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Solicitors Reviews is a Highly Searched Term for Clients Needing a Solicitor

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Why Many of Your Prospective Clients That Need a Solicitor Are Searching Google for the Term “Solicitors Reviews”

They are hot, pre-qualified, high converting prospective clients searching for the services of a trusted firm of solicitors

The search term solicitors reviews is a highly searched term in Google for prospective clients that need a solicitor today.

The stark reality is that consumers don’t search for a term like solicitors reviews because they have some intrinsic need to read about solicitors reviews. They Google solicitors reviews because they want to know which firm of solicitors is the most trusted that they can do business with.

In November 2012, during some keyword research I noted that there were 2900 searches for solicitors reviews every month. In a blog post that I wrote at the time, I said that this was just the beginning and to expect the search volume to increase over time.

What I wasn’t expecting however, is a 24 percent increase in search volume for this keyword phrase in just 6 short months.

It’s also pertinent to note that there are some 1600 searches every month for the website Solicitors From Hell.

Again, consumers don’t go out of their way to search such information out of some twisted sense of delight in reading highly negative and occasionally highly derogatory commentary of people’s experience with certain law firms.

The reason that consumers seek out this type of information is because they are researching law firm to find out which firm of solicitors is the most trusted and which are the firms to avoid.

Do you know what your prospective clients are finding about your law firm when they Google you online? And do you have a strategy in place for monitoring your reputation or marketing your firm with only your best client testimonials so you can attract more new business?

If not, you are leaving your most valuable online asset, your online reputation,  to chance.

And the odds are firmly stacked against you because case study after case study reveals that the most motivated people to leave reviews online are those that have an axe to grind.

You can be sure of one thing. Your prospective clients are searching Google for solicitors reviews on your firm.

The question is what are your plans for managing and monitoring this latest online development that could negatively impact your bottom line if your reputation were to go south, and that’s if it hasn’t already done so?

You are just one review away from a bad reputation online.

Contact us today, for some ideas and strategies that can turn this potential negative into a positive for your practice, so  instead of online solicitors reviews being a constant threat, utilize the untapped potential to leverage your 5 star reputation online to attract more new clients and revenue.


Marketing Tips: Real Estate Leads Generation for Realtors

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How to Get Hot, Pre-Qualified, High Converting Buyer Leads in the Real Estate Market

A Lead Conversion Strategy & System that Puts Your Lead Generation
& Marketing Virtually on Autopilot

The key to having a successful real estate leads generation strategy and system is to ensure that all your lead gen landing pages do one thing well and that is to get your potential leads to give up their name and email address – and if possible, a mobile number, although this can be left as an optional field.

This means that your landing pages should have only one guiding purpose, and all other distractions that may get your lead to click away from you web page, should be absent. Any and all content on the page should be limited to only such messages as to create a visual benefit in the mind of your lead that moves them towards the ultimate goal of getting them to give up their contact information by opting in their contact information on your landing page.

A successful real estate lead generation system and strategy that is built on this firm foundation that begins with a high converting page, makes all other marketing efforts that you do to pull in hot, pre-qualified realtor leads that contact you, all the more easy.

Watch the video above for a full work through on one very successful high converting real estate leads generation system.


The New Reputation Economy, How Good Is Your Company’s Reputation Online?

What is a Reputation Economy? The concept of Reputation Economy is still very new. It’s inception came about as a direct result of the rise in importance of social media. It’s the idea that a new economy is evolving to replace in importance the old ways of measuring a person or a business’s value, trust, credibility, reputation, risk, etc, which has traditionally been measured by such things as CVs, employee reference, personal reference, credit ratings and so forth.

In the new reputation economy, according to a survey released by Microsoft, 80% of HR professionals use online reputation information as part of their hiring process. So now more than ever before what you do, what you say and what others say about you is critically important. And as the internet grows inextricably entwined with our everyday lives, once you create an online presence, you will have to maintain it throughout the course of your life.

