release per month.

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