Bill Potthoff 0000-00-00 00:00:00
The holidays are over and 2012 has been thrust upon us. During 2011, you may have thought about an internet marketing strategy, but were either too busy or just did not get to it. The start of a new year allows an opportunity to reexamine last year’s strategy or develop one to implement this year. What worked and what did not? Did you get any new cases or referrals from your website? What can you change to have a more effective internet marketing strategy? Part of your strategy is your identity online. It is a crucial part of helping create referral networks and develop new business contacts. It is important to take a day out of your busy schedule to focus on developing an online strategy. Google your name to see what comes up in the search. Make sure you put your city behind your name so you find the right Joe Smith Attorney in St. Louis. Once you have discovered your identity online, you can start to work on your strategy. Make sure you extend the search out to your law firm’s name as well. When you search, if you don’t find anything about your personal name or law firm name, or if the information is wrong, just remember it appears that way to your referrals, current clients and past clients as well. Here is a funny but true story about asking for a referral and that person not showing up properly in the search engines. One of my family members sold real estate and had a prospective home buyer fall down the steps of a home he listed. That individual hired an attorney and became a plaintiff against him. Since I work for one of the largest legal search websites in America for finding Lawyers, he called me and asked me for a referral. By chance, I was meeting that day with one of my prominent real estate law firms. I thought I would be able to get a good referral from them to give to my relative to help him with his case. I wanted a personal injury attorney who has a real estate law background and was a real bull dog in negotiation of settlements. They gave me a name but no phone number. After I left, I Googled his name and was surprised to find no website for this individual. However, there was a listing with address and phone number from a yellow page domain. I gave this information to my relative and to my surprise he called me back to tell me the number was disconnected. Embarrassed, I told him to use someone else since this individual may no longer be in business, retired, or just did not care enough to be found online. He retained counsel from a different source. I work with Lawyers everyday and thought I should have been able to provide the best referral ever, but it did not happen for this case. The moral to my story is check out how you appear online. If you are invisible in the search engines, you’re even more invisible to your past clients, referral sources, friends and colleagues. The attorneys who gave me his name did not have his card handy, and may not have referred him a case in several months or years, but they remembered his name. How many times do you think that happens a day? Imagine all of the business your firm may be losing by having an ineffective online strategy or incorrect information in the search engines. Let’s face it; most of us do not walk around with every business card we ever received. But most of us remember the names of individuals who gave us great customer service and really helped us through a tough situation. Your name is your identity; make sure it appears correctly on-line. Next month find out how to turn your on-line strategy into a profit center. If you have an internet marketing question that you would like answered, please email your question to: email@example.com. William Potthoff has over 20 years of marketing experience. For the last 12 years he has helped businesses and law firms with online marketing strategies and website development. He has run a successful insurance agency, written business plans for companies, worked at Missouri Lawyers Weekly as the advertising manager and for the past 5 years has worked exclusively with Law Firms in Missouri with Client Development as a consultant for Thomson Reuters – FindLaw. He has helped over 150 law firms develop winning internet marketing strategies.
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