Are you paying attention to what is happening online with your business? You need to be! Take advantage of the opportunity to build referrals online and avoid the liability of wrong information. Paying attention to your company’s online reputation can be a game changer.
“Harris Interactive recently conducted a survey on behalf of BrandYourself.com asking 2,570 American adults about their search habits… ‘Despite the importance of having a positive presence in search engines, most U.S. adults are not accurately represented online, with no clear idea what to do about it,’ the report states.” (The Denver Post)
If you are guilty of ignoring your online reputation, pay close attention. There is liability in ignoring your online presence.
Here are 3 common, real scenarios that may be affecting your business (based on real-life examples):
A past client, Sam, refers his friend, Dave, to you, claiming that you are the best business law attorney and you helped him when he was starting out. He gives you a stellar review, but it has been a few years since he hired you. Dave pulls out his smartphone and plugs your name into a search engine.
Two listings show up – Yelp and Lawyers.com. Yelp.com had pulled your information from a database and thinks that you are a personal injury attorney. Lawyers.com has no information about you. Neither site has a photo, a bio, or any reviews. The limited information is wrong. Your website is on the 2nd page, but Dave didn’t look that far.
You just lost the referral before you knew you had it.
You have a great conversation with a prospect who needs legal services. It seems like this job might total upwards of $30K this next year and is the type of client you want.
Before he hires you, he does his own due diligence and discovers that you have a few really bad reviews on Yelp, Avvo, and Google Reviews and only one good review from a fellow peer, not a past client. Your star rating is only 1-2 on these sites.
He decides that he can’t afford to take a chance on you, and you lose the sale.
Your firm has been 100% referral-based since you started 25 years ago. 5 years ago, your firm had a change in named partners (the firm name changed). In the last 2 years, your referrals are drying up.
You have dabbled in LinkedIn and claimed your Avvo profile, but haven’t been active online. In a quick online assessment there are 3 pages of results for your name (it’s really you), but the contact information is wrong on almost every site listing. And almost all the listings include the old firm’s name with the previous partner’s name.
Your prospects can’t find you even though they are trying!
The bottom line is, if there is wrong information about you online, you are losing business.
In the upcoming blog post series, we will address five steps to help you clean up your online reputation. As an attorney, there is a greater responsibility to have correct information about yourself online. It can be overwhelming, but it is not difficult!