The reputation economy is the new online social order where brands are built based on how they are perceived online and how well they deliver on their promise offline. Like companies, professionals too are being judged, rated, and commented on, and a reputation profile is emerging. It is the new personal data file, the only difference being that most of this information is publicly available or freely exchanged between companies and or organisations.

Here’s what Wired.co.uk said about the new Reputation Economy:

Imagine a world where banks take into account your online reputation alongside traditional credit ratings to determine your loan; where headhunters hire you based on the expertise you’ve demonstrated on online forums such as Quora; where your status from renting a house through Airbnb helps you become a trusted car renter on WhipCar; where your feedback on eBay can be used to get a head-start selling on Etsy; where traditional business cards are replaced by profiles of your digital trustworthiness, updated in real-time. Where reputation data becomes the window into how we behave, what motivates us, how our peers view us and ultimately whether we can or can’t be trusted.

Welcome to the reputation economy, where your online history becomes more powerful than your credit history.

The value of reputation is not a new concept to the online world: think star ratings on Amazon, PowerSellers on eBay or reputation levels on games such as World of Warcraft. The difference today is our ability to capture data from across an array of digital services. With every trade we make, comment we leave, person we “friend”, spammer we flag or badge we earn, we leave a trail of how well we can or can’t be trusted.

An aggregated online reputation having a real-world value holds enormous potential for sectors where trust is fractured: banking; e-commerce, where value is exponentially increased by knowing who someone really is; peer-to-peer marketplaces, where a high degree of trust is required between strangers; and where a traditional approach based on disjointed information sources is currently inefficient, such as recruiting. (read the full story).

The power and influence of online reputation to make or break business brands, or to elevate or tarnish personal reputation is growing at breakneck speed. Google gave a final big push by converting all local business listings to Google Plus with Zagat ratings and reviews and where people are connected people in social circles, so now when your friends and connections like, recommend or comment online, you know about it.

With everything that happens online leaving a clear measurable footprint, it’s a simple process today for that information to be collated and extrapolated to form a bigger picture of you or your business.

“I believe reputation capital will become a cornerstone of the 21st-century economy, more powerful than our credit histories,” says Sydney-based author and collaboration consultant Rachel Botsman.

Her book What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption provided a vivid demonstration of why trust is vital in a world where social lending, crowd financing, car-sharing and couch-surfing are fast becoming accepted norms. Every day billions of dollars ride on the decisions we make about firms and people, whether it is job recruitment, marketing campaigns, flat-renting, swap exchanges and so on. In making those judgement calls, we place great faith in our own intuitions and those of our immediate social circles. We rely, in other words, on a random accumulation of localised knowledge about people, their backgrounds and various behavioural signals. What if we could pool all those circles of wisdom together and extract a common currency for evaluating everyone’s levels of expertise, social resonance and, above all, such critical attributes as trustworthiness? Well, that race is now on.

Many see measurement of reputation – trust quotients, if you like – as the next big frontier on the web. Just as Google unleashed the search potential of the internet with its PageRank analysis that assigned a numerical weighting to every nugget of information, so a new breed of reputation brokers is starting to define web 3.0 with the equivalent of ‘PeopleRank’ scores. You might think of these as Yelp ratings for people, creating a hierarchy of individuals and companies based on reputation scores.(CNBC Business “Welcome To The Reputation Econcomy Jan/Feb 2012).

With the internet being as crowded as it is, often the only thing that differentiates or stands between you and your competition is your online reputation i.e what is said about you. We have got use to products being rated and reviewed by customers, now it is the turn of people and businesses that are being rated and reviewed and a reputation score applied based on online social indicators.

With that said, do you know your online reputation?

Graham Cardona is a local internet marketing strategist and an expert online reputation marketing consultant. If you want to know what your company’s current online reputation score is then simply go to our local reputation report page and enter your local business telephone number as found in Google. If you would like specific help and advice on how reputation marketing can help your business to stand out as the leading authority for the product or services you provide then please do not hesitate to contact us or go to our reputation marketing services page.

