Social distancing and in-person business restrictions forced attorneys and other professionals to find alternative ways to connect with clients while still providing quality services.
This article will explore the different ways attorneys have been able to meet client expectations and maintain a high rate of client satisfaction.
Develop Your Website’s Content To Meet Client Expectations
Your website is much more than a virtual business card. Potential clients will turn to the internet for answers to their questions, legal and otherwise. This is your firm’s opportunity to establish your attorneys as the go-to experts in their areas of practice using your attorney bios, blog, videos, and podcasts.
Expand Attorney Bios
Your attorney bio is a great way to establish your expertise, experience, and trustworthiness. A potential client reading your bios should think, I want that person to help me.
It is possible to begin to establish a rapport with a potential client through your bio. Start with a professional photograph, and perhaps more than one, showing you in action in the office or court. Then get right into your practice areas, the types of clients you expect to serve, what problems you solve, and how your clients can expect to be treated.
This is the information your potential client wants to know first. Too many attorneys lead with their education – would you begin your “elevator pitch” with where you went to law school? Of course not. From a marketing perspective, always lead with how you solve the problem the potential client has.
Representative clients, cases, or matters resolved should be listed next, and not as mere bullet points. Write two or three sentences describing the problem, the challenges, and how you arrived at the solution.
Make a video describing some hot issues in your field(s) and how you’ve tackled them head-on, to show familiarity and experience in your field. Embed that video in your bio.
Last, describe your journey into the law, where you went to school, what committees you serve on or associations you are a member of, and what honors or awards you’ve received. Link externally to anything you’ve published online.
Be sure to link internally to your areas of practice page(s) so your potential client can read more. Your areas of practice page(s) should also link to your bio.
Blog At Least Once A Week
Blog topics should relate to your practice areas and be something your potential clients search for. How do you find out what potential clients are searching for? Use Google’s AutoSuggest and “People Also Ask” because these will give you the exact search terms people are typing in.
Shoot And Post Videos On Hot Legal Topics In The News
Some people prefer video over text. Provide them with that alternative. Brief 90-second videos summarizing a recent journal publication or lawsuit will be of interest and should be posted in your blog.
Optimize Your Website For The User’s Experience
First, your website has to be easy for your viewers to read and navigate. If it is not, it does not matter about the quality of your content – potential clients will simply click away in frustration. Here are a few easily actionable tips.
Your Landing Page Must Load Quickly And Show What You Do
This assures viewers that they are in the right place. If they have to click around to figure out what your practice areas are, you’ve lost them.
Place Internal Links To Aid In Navigation
Of course, your header will contain drop-down menus, but linking internally is essential for the user experience and also for ranking, so the Google bot can navigate your page.
For example, if you are a family law attorney, in a blog post about statutory Child Custody factors, you might have the opportunity to link to your Emergency Custody practice page, your Temporary Custody practice page, your How Do I Get Sole Custody blog post, and your Parental Alienation – What do I Do if My Ex is Turning My Children Against Me? blog post. See how this helps the reader?
Optimize Website For Mobile Devices
The same website does not work the same way on a desktop as it does on a mobile device – it must be optimized for mobile viewing. If it is not, the font will be too small to read, graphics too small to see, and menus too difficult to navigate. Plus, it will be slow to load.
Work with your web developer to ensure that when viewing your site on mobile devices:
- The text is easily readable;
- There is an obvious “click to call” button;
- There is an obvious “email firm” button;
- The drop-down navigation is accessible and readable
- The site loads quickly.
Ramp Up Client Communication
Use your docketing system to set up pings when client communication is due. Emailing them once a week may suffice, even if it is just to tell them there are no developments in their matter. If you get an email from a client, be sure to reply within 24 hours if not that day. Mobile devices have increased the expectation of prompt replies.
A caveat about working remotely: law firms must take careful notice of the ethical issues regarding data security and confidentiality of client data. Not only emails are implicated, but telephone calls and video meetings. If a secure server or encryption is not used, your client data will be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Ensure that sensitive material is stored and transmitted securely.
Ask For Reviews Online
Client referrals have always driven business for law firms, and even though you are working with them remotely, that has not changed. According to BrightLocal.com, 88% of viewers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Three social sites publishing reviews are Google, Facebook, and Yelp. There is software that automates the generation of reviews for your firm by emailing a client when their matter concludes and asking them about their experience. If they respond that their experience was positive, the software generates a follow-up email with a link to where they can leave a review.
Law firms will not only survive but thrive if they incorporate multi-channel marketing with the new business development initiatives available virtually.
About The Author
Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She frequently works with many legal clients including Yao Law Group, a New York City-based law specializing in O1 visas.