In the field of law, your reputation is your best advertisement. Clients will trust you, want to work with you, and there will be more of them if what they have heard about you is positive.
On the other hand, if you manage to attract a negative reputation, chances are the phone will ring far less often.
How people perceive you as a law firm will often play a larger role in their selection of lawyer than your actual services or prices.
Let’s take a look at how you can protect your reputation
Google yourself often
One of the best ways to tell what kind of a reputation you are attracting is to Google the name of your law firm and all of your lawyers every couple of months. That way, you will always know what kind of information is most prominently appearing in the eyes of the public and if you need to change anything about them.
Give special attention to the news and observe in what light you are cast. Try to make sure that you are mentioned online as often as possible, in a positive light.
Make sure you set up alerts across all your social media platforms that will notify you whenever you are mentioned. That way, you can respond if you need to (and you should, even if it’s just to say thank you), and keep track of the people who talk about you.
If you are being dragged through the mud on social media, make sure you don’t get into a heated discussion publicly. Instead, take the matter further privately, but be aware that the other side might choose to screenshot your messages and construe them out of context, so your safest bet is to keep a record of your own.
Be careful what you post
When posting on social media, even on their private profiles, all of your lawyers and yourself need to think twice before hitting publish. Even if you feel a post is innocent enough, the wider public might disagree, and you don’t want to be roped into a discussion about your actions or beliefs.
You can keep a very private account on social networks where you can only be found by friends and family, if you feel the need for complete privacy. However, you may be tagged in the images and videos of others, so always keep that in mind as well.
Hire someone to help you out
If you are worried about the news articles that are casting you in a negative light and how high up in the search results they appear, you can use an SEO agency to help you tackle the issue.
They can build links to the more positive mentions of your law firm or yourself and ensure that that is what people see first and foremost when they google you. Just remember that there will be no instant results, and that it may take a while before a post travels further down.
Instead of waiting for others to write about you, you need to encourage them to do so and do some promotion yourself.
Ask your clients to provide reviews and testimonials, both on Google and on the most important websites in your area and industry.
Create a blog on your website, and publish relevant and industry-specific articles. Promote them not just on social media, but also on forums and communities, and anywhere else you think your target clients might be congregating.
Give interviews, join podcasts, and make it easy for people to cover you – if you hand someone a piece of news, ready to go, they will be much more likely to run it.
If you stay vigilant and keep monitoring your reputation, you will be well-positioned to react if a negative piece of news or a malicious piece of criticism arises. Remember to keep your cool and remain professional, no matter how low below the belt the other side is punching.