If you enjoyed reading this article on “The New Reputation Economy, Has Does Your Company’s Reputation Stand?” then please click on the Share button below, and Like the page so that others may find this resource online – thank you.

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Protect Your Law Firm From ABS Competition & Discover How To Attract & Convert More Business

Law Firm Need To Arm Themselves To Protect Against ABS CompetitionSMB law firms up and down the country are naturally concerned about the implications of the Legal Services Act 2007 on increased competition in the legal sector from Alternative Business Structures (ABS), and how they can protect, compete and retain market share.

As a solicitor of 15 years and now online marketing strategist I would like to share with you some important insights on what you can do to protect your business from increased competition entering the legal market, how to attract and convert more clients and thereby grow your business even in the most challenging market conditions.

To do this I need to explain the mindset and decision-making process of consumers of legal services today and then explain why law firms have a clear advantage in winning new business by focusing on their strengths and legal specialism and then marketing that expertise with a 5-Star reputation.

Increasing Competition From Alternative Business Structures (ABSs)

We’ve all read the latest moves by the Co-op on DIY divorce kits and more, holiday specialist Saga on wills, estate planning, probate and conveyancing services. Rocket Lawyer of the US on online documents for individuals and small businesses at a fixed-fee on family law, wills, probate, property issues, employment and corporate law. And lets not forget the barrister’s Barco scheme that will allow Barco to hold client money.

These are just some of the more recent competitors to legal work, once the preserve of law firms.

So what are solicitors to do in the face of tougher and probably better financed competition?

Before I got started offering my marketing expertise to the legal profession I did a lot of work in other industries that face much more aggressive competitive than law firm, and it is here that I draw much of my conclusions and recommendations on the way forward for law firms.

Is There Sufficient Demand For Legal Services?

The first question is whether there’s strong demand for legal services.

It is not in dispute that everyday consumers are looking for legal services. It is also not in dispute that the likes of the Co-op and Saga have an advantage in that they have a captive audience to offer products and services that would otherwise have been dealt with my law firms.

However, you need to bear in mind that not all of Saga or Co-op customers for example, will want to choose to go with these companies. Many more sophisticated consumers will undertake their own due diligence inquiries before deciding who to instruct to handle, for example, their employment claim, their accident claim, or perhaps the conveyance on the sale of their property.

This is where you need to properly understand the decision making process of prospective client of legal services and how they go about choosing a legal provider.

When you understand what it is that your prospective clients are looking for before making a decision and you are able to provide that information and the reassurance that clients look for when buying or choosing services online, you will gain the competitive advantage to win more business and get your phone ringing.

So while there are prospective clients looking for your services every day, the question is does your phone ring or your competitors’?

Consumer Behaviour In Purchasing Products and Services

I have learned a lot about consumer behaviour studying internet marketing.

There is a lot to be learned about consumer behaviour just from studying the keywords that they use. I’m not proposing however to cover keyword research here, I just want to touch on general patterns of consumer behaviour when looking for goods and services and the general trend online, with specific reference to Google and what Google is trying to achieve.

I’m also not going to talk about social media because that is not where immediate buyers of goods and services are to be found.

In my opinion too many SMB law firms are overly concerned and focused on social media before they’ve even developed a strong brand and reputation of their own. Also, let’s not forget that consumers don’t use social media to look for goods and services. If you want a plumber to fix a leaky toilet valve, you’re not going to find them on social media sites.

But that is not to say that social media doesn’t have an important role to play in marketing. Naturally, I can see the attraction of using social media to syndicate your message across the web and a potentially large audience. However, have clarity in what you want to achieve from social media and don’t just jump on the social media band wagon simply because that’s the biggest shinny marketing object that everybody else is doing.

