- 90% of customers trust recommendations
- 37% of prospective buyers are influenced by word of mouth
- 70%of customers consult user reviews for informed purchase decisions
- 10% to 25% of social media users use their social networks to make purchasing decisions
- 20% of online electronics purchased are from auction sites
- 60% of consumers who follow a brand on Facebook are looking for deals and coupons
As a Marketing Professional at a medium to large law firm or an attorney at a smaller law firm responsible for acquiring new clients, what conclusions should you draw from these statistics?
First, it is critical to establish online credibility. Ebay’s feedback system has proven that consumers making purchases online derive their confidence from the feedback provided by other online purchasers. Potential buyers read the feedback provided by others who have made purchases from this same vendor online. Successful sellers take great care to establish a high feedback score by obtaining good feedback from their online clients.
So, how does an individual lawyer or law firm establish online credibility? The process starts with obtaining references and recommendations from clients, other legal colleagues, business professionals, family and friends. LinkedIn has blazed the trail for developing a simplified work flow for obtaining recommendations online.
At Legal Bistro, we have stressed the importance of obtaining both Professional and Personal recommendations. While a customer may be most interested in reading what other clients have to say about you or your firm, some of the very best information can be supplied by your colleagues. The legal profession, much like the medical profession, is extremely complex. It is virtually impossible for any one lawyer to be an expert in all aspects of the law therefore; collaboration is essential.
We have developed a simplified work flow where lawyers may import contacts from Google+ or simply type in the email addresses fro colleagues, business professionals, clients family and friends. We provide a standard template for each type of recommendation or give you the flexibility to customize your own.
Second, you must put in the effort to enhance your online profile. Don’t be a faceless presence on the Internet. Take the time to select and post a good looking profile photo. The photo that you select for your profile should show you as warm and relaxed business professional. While clients are hiring you for your legal expertise, they often want and need a sympathetic shoulder to lean on in times of trouble.
At Legal Bistro we provide lawyers with a full suite of editing tools (i.e. similar to MS Word) so that their online profile may contain different font styles, sizes and colors. Registering lawyers may imbed photos or other images into the body of their Detailed Biography. In fact, if you already have a good looking profile on your company website, you may simply copy and paste all of the imbedded content found on your web page.
Legal Bistro requests that you write an Elevator Pitch which is presented to potential clients in your Short Profile. It’s called an “Elevator Pitch” because you need to be able to summarize the unique aspects of your service in no more time than it takes for the average elevator ride. One of the most important considerations is to keep your content fresh. As your law firm or personal area of practice evolves, it’s extremely important to reflect these changes in your elevator pitch.
Third, consumers who are searching online are often seeking a deal. At the very least, they are seeking information to compare alternatives. Said differently, online consumers are looking for lawyers to compete for their business. At Legal Bistro, consumers post their cases anonymously and do not reveal their identity until they select one or more lawyers to contact them.
Legal Bistro provides marketing professionals with the highest possible return and the greatest degree of flexibility in how they spend their firm’s marketing dollars through a Bid for Placement model. The amount of your bid determines the placement of your profile in the list of all qualified and interested lawyers that are shown to the consumer. Our presentation of lawyer profiles is very similar to the way that Google or other search engines return search results. If your profile is not on the first page of search results, the odds that a consumer will carefully review it and request contact decline significantly.
When a potential client initiates a Contact Me Request, Legal Bistro will then send to you the client contact information. Concurrently, your account is then charged for the full amount of the bid that you placed for this particular case lead. While it is still up to you to close the deal and retain the client, you or your law firm has received a fully qualified lead.