How do you start a conversation with a prospective client? The first impressions you make are important. Your law firm can gain credibility online quickly with these tips.

How do you start a conversation with a prospective client? Your law firm can gain credibility online quickly with these tips. As the old saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Make it a good one.

If you want people to hire your law firm, you’ve got to be credible. You’ve got to speak to their fear – yes, fear – that they’ll hire the wrong person. You have to gain credibility with prospects quickly, often without ever speaking to them. How does a law firm gain credibility online? How do you start a conversation with a prospective client without actually talking to him or her? If you focus on two goals, you’ll be a step ahead of most firms. Here’s how law firms can build credibility online and attract new clients.

Goal #1: Show prospects how you’ve helped other clients

When people think of hiring a law firm, they’re wondering, “Have they helped people like me, in situations like mine?” If you answer this question in a number of ways, prospects are more likely to hire your law firm. Here’s how:

  • Ask for referrals – After you’ve finished a major task for a client, ask for a referral. Thank your clients and ask them if they know anyone who could benefit from the services you provided to them. If you create a trust for parents of a child with special needs, ask them if they know other parents who could benefit from the same service. If they don’t give you a name immediately, they may refer a friend when the time is right. A satisfied client who recommends you to a friend in a similar situation is the best way to show a prospect how you can help them.

    It’s important to put your testimonials and representative cases into context for prospects. You don’t need to explain every detail of a case, but you can explain that each case is unique and results will vary.

  • Publish testimonials – Client testimonials can help you build credibility  just like referrals can.  Ask for testimonials. When a client says you just solved his problem, thanks you for a job well done or says she’ll hire you next time she needs legal services, ask if you can include those words on your website. Follow up with an email summary and ask if there’s anything your client wants to change. Then use the testimonial pharmacy online.
  • Show typical clients and cases – Create a section on your website that helps prospects see themselves in the work you do. When they do, they’re more likely to hire you. If you’re a successful criminal defense attorney, for example, include a “Successful Cases” section or link to positive news coverage. If you’re a firm that works with large insurance companies, put short case summaries on your site. Even small firms with more general practices can create a single page that explains who their typical clients are and the services they provide.

Goal #2: Prove you know your stuff

  • Publish articles – Enhance your reputation with articles and timely updates published on your website. Articles and insights build credibility. With them, people will know you’re up-to-date about what’s happening with the law as it relates to them. If you’re an immigration lawyer, for example, post about changes to immigration law, news about visa lotteries or do’s and don’ts for employers. With most sites, it’s easy to promote your articles throughout the site so visitors will see them. The articles give you authority and lend credibility to your practice.

    WordPress websites for law firms are easy to update anytime so you can publish short, timely updates or long articles any time.

  • Highlight specific insight –  You may work with home builders, scientists or farmers. No matter who your typical clients are, you have insight other lawyers don’t. Put a spotlight on your knowledge somewhere on your website. Create an “Industries Served” page, for example. If you publish articles, categorize them so it’s easy to see where your expertise is. If you’re involved in class action cases, publish at least a page on your website that describes each case. This will help you do well in the search engines and help people understand how you can help them.
  • Share online – After you publish an article, help ensure that people see it. Share it on social media, especially on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can automate distribution, too. WordPress sites make it easy for people to receive an update each time you publish something new. Social sharing buttons on your website make it easy for visitors to share what interests them. If you read something you will interest your clients or prospective clients, post about it on LinkedIn and Twitter. Make your Twitter feed show up on your website.
  • Share even more – Speak at seminars, for example, or hold an online webinar. Talk to people you know about what you do and, most importantly, who your clients are. We could say we “build websites,” but a more powerful statement is that “we help law firms create websites that engage prospects and turn them into clients.” When you talk about your practice, be sure to share some of what you know and tell people who you help and how you typically help them.
  • Utilize good design – Good design builds credibility immediately. Bad or out-dated design, on the other hand, can immediately leave the wrong impression; it makes you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. Take a look at your competitors’ websites and note how you feel when you look at them. You may not be able to put your finger on what causes it, but some sites will give you a bad impression. Text that’s hard to read doesn’t make your firm seem credible, for example. If a site hasn’t been redesigned in a long time it may be very narrow or use design elements that were trendy at one time but now look dated. An out-dated website can give the impression that you’re lazy or don’t care about what you’re doing. Law Firm Web Design provides law firm website templates that are modern and easy to use.

We’ll provide other tips about how law firms can build credibility online in upcoming articles. Subscribe to our newsletter to get tips emailed to you or contact us for a get a quote for law firm website design.