3 Ways to Differentiate your Law Firm – Part 2

2 Use your People Page, Use the Wider Web, and Use the Broadcast Media

We’re going to look at how you can make more of your website and how you can start to make use of social media.

Using your website “People” Page

This page has one purpose. To convince the viewer that he or she should buy from you.

It’s also likely to be one of your most visited pages when new clients are looking to choose a firm.

So it’s important.

“People” pages tend to follow a pattern.

We’re shown the person’s: name; job title; professional memberships; experience and specialisms.

A passport sized photo is also often included.

They’re OK but there’s

  • nothing that differentiates you,
  • nothing that persuades clients that you’re the best (and therefore)
  • nothing that convinces them to buy from you.

Here are 3 steps that can help you turn that round.

Step One.

Since most clients come to you because they have a need, organise your people into the teams who meet that need – and sell the team. Tell the viewer what the team does, why they’re good at doing it, and give an example.

Then do it for each key member of that team.

Step Two

Turn them from text into real people.

When we hear radio presenters we don’t need to know where they’re from, anything about their families, or whether they struggled with the traffic that day. But they tell us anyway. That’s because we want to know them as people. Know them, like them and keep listening to them.

It can be the simplest thing. I read a Linkedin profile where a barrister said his main interest was “following the great Everton FC”. Immediately I liked him, not because of any allegiance to Everton but because I felt I knew him better than if he’d just said one of his interests was sport.

Step Three

Will potential clients read all this? Possibly but don’t gamble on it. Use images and video. People look at images and watch video for longer than they’ll read text.

Social Media

It’s a good way to

-        make new contacts and

-        keep in touch with your existing clients.

We’re going to look at how you can start using social media to bring in more business.

Linkedin Profile

Linkedin has been described as “Facebook for business” and it’s a fairly good description. If you want to know what a person does and why they are credible candidates for winning your business, it’Linkedin profile JKJPGs the place to go.

Use your profile to expand on your achievements. Tell the reader what you’re good at – and provide evidence. Your profile is like an online CV (LinkedIn’s original purpose) and like your CV it’s a sales document. What it’s selling is you.

Use Slide Share to post presentations.

Use blogs to share knowledge with your followers and connections.  They help your credibility and give you a start on your competitors.

Use recommendations. People are more likely to believe third parties saying how good you are than just you saying it. It’s like Trip Advisor- but even better because you have control. You can say “No” if you don’t like what someone wants to say about you.

Linkedin operates a “Freemium” model. If you use the basic tools it costs nothing. If you want more there’s a charge. The best way to use it is to go as far as you can without paying – then if you need more, work out the costs and balance it with the probable benefit.

Twitter

Twitter has lots of functions but these 2 are probably the most important for you.

You can tell your clients how the latest court cases and political decisions affect them.

You can express opinions about topical issues. If they’re controversial you’ll stir up lots of interest – even if not everyone agrees with you.

You can tweet a message of 140 characters, an image linking to a blog and use 30 second videos.

These can be used for anything you like – and they’re all free. But more importantly they differentiate you.

Other Media

Use Vimeo or YouTube to get noticed.

If you search for “How do I….” on Google it will normally find a YouTube video. This is because Google owns YouTube. Video is a great way to drive people to your website.

If you search for a person’s name it finds their Linkedin profile. So it makes sense not just to use them but to get the most out of them.

Contact TV and radio stations and appear on shows. You’ll be surprised to find how much they value having experts available to them. And of course it gets you noticed and it gets you ahead of your competitors.

In our next blog we’re talking about perceptions so here’s one to start you off. If you’re on TV or radio, lots of people assume that you’ve been chosen from a list of thousands – so you must be good.

3 Ways to Differentiate your Law Firm – Introduction and Part 1 of 3

BBA Blog intro thumbnail 013 Ways to Differentiate your Law Firm

Introduction

Law firms spend lots of time, effort and money trying to differentiate themselves from the competition. However, their websites make them look exactly the same as their competitors. At best it’s an opportunity missed. At worst it’s a huge waste of money.

In a series of 3 articles, we’ll show you ways to make better use of your resources, differentiate yourselves and start beating the competition.

Law Firms aren’t all the same so why make them look like they are

Most law firms’ websites look the same – particularly firms who provide a full service. They have the same pages and they say roughly the same thing. They

  • Say where you are and what you do
  • Give a brief history of your  firm
  • Provide law updates
  • Display brief standardised profiles of your people

These are useful in themselves and some are much better than others, but they don’t set you apart. In fact they perpetuate the theme of sameness.

Law firms do see the need to differentiate themselves. They just don’t do it very well.  They’re defeated by the fact that ultimately they all do much the same thing so their differentiators sound ever more nebulous and consequently difficult to articulate. (“We like to think we’re different”)

Of course law firms aren’t all the same and they do have unique selling propositions. You need to identify these propositions then talk about them,talk about them publicly, and talk about them often.

There are a number of ways to differentiate yourselves. We’re going concentrate on three of them.

  1. Focus on individuals and what they do best
  2. Use the wider web –  not just your website
  3. Create your own Perception – be seen the way you want to be seen

1          Focus on individuals and what they do best

It’s important to note straight away that this doesn’t mean ignoring the organisation or the different practice teams. It refers instead to optimising the particular skills, experience and expertise that an individual brings to the firm.

In your firm, you’ll have people who don’t just know about a particular area – they’re experts. Let me give a couple of examples of experts who I know. They both work in HR practices.

Experts

The first one we interviewed about redundancy. About 30 minutes before the interview we told him what sort of questions we were going to ask. He described the process, explored the issues and offered advice. By the end I thought that there was nothing he didn’t know about the topic. It wasn’t just his own abilities he was showcasing. What he said about the practice and about the firm is clear. I’m an expert. We all are.

The second is an expert on employment status. He is used by umbrella companies, the professional bodies in recruiting and is very well-known in the relevant professional circles. When he speaks it’s with authority. Again the message is clear.

  • I’m the professionals’ choice.
  • We’re the professionals’ choice.
  • We should be your choice.

People like these need continual public exposure because when they speak, they exude knowledge, they talk about common sense solutions and they appeal to people who buy your services.

Issues

TPut video on site 37his strategy has two potential flaws. Everything does – because no approach is perfect.

Firstly, your “star” could be sold several times over whilst the others (metaphorically) sit round waiting for the phone to ring. This is just a resource management issue and there are solutions. One obvious way is for the star to mentor and train the others so that the knowledge is disseminated.

Another is that your expert briefs their colleague, who also talks about the same subject typically in blogs or Linkedin. This reinforces the idea of shared expertise without diluting your expert’s contribution. It’s also part of the reflected glory. (“If she’s that good what are the others like?). Allow the viewer/reader/listener to perceive them as an example of what you’re all like.

Secondly, he or she is tapped up by a rival and goes to work for them. This is a risk but it’s a risk that we all take in business.  Approaches from other employers are inevitable but generally people need an extraordinary opportunity to leave an employer they like.

Summary

If you use your most talented individuals to spearhead your marketing, you’re using your USP. Once you have their business it’s much easier to sell on to an existing happy client.