It’s no secret that lawyers go to great lengths to manage their reputations. From sleek suits, a clean-cut to their won-case count, it’s elements like these that might project the attorney and overall firm as one that is successful. But nowadays, besides appearances and a physical office, law firms’ online reputation and branding are equally important.
It is an unwritten rule that first impressions do matter (both online and offline). There are two important factors to take into consideration when it comes to first impressions online:
- Since the rise of technology, the human attention span has decreased from 12 to 8 seconds (due to information overload and filtering).
- Plenty of websites are fighting for the attention of the user.
What does this mean for your firm?
Branding is a must. Think of branding as your firm’s driver towards success, power, and reputation. While your clients are in the passenger seat; branding drives the user towards a positive or a negative experience.
Tips to Manage Your Firm’s Internal Reputation
Before diving into what your firm can do for clients, it’s important to first look within your firm.
As we previously mentioned, first impressions matter (a lot). And within the online world, users are generating their perception of your firm in less than a second. Scientifically, it takes a user 50 milliseconds to form an opinion of your website. A powerful factor to enhance your firm’s brand reputation is through a strong and clear website layout that is also mobile-friendly.
According to website statistics, around 80% of users will stop engaging with your site if it’s not mobile-friendly. Almost identically, 75% of the users judge credibility based on layout and design. (So yes, users do judge a book by its cover).
Here are some best practices for you to consider:
- Provide a desktop and mobile-friendly user experience.
- Add strong and clear visuals.
- Remove unnecessary information.
- Have a quick loading time which you can check here.
A complementary addition to websites is blog posts and social media. Most users begin their legal research with Google. And since Google can include verified social profiles; social posts should also be taken into consideration.
All of your branding items should go hand-in-hand with clear language. Remember your users likely do not understand legal jargon. Improving your law firm’s written clarity is a must.
Tips to Manage Your Firm’s External Reputation
Your firm can also take advantage of many external add-ons. On one hand, using third parties like Google is a helpful link between your users and you. You can claim your law firm using Google My Business. There are plenty of do’s and don’ts behind Google My Business but one very important factor your firm shouldn’t overlook is reviews.
Reviews are so powerful that 93% of customers look at reviews before deciding on a service/product.
Specifically, 70% of users would go out of their way to work with a less conveniently located law firm if they have better reviews.
So, how can you improve reviews?
- Adding a personalized response to each one.
- Respond promptly (within a day if possible).
- Answering all reviews (positive and negative).
- Providing further outside assistance to negative reviews.
- Reaching out to satisfied clients.
Besides reviews, social proof is a powerful marketing and psychological factor impacting reputation. As humans, we are wired to follow what others do. Therefore, providing legal community feedback is important. This includes:
- User testimonials
- Client case studies
Powerful Benefits of Branding Your Firm
Branding is a powerful driver to your firm’s success. A good first impression has many benefits.
Your firm’s robust digital perception can bring you:
- Qualified leads
- A satisfied client and thus more trust and retention
- Conversions within the online sales funnel.
And most importantly…branding brings you support for your overall marketing goals.
A good branding plan for your firm includes more than just a pretty logo and slogan. Your firm’s successful branding should include an all-inclusive marketing plan of action. Besides a plan of action, consistency is also important. Google states that consistency is an important factor for your brand’s overall authenticity and verification process.
A Robust Plan Towards A Positive Reputation
Having a vision and a mission for your firm is important. But what’s even more important is the actual plan of action.
Through the plan of action, you might come across questions such as, “Is my firm’s website user-friendly on all devices?”, “How can my law firm deal with negative reviews?” Or “How do we measure our firm’s online and offline success?” The answers vary amongst firms. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Luckily, your firm’s brand identity and reputation can be tailored to fit your firm’s long-term vision of success. Let’s talk.