Whatever you do, have a very specific and targeted strategy and don’t use it like I see many companies do, which is to spam consumers with messages while they are in a “socializing mindset”.

Your Online Reputation Follows Your Law Firm’s Listing Everywhere

This is a very important point for you to understand if you are doing any kind of marketing today.

When Google rolled out Google + local for business, it made these pages fully indexed in the search engine, which means that they now appear everywhere – in organic search, in PPC, in Google Maps and Google Plus, in website rankings and in local directories. Which also means that your company’s reputation, reviews and client rating are exposed for the whole world to see, because they follow your company’s online listing everywhere.

So if you have a bad reputation your phone is not going to ring no matter from where your potential customers find you online, whether its through social media or on the the first page of Google. Which means that if you are spending a lot of money on getting high rankings in Google or on a comprehensive social media strategy for branding and engagement, if your prospective clients are seeing that you have a bad reputation, do you think your phone will ring?

Think about it from your own perspective as a buyer of goods and services online.

A good example of this is when you book to eat at a new restaurant. Initially you may not know anything about that restaurant except that perhaps its been recommended, or you simply fancy trying it out.

The first thing most people do is search online to find out more. The Google search the name of the restaurant and maybe the location, which incidentally is what many potential clients do when looking for a solicitor.

You will probably be very familiar with restaurant Zagat ratings and reviews. And if you enjoy eating out, you will no doubt be very aware of the power of social proof i.e. what others say online, in influencing buying behaviour.

As from the end of May 2012, 80 million local businesses had their Google Places listings switched over to Google + and with it some very important changes, such as the ability for customers to leave Zagat ratings and reviews of all local businesses, which exposes a business’s online reputation for the whole world to see. A businesses reputation online can be either bad, good, a mixture of good and bad, no reputation, or an excellent 5 star reputation.

If local businesses are not properly monitoring and managing their online presence on a regular basis, they will learn that it just takes one unhappy customer to leave a bad review and bad reputation online – “you are only one customer away from a bad reputation online”.

The Rise In Importance of Local Search To Law Firm Marketing

There’s also another important online development to note. Given a choice between 2 companies, one a national company with no geographical proximity to the consumer and another a locally based company, all things being equal, consumers generally prefer to deal with the local business rather than a disconnected large national company.  I explain why this is below.

We can see this happening every day.

People research online for goods and services but buying habits show that they have a much stronger inclination to buy locally once they know what it is they want.

This is also a particularly strong pattern of behaviour that has emerged from various studies of mobile phone use. Many studies have shown, including a Google study, that mobile phone usage is predominately used as a tool by consumers to find local goods and services.  The Law Society’s recent survey (2012) found that 78% of firms drew at least half of their clients from their own region i.e. locally based.

We also know that local search is growing in importance simply by studying what changes Google is implementing.

Google is constantly studying consumer buying behaviour and making changes to how it serves its online search results.

Ultimately, Google’s goal is to improve a user’s online experience. So by studying what Google is doing you gain enormous insight into consumer buying habits.

The Google Experience Tells Us A Lot About Web Users’ Behaviour

The main focus in everything that Google does is to provide the web user with the best experience possible, which it does by serving search results that it believes the consumer is looking for.

By providing the best user experience and the most relevant information quickly, Google seeks to attract more users to use its search engine, which means more traffic and more advertising revenues. Over the years Google has been fine-tuning the process through various algorithm changes.

This screen shot shows search results for solicitorWith this is mind when a consumer searches for goods and services, if it is something that can be provided locally Google will now serve local results above all else (excepting PPC).

You see this when you type in general phrases such as solicitor, plumber, accountant, or vehicle repair and so on (e.g screenshot on the left).

Google serves its Google + results for searches made for services that are provided locally because Google knows the likely search intent of the person conducting the search, is for ‘local’ products and services.

