Laura Richelle Scott 2013-04-04 07:14:53
You’re the Expert—It’s Time To Share Your Knowledge “What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?” “How do I file bankruptcy in Arizona?” “What does it cost to file bankruptcy?” These are just a few questions that millions of people are constantly searching in Google and legal forums. To you, the answers to these questions seem simple, but many Americans facing bankruptcy are desperate for quick legal advice from a trustworthy source. To these people, you are the expert and ultimate authority in bankruptcy and to receive an answer directly from the source means the world to them in tough times. Giving away small pieces of advice for free may ultimately lead to an increase in leads. Where Can I Answer Legal Questions? Being present online gives you the chance to answer these questions. The technology already exists for you, making it easy to login and browse through questions to address. Avvo.com, LegalJet.com, and FreeAdvice. com are a few sites that allow attorneys to create a professional profile, select questions to answer, and interact with people seeking guidance, all for free. These sites essentially offer free advertising for attorneys. In my previous article, “What Does Your Firm’s Online Reputation Look Like?” I discussed the importance of building a strong online presence. Marketing your firm across the Internet shows your clients that you are confident in your services. Making sure your firm has a website, blog, and can be found in online legal directories is just the beginning. Taking 10 minutes a day to answer questions and interact with potential clients can be more beneficial than you think. To reach potential clients through websites like Avvo.com, LegalJet.com, and FreeAdvice.com, follow the steps below. Subscribe to Legal Q&A: By creating an account on Avvo.com, you don’t have to browse through hundreds of recent questions to find one in your field. You can subscribe to specific topics such as bankruptcy or divorce and narrow the search to people in the area you serve. It’s worth your while to thoroughly respond to these people because they may then become a paying client. When you log in to your account, you will have a queue of questions that you can respond to. Particularly for new attorneys, actively answering questions on sites such as Avvo.com will send you new potential clients in need of your services. Encourage Client Reviews: Your clients can publicly write out their experience of your firm with 1-5 star review. You already know that you “provide great customer service in a professional manner,” but encouraging your clients to share their experience can build your rating with Avvo.com. Submit Yourself to Legal Directories: These Q&A sites also serve as a directory for legal professionals. You can, and should, add your firm to the directory with either a paid or free listing. The free listing is enough to get your name out there and the paid listing will get you extra exposure. Encourage Peer Endorsements: On sites like Avvo.com and also LinkedIn.com, you are part of a professional network where you can endorse others and request endorsements for yourself. Taking the time to endorse your peers and request endorsements will help build a solid profile. Build your Rating: On websites like Avvo.com, attorneys are rated according to a mathematical model, meaning that the rating is unbiased and there is no favoritism. All attorneys start on a level playing field and have equal opportunity to build a good rating through Avvo’s formula. Build an Online Resume: Peer endorsements and client reviews on your Avvo.com or LinkedIn.com page act the same as references on a resume. Avvo.com will even offer badges to attorneys who have the best reviews in their category and these badges can be placed on the firm’s website. There are millions of attorney websites all showing the same generic attorney biography which has been put together by the marketing department. Your profile on LinkedIn.com or Avvo.com goes more in depth than your “About Me” page on the firm’s website. This is where you can go more in detail about your past cases and work history at other law firms. Protect Your Name: If you personally create your own accounts with Avvo, Legal Jet, LinkedIn, etc., then you’re preventing impersonators from doing the same and claiming to be you. Claim your own name before someone else gets to it. Avvo.com, LegalJet.com, FreeAdvice.com and LinkedIn.com profiles are just the beginning of the list of websites that can help you advertise your firm for free while facilitating interaction with potential clients. If you don’t have the time to add your own listings to these sites, hire a third party agency that can also make your brand more visible online.
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