Lawyers are taught how to practice and apply the law, but not how to present or position themselves as leaders in their field -this is essentially building a personal brand.
Building a digital presence doesn’t come easy to many, but in this article, I’m going to break down three ways you can easily improve your online presence today:
- Create familiarity on LinkedIn
- Showcase skills through educational content
- Build trust by updating your bio
Today your future clients are finding and vetting you online.
Remember, your personal brand and online presence is essentially how others perceive you professionally and the expert services you provide.
So how are you making sure that when a potential client Googles you, they’re shown the right information, convincingly enough to sway them in your favour during their decisionmaking?
If your presence is minimal or outdated, then you’re likely to miss out on getting them as a client and see them go to your competitors.
So what can you do to avoid potential clients slipping away?
Here are three ways to boost your online presence and form a lasting impression on your
1. Create familiarity by engaging on LinkedIn
Consider this: most people prefer to reach out to a legal practitioner they’re familiar with.
We all know someone who chose to hire a relative/friend over a legal practitioner who may have been more experienced on paper – but with whom they had no personal connection.
It goes to show just how powerful familiarity is when winning new clients.
If you’re keeping active on networks where potential clients are hanging out, it’s likely that they will notice you, remember your name and turn to you when they need your services.
And there’s no better place for this than LinkedIn, which was voted the most popular social media website for lawyers in a 2019 Report by the American Bar Association.
LinkedIn is a great opportunity to be seen, engage with other legal practitioners and showcase your expertise through the sharing of valuable or thought-proviking content.
A good aproach is to stay relevant and be conversational. If you’re stuck getting started, here are 3 general things you could add as a comment:
- Sincere encouragement: ‘This was really timely – great job!’
- Follow-up question: ‘Great point. Do you think they’ll introduce the laws this year?’
- Interesting observations: ‘And Bill Gates’ father was a lawyer too – who knew?’
Regularly engaging on LinkedIn to respond and comment is a great way to demonstrate your experience and skills and ultimately attract clients without a huge investment of time and money.
2. Showcase your skills by creating helpful, educational content
Now that you’re interacting with potential clients and other legal practitioners on LinkedIn, you should garner an understanding of their interests and pain points.
Start a new conversation that you ‘own’.
Do this by publishing quality, educational content that addresses the legal and commercial concerns of your potential clients.
The content you share has the potential to be a powerful motivator for future clients who need your services. It demonstrates your skillset and ability to deliver quality, professional and successful services.
So how can you develop content if you haven’t really done it before?
Take a look at the kind of short articles and videos that law firms published in response to COVID-19.
This content always solves a problem – so try to write in a simple, practical way about real-life problems and what you see as a strategy or solution to address it.
If your content is shared and reposted, you’ll start to build up social proof, trust and authority.
For legal practitioners, educational content is invaluable. With it, potential clients won’t just know your name, they’ll be sold on the value you offer and legal skill you demonstrate.
In fact, individual legal consumers are likely to care more about you than the firm you work for. Because at the end of the day, they’re hiring you to help them, soo they want to know about the attorney representing them.
3. Build trust by updating your bio regularly
Your potential clients may know your name and may have read your articles, but they will also want to know more of what work you do.
Does your biography on LinkedIn and firm website reflect your up-to-date experience?
A well-written, personalised biography is a sure way to encourage legal consumers to have confidence in you. Your education, prior experience and interests are important parts of your credibility as a legal practitioner.
But a generic, outdated biography can do the opposite. You’re unlikely to stand out from other lawyers that your potential client may consider.
There are only two rules to writing a strong bio:
- Avoid overused phrases, and,
- Reflect your authentic strength
Overused phrases or the use of legal jargon, such as ‘a variety of complex matters’, ‘client-focused’ or ‘strategic advisor’ can sound good but mean little. Prospective clients want examples, case studies and statistics – including a description of your approach to practice.
Secondly, be authentic. There’s no use in overselling or underselling your achievements. Remain professional but show glimpses of your personality – give a reason for a future client to listen and engage with you.
The NEXL Resource Hub is packed with helpful articles for legal practitioners. You might also be interested in our guide to optimising your firm’s online presence here.
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