So local search listings for local businesses is growing in importance. That’s first point you need to bear in mind. Numerous studies of consumers behaviour show that purchasers of goods and services prefer to deal with local businesses, Google know which is why it serves local search results first.

So as a business providing products and services to a local market, you have the advantage over larger companies that don’t serve a defined local market because Google now displays Google Plus results ahead of all other organic results.

Locally Listed Law Firms and Their Reputation

An important change occurred on 31st May 2012 when Google merged Google Local and maps into its new Google + for businesses, which now displays Zagat scores and ratings, giving consumers the power to rate and review local businesses.

In addition, these pages are now fully indexed and appear in the search results.

Right now this is still under the radar for many law firms because most consumers have still not yet developed the habit of leaving a review and therefore most law firms haven’t yet noticed that clients can leave a review about their experience. This won’t last for long, so expect your clients to soon be leaving ratings and reviews about your practice.

These changes have affected 80 million local businesses across the web, not just law firms, so it is still early days.

However, look no further than the restaurant and hotel market to appreciate how important reviews and Zagat ratings are to these businesses for ensuring that they remain busy and get a constant flow of new customers.

This is a screenshot of the search results for restaurant

Ratings and reviews are important because consumers use these as a gauge to measure a business’s reputation and the kind of service and experience they might expect to receive. How often have you read reviews on a local restaurant and been put off by bad reviews?

Yet despite it being only 4 months since the change occurred, it is already evident that clients are leaving reviews against law firm listings in Google and on third party review sites.

But here’s the danger. It only takes one bad review to get a bad reputation online. So you need to be watchful and have a strategy to deal with consumer reviews.

Why Client Reviews Are So Important To Law Firms

If there is any doubt that reviews are important in winning new business, then you only need to look at what consumers of all types of products and services search for online.

Google tells us what people search for with it’s Google Instant feature i.e the keyword suggestions that Google gives you when you start typing in your search term in the Google search field.

The term “reviews” is now a major search term for people looking to do business with solicitors. Why? Because consumers want to be sure that your current clients are getting a great service, because it’s a clear indication to them that they too are likely receive a great service from you if they were to use your service. Also, google tells us as much as consumers are searching for reviews on law firms.

Bad reviews on the other hand is an negative indicator to the consumer – caveat emptor – ie. if they instruct you they too may receive a similar bad experience, which people will naturally want to avoid.

The “phrase” match type for the term “solicitors reviews” currently receives just under 3000 searches per month (as at September 2012) according to Google’s Keyword Tool, which will also include searches against the names of particular law firms  (i.e. “name of the law firm + reviews” e.g. “xyz solicitors reviews”).

[nb. Search volume update as at April 2013 is 3600].

As I mentioned above, it is early days but I expect that you will see many more prospective clients actively searching for specific firms + reviews once your clients begin to realize that this information is now available.

This shows how Google Instant gives the suggested keyword ReviewTo find out whether your prospective clients are searching for reviews on your firm, simply enter the name of your firm into Google, then start typing the phrase “review” to see if Google suggests “your firm’s name + reviews” as in the example on the left.

Google’s suggested keywords are extrapolated from data that it collates on what searchers look for online. If Google doesn’t suggest the keyword “reviews” when you search against your own practice it simply means there isn’t sufficient data at this time, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that your prospective clients are not doing a review search against your practice.

Try a larger firm that has more search volume online such as in the example in the screenshot above.

Online reviews are an important criteria for deciding whether to use your service or your competitors. We know this because online reviews are second only to personal recommendations as the most trusted source according to a detailed study by Nielsen, one of the leading global information and measurement companies.

In a study on trust of different media channels Nielsen found that 92 percent trusted recommendations from people they know, but surprisingly in second place 70 percent said they trusted consumer opinions posted online. This was well ahead of such things as editorial content such as newspaper articles, branded websites, ads on TV, subscription emails and so on.

