08/11/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Law Firm Marketing Dude // Kevin Quinlan
It’s the big, bad creature that all lawyers and law firms fear: “The Lawyer Shopping Monster.” It’s true; this elusive creature takes the form of prospective clients who tirelessly search the Web for an attorney to represent them and their potential case. The “Lawyer Shopping Monster” just doesn’t stop at your law firm website, it stops at many legal websites and conducts a few interviews, before choosing who its lucky victim will be.
While “The Lawyer Shopping Monster” is purely fictional, and a way to poke fun; it is a real problem that plagues law firms and their marketing strategies. The Internet has helped create an environment that makes it easy for prospects who aren’t sure about which lawyer they want to hire, to continue to look around, which why it’s called “Lawyer Shopping.”
People are no longer thumbing through the Yellow Pages, picking out the first lawyer that they see; prospective clients are hitting the Internet, searching for legal representation on Google, Yahoo and Bing for qualified attorneys. These “lawyer shoppers” are not just visiting one law firm website, they are visiting many law firm websites and comparing the firms to one another. While many studies show that the majority of people find lawyers by asking friends and family for recommendations, people are also beginning to do their own research based on theses recommendations.
One the of most commonly asked questions I receive is: “How do I eliminate lawyer shopping, when prospective clients visit my legal website?”
People don’t look at lawyer websites just to do some “window shopping,” like they would at a retailer’s website; these people are driven by need and are looking for help to determine if they have a legitimate claim and then file a lawsuit. But the hard part is getting them stay on your page, pickup the phone, speak with you and hire you as their attorney. Here are some tips to help your law firm eliminate lawyer shopping:
• Building Relationships & Trust: Business and marketing has always been about building relationships with your clients, and creating trust between the attorney and their current and future clients. This can be achieved by testimonials or through blogging, where you offer your advice and showcase your expertise in your field of practice. The public can be cynical about lawyers, its up to your law firm to instill that sense of trust and transparency into your law firm’s image. Social media is also a good tool to help build relationships and security in a forum where your prospective clients feel comfortable.
• Your Law Firm Website Can be Found, But so Can Everyone Else’s: Its been proven that the vast majority of people who search the web don’t go past the first page within the search results. They key is getting your website on that first page, and creating a legal website that stands out from the rest. Strong SEO, blogging, interesting videos and testimonials, along with helpful information can help you set your law firm apart from the competition.
• Engage the Prospective Clients: Okay, you got the prospective client on your website, now what? You have got to keep them there and get them to want to call you instead of any other law firm Your website has to have something to set you apart from the crowd; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 556,790 lawyers in the United States in 2009, making that quite the crowd.
• Accessibility: Being easily found on your potential clients favorite social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn will all the necessary contact information can accelerate a potential client’s response. By having your law firm presence on social media sites, your offer an outlet for people to contact you without the help of a search engine. The helpful contact information and legal knowledge your law firm has on their page, including the direct link to your legal website can help eliminate the urge to check out other lawyers.
At CEPAC Inc., we can help to eliminate lawyer shopping by implementing an array of services including custom website design for attorneys, social media strategies and lawyer newsroom/blog solutions that include the creation of relevant content. If you are ready to increase leads for your firm then contact CEPAC today for a free consultation on how to gain visibility online. Call or visit www.cepac.com to take your law firm to the next level.