How to Make Better First Impressions Online
Join our host, Toby Rosen, as we dive into first impressions in the digital world. Ff you've been contemplating why you aren't closing more retainers, or if clients don't seem as excited as you'd like them to be, it's time to delve into these three key areas where you're likely making your first impression with potential clients.
From the episode:
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How can my law firm make a better first impression online? Welcome to Legal Marketing 101,. I'm Toby Rosen. First impressions matter, whether you're meeting a fiance's parents or meeting a friend of a friend, or whether it's a client who's getting their first impression of your firm. If that doesn't go well, it's probably going to tank the entire interaction and maybe even prevent a relationship from developing. But most of the time, in a social setting, this isn't the end of the world, so you didn't get along with that person or you didn't have a good experience in that restaurant. Most of the time it's fairly inconsequential and we just move on to the next thing in our lives. But for lawyers and for law firms like yours, that's not always the case. Things aren't always as simple. The first impression we have of the client is almost never happening at the same time. Where the client is having the first impression of us, they've probably done some research before they've come in, or they've Googled our office address or looked up the phone number on the website or checked our Facebook page. Maybe they've even seen your AVO profile or your Twitter page. And unless you've been really regimented about implementing your tracking system and you have really awesome detail about all of your potential clients, where they're coming from all of that within your marketing CRM. Unless you have that, you might actually not know anything about the person who's walking through your door for their initial consult, other than, maybe, their name and their legal issue. Dealing with that disadvantage, though, is not what we're talking about today. Sure, we will talk more about tracking and intake soon, and I've done episodes on that before, but today, we're going to talk just about first impressions, and what I want to do is highlight three areas that you are absolutely using to make a first impression with your clients, but that, more often than not, I find law firms are usually neglecting to update these things and take care of them so that their first impressions are always good. If your local profile is already locked down, your Facebook is getting updated daily and you think your website should be winning awards for its conversion optimized design, then maybe you can skip this episode. I really won't be offended, but if you feel like you could be closing more retainers than you are, or that clients just aren't as thrilled to see you as you'd like them to be, then maybe it's time to take a look at these three key areas where you are really making your first impression with potential clients. So let's get into it. Number one your website. This is the big dog. This is the one we need to have in shape. It's the one that matters the most, because if your website looks like it was built in 2004, with a gray background and some big flashing neon banner at the top, how can you really expect your clients to think you're going to be the solution that they need for this potentially, potentially upheaving moment in their lives? How are you going to expect that you're the solution? The first impression that you're giving to these clients is that you're not up to date, you're maybe not taking care of things on time or at all, and they're probably going to conclude that this is going to be the same with your actual legal services. This doesn't mean you need to go straight away and revamp your website entirely, and it certainly doesn't mean you need to spend $10,000 on a new custom design use card or Squarespace, and many marketing agencies will tell you that you do need to do that, but I'm telling you you don't. Most legal clients are not spending that much time on your website, and if you're not focused on SEO, you don't need a lot. Just go and look at your analytics. Trust me, I'm not wrong about this. But here's the thing Most legal clients do visit your website, even if they're only browsing for a minute or two. That impression of you that they get from your website, that's going to color all of their judgment moving forward. So advertising your practice from the digital version of a hoopty probably isn't going to generate the stream of clients that you're really looking for. So let's move on to number two, because websites at this point should be old hat. But number two this is your local profile. This is this really matters. And specifically I want to talk about Google my Business. If your clients come to your office or if they call you on the phone, it's a pretty safe bet that they're going to see one of your local profiles, and often that profile is going to be your Google my Business. Google is the source of information for a huge chunk of the world, and even more so in heavily digital countries like the US. Google is where people go now instead of the yellow pages, and clients are going to see your GMB listing there. And, of course, I've waxed poetic about GMB and local SEO for quite a few episodes here on legal marketing 101. So I'm not going to spend too much time on this, but you do need to go back and listen to those local SEO episodes. If you haven't done something about your GMB already, your clients will come to you through other sources sometimes, but they're going to find you again and again on Google. So let's move on to number three, and that is social media. And before I hear you complain because I can already hear that happening let me just preface this section with a little bit of a disclaimer. I know that there are a lot of social media networks and I know that it's hard to keep the content flowing out to all of these networks, and I know that it can feel like a losing battle when you're only posting for a dozen or a hundred or maybe a few hundred people, when we're lucky. As someone who is a pretty early adopter of social media and I never really focused on creating much of a personal brand for myself online I really know how it feels to be shouting into the void and feel like there's nothing coming back. For a long time. That's how it felt to do this podcast, but there are two reasons that I really need you to pay attention to social media here. And first, but not necessarily first in priority, is that you need to be posting consistently to gain traction. This is so important and, yes, there are certainly brands that post once a week and they still gain a following, but by and large, what we are seeing brands do is increase their posting frequency, increase the volume of posts, and they're also increasing the quality of their posts. They're doing it more often with better content, and that's what's attracting an audience. Now, even for once, weekly podcasts like this we're publishing supporting material at a much faster rate. So if you haven't seen it yet, go check out my YouTube channel. It's linked in the description. But our first objective here on social is really to get to a posting frequency that makes you look alive and makes you look like you're actually trying to build an audience. If you're not doing that, you're probably going to become victim to a poor first impression, and that's the second reason I need you to pay attention to social media, because of a potential client visits your beautiful website, they check your GMB and they see 100 plus five star reviews. They're going to be pretty psyched at that point. But then if they go over and they check your firm's Facebook and they see that your last post was from some time in, say, september of 2021, there's going to automatically be a bit of concern for that client. They're going to start wondering why you weren't posting on Facebook or why you aren't engaging with the questions that clients are asking. They'll start to think is that going to happen to me as well? If your social media profiles have no activity, no followers and no sign of life in general, it's all around bad. I would try to unpack the specifics of why that's bad a bit more here, but honestly, if you don't already understand why it's bad to have that negative social proof, then I'm probably just barking up the wrong tree. Trying to help you anyways, right now, just as they did 10 years ago, 50 years ago and 100 years ago, these first impressions still matter and they're going to continue to matter. But for us in the legal universe, how we make those first impressions is changing quickly. That's it for Legal Marketing 101. Check out rosenavertisingcom for more Thanks.