How Lawyers Can Use Social Media To Help Verify Their Credentials To Potential Clients

by Eria

The way prospects now use the Internet and social media to verify the credentials of lawyers before they select them is becoming a bit of a problem for lawyers that don’t have a good web presence or good social media profiles.

Typical mistakes here include the poor implementation of search engine optimisation best practice such as not putting key words into their profiles or websites and not targeting specific niches effectively.

In a previous post, I talked about the need for lawyers to understand how prospects make decisions before they do any marketing, and how social media fits into this decision-making process.

A recent report highlighted the fact that in-house councels are increasingly using social media to search for lawyers via social media channels such as LinkedIn.

The problem lawyers face is that they will increasingle be ignored or missed during the search process, and those lawyers that use the Internet and social media channels available more effectively will be the ones that get noticed.

The worst response in this scenario is to do nothing and hope that doing more networking or getting more referrals will be enough. This is unlikely to help most lawyers as only a few will be able to thrive doing this.

So here are a few tips for lawyers that want to get noticed and help verify their credentials using social media?

  1. First of all, think about the authority you want to build within the minds of prospects in your target niche. What specialism do you have, what problems does your specialism solve and what information can you provide to help educate people about how they can solve their problems?
  2. Next, you need to make sure your online presence is created with good search engine optimisation best practices. Think about the key words you use and the specific niche or area you are targeting. This goes for your websites, online legal directory entries and social media profiles.
  3. Think about how to connect with prospects via social media. Do you create or participate in discussion groups such as those on LinkedIn? Is your Twitter handle directing followers to content you know they are looking for (and yes, you have to have done the research beforehand to find out what is going on in your potential prospects’ minds)?
  4. You need to define and map out key stages of your sales funnel, and then make sure your social media communications help you move prospects from one stage to the next in your sales funnel. This is totally alien territory for many lawyers that hate selling or don’t want to be seen as selling. But everything you do now sells your specialism – you might as well be proactive about determining the direction you take prospects.
  5. What thought leadership information do you provide that discusses the problems your specialism solves and what readers need to do to eliminate or reduce these problems? Do you have a mixture of videos, articles, special reports, webinars, seminars etc. All this helps demonstrate and verify your credentials to potential clients, and makes current clients happier as you appear to be a good choice.

Very few lawyers like change but the impact of, for example, The Legal Services Act, means that the way lawyers compete for mindshare, attract attention and convert that attention into meetings means all lawyers have to consider how to use social media more effectively.

This is not simply a case of putting a basic profile on LinkedIn or creating a twitter handle (and hardly using it) and hoping this is enough.

You have to think about the authority you are trying to create, the trust you are hoping to build, and use social media as a channel to verify your specialism and the credentials you have.

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