Nielsen - Level of Consumer Trust in Advertising

Nielsen – Level of Consumer Trust in Advertising

In another study by Myles Anderson of BrightLocal.com, it found that 72 percent of buyers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Law Firm Reputation Will Be The Most Important Deciding Factor In Winning New Business.

Consumers are starting to wake up to the fact that they can leave reviews about local businesses. Unfortunately, as consumers we are more motivated to leave negative reviews than positive reviews simply because of the trouble it takes to go online and leave a review. And that’s the danger for all local businesses not just law firms, unless you have in place a strategy to manage this.

And as consumers begin to realize that reviews are becoming mainstream for all business types they will increasingly look out for reviews before making a buying decision.

Look no further than Amazon, which was one of the first online businesses to use customer reviews as a key feature in its business model. Amazon was well ahead of the rest of the market in understanding the importance of customer reviews.

Even when someone receives a personal recommendation to use a particular firm or company, customer reviews online are still very important. Here’s why. A person that receives a personal recommendation to use a particular company is still highly likely to go online to get information such as a phone number, an address or even directions. And when that person does go online, reviews are the first thing that they are likely to see or be curious to read before taking that final step and calling you.

So for local law firms, this new feature in Google is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because when you have an overwhelming excellent reputation with 5-star reviews and ratings, your phone will inevitably ring.

Having a 5-Star reputation online sends you pre-sold and pre-qualified clients and customers.  On the other than if you have a bad reputation, no reputation or a mixed reputation of good and bad reviews, your phone will not ring because the consumer will not trust you enough to give you their business.

Non Local Geographic Alternative Business Structures Go Without Google Reviews & Ratings

Google + is Google’s new local business listings. It is designed to help local consumers quickly find the products and services in their local marketing.

National online businesses that don’t have a local presence don’t have a Google + and therefore don’t have Google’s Zagat ratings and reviews feature in its listing on Google.

Therefore, as a local business, by positioning yourself with a 5-star reputation in your local marketplace, you become the preferred supplier of that product or service and the perceived market leader.

The reason for this is because given a clear choice, local consumers will always gravitate towards using a local service whom they know, like and trust and secondly, various studies show that the consumer will choose a company with 5-Star ratings and reviews other a company that has either no reputation or a bad reputation.

So its quite simple, all things being equal people buy from people they trust. All things being unequal people buy from people they trust. As consumers we prefer face-to-face contact whenever possible, especially on important matters and will choose the company with the best reputation as voted by current and former clients and customers.

In Conclusion

Consumers look primarily for local goods and services to meet their needs, which we can see clearly identified in keyword usage.

Google understands that in order to keep making money and growing its online presence it needs to keep its users happy by delivering the best search experience possible.

As a result, Google serves local business results ahead of non-local geographical online businesses in circumstances where it is clear that a searcher’s intent is to find services that are available locally.

Your prospective clients want to read client reviews about their experience of using your services because that is the trust factor that they are looking for everyday before picking up the phone and calling you.

Local law firms therefore have a very clear advantage that can be easily exploited.

Law firm online reputation is therefore critically important for ongoing success in winning new customers that search online for those services, and also if you want to compete against ABSs and continue to win new business moving forward.

Law firms also have an advantage over ABSs in that they are already perceived as the experts belonging to a very long, established and reputable profession. But it is not enough in today’s market to simply be a solicitor, you need to gain “trust” and leverage that trust online, as I have explained above.

It’s also important to understand that as consumers, if money was no object, we would all want to instruct the best experts to deal with our legal problems.

Solicitors already have that expert authority status, you simply need to articulate it correctly and then position your firm with a 5-Star reputation which serves as social proof.

If you are finding that cost is a major reason why you prospective customers are not calling or when they do that they are primarily concerned about cost, then you need to address to standing out from the crowd with a 5 star reputation because not all prospective client are first and foremost concerned about price, many would prefer to deal with the best solicitor for their problem.

