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Word of mouth referrals remain essential to building a successful practice. But when potential clients are looking for a lawyer these days, they're doing more than just asking their family and friends.
They're turning to the internet -- and increasingly to social media. Today's clients aren't just googling "personal injury attorneys," they're looking to learn about you on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter as well. Here are some ideas to help you reach them, turning that virtual browsing into actual business.
Capture and Keep Attention
Potential consumers have the attention span of a gnat. A very impatient, easily-distracted gnat. You know this. Just think of every time you've scrolled through your social media feeds. How much attention do you give to a status update or shared article? Probably a fraction of a second's, at best. Unless, of course, the social media message is enough to capture your interest.
To get that attention, the most important factor is having high-quality, relevant content. But even with great content, there are a few "hacks" you can apply to increase the chances that someone will pay attention to it.
The first is to make it interactive. Assessment tools, quizzes, or downloads can all be ways to get consumers to engage with your message.
Second, make it visual. Illustrate your social media messages with compelling images to increase the odds of capturing a viewer's attention.
Finally, you might want to consider video. Putting together a compelling video isn't as easy as composing a good tweet, but it could have a greater impact. YouTube is now the world's second largest search engine, the place people turn to right after Google. Your firm could be the face they see when looking for videos on legal issues.
Just because a consumer can find you on social media doesn't mean that they will trust you. Building consumer trust online should be just as important as capturing consumer attention. Review sites like Yelp can play an important role in this. A recent FindLaw survey found that attorneys with online reviews are more likely to be hired than those without. Consider review sites word of mouth recommendations for the digital age.
Put some time, too, into your LinkedIn profile, creating a detailed summary and review of your accomplishments. LinkedIn is the third most trusted website for researching attorneys, trailing just Google and Angie's List. A robust LinkedIn presence, like a strong social media presence generally, could be the difference between a client who passes you by and one who stops browsing and picks up the phone.
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