As a lawyer, you understand how important someone’s reputation is in a courtroom. If someone is viewed in a generally negative light, it can be difficult for them to succeed, even if they aren’t at fault for whatever they are appearing in court for or what action they are seeking. The same can be said for your own business online. Even if you do great work, if you have a bad reputation, it can be difficult for you to find new clients and grow your business.
An online reputation is created through several different means. Things like the quality of your website, the number of reviews you have, the type of content you post on social media, and the frequency in which you promote your business all play a role in how your law firm is received by potential clients.
Managing your reputation is an important part of digital marketing, and it’s something that law firms in particular can benefit from. In this article, we’ll discuss tips for how you can improve your online reputation with help from the best reputation management platform for law firms.
Why Does Your Reputation Online Matter?
The simple truth is that no one wants to hire a bad lawyer. Lawyers are meant to represent people during difficult times, whether that’s in a family matter, a criminal case, or even a civil suit. If you have a negative online reputation, then someone who is not familiar with your business and comes across it online isn’t likely to give you a call.
Maintaining a positive online reputation is an important part of making sure that you are doing all you can to get new client leads and grow your business. When you have a negative reputation or even a lack of a reputation, you’ll end up losing potential clients to your competitors in the local area. Therefore, you need to have a strategy in place in order to improve your reputation and garner goodwill.
Why Are Reviews Important?
People tend to trust the opinions of others, even strangers. That’s why we usually go and look at product reviews before buying something or ask for a referral before selecting a contractor. When other people think positively about a business, item, or an individual, we believe that opinion and give them our business.
One of the most common ways that people find opinions online is through reviews and star ratings. An online review is a powerful marketing tool that helps you improve your reputation and find new business. If you don’t have reviews or have negative reviews, it can turn people away from your business.
How to Build a 5-Star Reputation
Building a 5-star reputation is an essential part of running a successful law firm. You need your potential clients to trust you even before they work with you. They want to hire a great firm that the community respects and trusts with their sensitive information or important cases. That’s why following these steps to build a positive reputation through reviews is the key to online reputation management.
Gather Positive Reviews
The first tip is to gather positive reviews. However, this is easier said than done. Most people leave reviews when they are experiencing heightened emotions, either positive or negative. The trick is to capture people’s attention when they are feeling most positive about your business and ask them to leave a review then. The more positive reviews you have, the higher your star rating will be, and the more business you will get.
Keep Your Requests Brief
When asking someone to fill out a review, you should make sure that your requests are easy and brief. Don’t send someone a long email, have them click through multiple links in order to find the form, or ask a bunch of irrelevant questions. Instead, give a short and simple request, send them directly to the reviews page, and only ask for a star rating and a comment. You can get into more details with testimonials after discussions with clients.
Focus on Quality and Quantity
Having both a large number of positive reviews and making sure they are high quality are equally important. If someone leaves a review with just a sentence like “this business did a good job”, it doesn’t really give much detail to a reader, and can even look unprofessional or planted. Instead, try to get details where the client explains who they worked with, what they did, and what the outcome was.
Share Customer Feedback Everywhere
Customer feedback and reviews are great marketing materials, so they should be used everywhere. If you just leave a review on Google, you are missing out on opportunities. Reshare your positive reviews across your social media platforms, on the front page of your website, in a testimonial section, on other online directories, and even on your printed materials. This helps spread the word of your success to other potential clients.
Don’t Get Defensive
The reality is that at times you will receive negative reviews. No law firm has 100% customer satisfaction, even if that is through no fault of your own. If you do get a back review, avoid the automatic reaction of getting defensive. Instead, read the review carefully and determine if the feedback is just an angry rant, or if there is valuable information there that you can use to improve the business going forward.
Respond to All Reviews
It’s important to respond to your reviews, not just collect them. When you respond to a review, you can show potential clients that you care about their feedback and are actively looking to improve your business. It’s also important to respond to all reviews, even negative ones. Give a quick thank you to clients that leave a positive review, leave a sincere apology on a negative review, and ask for the reviewer to reach out for further assistance.
Use the Support of a Reputation Management Platform
Trying to manage all of your reviews and your online reputation is difficult, especially if you collect reviews from multiple sources. Having the support of an online tool for reputation management can make a difference between having a lot of positive reviews or only having a few reviews of varying quality. The best reputation management platform for law firms is Surefire Local’s marketing platform.
How Surefire Local Can Help You Get More 5-Star Reviews
The Surefire Local platform can help your law firm get a 5-star reputation in many ways. It connects you with the top review platforms, like Google Business Profile, Facebook, and Yelp, so you can see all of your online reviews in one place as a timeline view. It also eliminates the time wasted from going platform to platform checking to see if you have a new review and responding to any that have already been posted, since they are all located in one place.
Using Surefire Local, you can send review requests to happy clients via text message or email at the right moments to capture their attention. In addition, you can send reminder emails or text messages to clients who have already received a request to write a review but haven’t done so yet. You can also write and post responses to reviews from within the Surefire Local marketing platform without needing to go to different platforms.
Surefire Local allows you to measure brand sentiment with a word-cloud graph that shows you the most frequently used words from clients in their reviews. You’ll be able to optimize your brand presence across all review sites and on more than 80 local business directories by managing the information found about your business, the photos you have displayed, any special offers you’re running, and more from the Surefire Local marketing platform.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo
Surefire Local is a business intelligence marketing software that your law firm can get at a fraction of the cost that other tools or agencies charge. With Surefire Local, you can manage all of the most important online marketing activities for your firm within one platform. There’s no better online reputation management platform for your law firm, and Surefire Local ensures that your online presence grows positively.
If you are interested in learning more about Surefire Local and how it can help your law firm take control of reputation management, then sign up for a demo today and see all of the ways in which Surefire Local can help you today.