Once a law firm is positioned as the leader in the market with a 5 star reputation, cost becomes less of an issue which means that you can charge a premium to law firms that lead their marketing based on price.

 

Graham Cardona, is a qualified solicitor, local marketing strategist and reputation marketing expert. If you found this article entitled “Protect Your Law Firm From ABS Competition & Discover How To Attract & Convert More Business“, help share this article with other solicitors by clicking on the Share button below and Like the page. If you would like more information on reputation marketing, request a copy of our reputation marketing report pdf, which we will gladly send you by email. If you require more immediate help and assistance with your firm’s reputation and or are in need of a unique and highly effective reputation marketing service and strategy, please do not hesitate to contact us to find out more.

What’s your Firm’s Online Reputation? Found Out By Click The Image Below

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How Are Law Firms To Respond To Service Offers Like The Co-Op’s DIY Divorce Kits Without Compromising Their Reputation & Brand?

Do you have a good brand and reputation?With law firm reputation and branding at stake, how should law firms respond to the latest moves by the Co-op to offer quick DIY solutions to divorce?

So the headline runs in Daily Mail: “Buy one…set one free: Co-op supermarket to offer bargain £99 DIY divorce kit”.

The danger is that in the current challenging business climate and with cash-strapped consumers, law firms may feel pressured into driving their service forward based on price without giving proper consideration to the wider implications and financial viability of such a move.

Daily Mail Reports: Co-op Decision To Offer Quickie Divorce

The Co-op is to start offering do-it-yourself divorces at the supermarket for just £99.

Shoppers will be able to start quickie divorce proceedings while they pick up a pint of milk or bunch of Fairtrade bananas.

The new Co-op family law service will be available through all its 2,800 local supermarkets and 350 bank branches.

It is aimed at hard-pressed families who cannot afford the astronomical fees of up to £250 an hour charged by some specialist divorce lawyers.

The Daily Mail reports:

The DIY service should appeal to warring couples hit by the recession who can no qualify for financial help from the Government which is planning to slash £350m from the legal aid bill.

Experts warned couples face a legal minefield if they failed to take proper legal advice before before breaking up (Full Daily Mail story)

The danger for law firms is to act in haste with service offerings of their own to compete with the likes of the Co-op without due consideration to the implication on law firm reputation and branding. The issue then is what next? What if another large retail brand enters the fray with it’s own cheap legal service offering – not necessarily in divorce – do you then take off the gloves again in preparation for another fight on price with the big retail Goliaths?

We would caution against such a move unless you are quite happy for the business model of your practice to be associated as a cheap legal service provider, with the consequent impact to your brand and reputation. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with offering a cheap service. However, be sure that your existing business set-up and IT infrastructure is capable of sustaining such a service without putting you out of business or compromising other aspects of your business due to having to divert finite resources to deal with low cost services.

It is also important to understand that when you market your services on price (e.g. low cost divorce service) you will inevitably attract clients that are price sensitive, to the exclusion of those clients who are looking for the best lawyers to handle say their divorce case. Clients that are not price hunting won’t be looking for the cheapest lawyers in town, but the best and most reputable in their field. They are more likely to steer well clear of the known cheap legal service providers because they won’t want cheap and cheerful, they’ll want the best experts in town, preferably a specialist.

But this is not to say that you can’t offer an economy package to prospective clients who don’t have the financial wherewithal to pay for your full expertise. Not at all.

This is where you need to be smart and to rationalize your business through the use of available IT solution to offer an affordable service to those that can’t afford your hourly rate. However, the trick is to present yourself to the outside world as the most reputable local expert in your chosen field of expertise.

Don’t fall into the trap of marketing yourself on price. Lead with your best foot forward, position yourself as the leading expert in your field with good reputation marketing so when prospective clients do look you up they immediately know that you are the firm that they need to instruct and not your competition. That way your phone rings and not your competitors. You can then have that intelligent conversation with your prospective client to ascertain their needs, their financial constraints and advice them accordingly on their options.

Do you know your company’s reputation score online? To find out click on this click -> Your Reputation Report

Graham Cardona is a specialist local and reputation marketing expert. If you liked this article entitled “How Are Law Firms To Respond To Service Offers Like The Co-Op’s DIY Divorce Kits Without Compromising Their Reputation & Brand?”, click on the Share button below and Like the page so others may find this page – thank you.


Social Media Or SEO, Which Is More Effective? Find Out What the Experts Say

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It’s the big debate, social media or SEO (search engine marketing), which is more effective and which marketing strategy should your company use?

Forrester undertook a study of 4000 companies. It found that only 7% of companies put social media in their top 3 strategies for acquiring new business. So 93% of companies interviewed did not have social media as a strategy for acquiring new business,  to get their phone to ring and to grow their business.

But does that mean that social media isn’t valuable? Not at all. As David Sprague explains in this video interview, we’re still in the beginning phases of trying to understand social media and how best to exploit the enormous reach that social media can give to companies.

 

Two Local Marketing Experts Discuss The Big Question, Which Is More Effective Social Media Or SEO ?

Social media sites allow businesses to engage with their market but it doesn’t get you found when people are actively looking for your products and services, says Ryan Steinolfson, CEO of Accelerate Marketing. On the other hand search engine marketing, says Ryan allows people to find you when they are looking for you at that moment of pain when they need a solution to their problem, which is when you are most likely to get people picking up the phone to call you.

To really understand the difference you need to understand that there are essentially 2 different psychologies at work with SEO and social media. The big dividing line between the two is that SEO is very much designed for people that don’t know you, don’t like you and don’t trust you and have an immediate need right now that needs to be fulfilled and they don’t know who to turn to.

Social media on the other hand is about engaging with people that already know you, maybe already have an interest in what you are doing. So what you should be trying to do as a company with social media is keep your brand in the mind of your customer as much as possible by adding great posts and information on Facebook, Twitter, etc and provide real added value by rewarding your loyal customers with coupons and special offers, so that the next time they do need or want your product or service, you’re the first company that comes to mind. That’s essentially what social media is about, so don’t expect an avalanche of customers if your main focus is simply social media.

Companies would therefore do well to acquire new customers with SEO, which is designed to find customers when they are at their point of pain and in need of an immediate solution. And once companies have acquired that business, then they should put that customer into your social media marketing or your email marketing campaigns to keep your brand in the forefront of their mind.

This way you have a more holistic approach to how you communicate and engage with your customers. It shouldn’t really be one or the other strategy because both marketing strategies are completely different and achieve very different results.

Think of it this way if someone needs a plumber now, do you really think they’ll be too interested in building a relationship? That person’s only interest will be, is that plumber good, can they fix my problem and are they reasonably priced? Its a completely different mindset to someone who’s on one of the social media platforms.

So its important to understand who you are trying to attract and for what reason. Is it to attract new business or is to be grow your brand recognition? You need to understand that these require 2 very different strategies, which will give you very different results.

Understanding the mindset of your customer is imperative to what strategy you use to attract more business or even to retain and protect what you already have. If you fail to properly understand this then you risk the chance that your whole marketing strategy is out of kilter with what you are trying to achieve.

But even though social media is an important strategy for all business types, it’s also important to bear in mind that not all social media is created equal. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube will appeal to different customers and audiences. So you will need to consider which is best for your type of business and for the resources of time and money you have available.

Facebook for example my not be an ideal platform for a plumber to keep his ideal customers engaged. However, YouTube is probably a better fit since it is a more effective medium in which to address people’s plumbing problems with short “how to” videos and quick fix tips. It also has the advantage that video gets ranked in the search engines which means you could be found by someone who has a problem and is doing a search for a plumber or looking for a solution to a plumbing problem.

So as you can see, its not so much a question of which is more effective social media or SEO, but what you are trying to achieve in your marketing.

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