Think about it. If someone needs a divorce attorney, they’ll search Google for “divorce lawyer near me,” or if they seek an estate lawyer, they might search “estate law firm.”
And then how will they wade through the crowd? The answer is with customer reviews.
Getting online reviews on Google and other review sites is essential to grow your law firm. It’s how potential clients judge your reputation and decide whether or not to reach out to you.
In fact, about 83% of prospective clients will evaluate a firm’s online reviews before deciding on an attorney.
If you use Clio, one of the top legal softwares to manage your firm’s operations, you probably already have a system in place for client intake. But what are you doing for lead generation?
In this post, I’ll walk you through getting more reviews for your law firm and how to leverage them in your marketing strategy to build your business.
I’ll also outline strategies about how to deal with & remove negative reviews and take advantage of your reviews via marketing channels.
So if you use Clio to manage your law firm (or even if you don’t), and want to take your marketing game to the next level, read on to learn about how NiceJob has your back!
The impact of Google reviews for law firms and lawyers is huge! That’s why you need to focus on increasing both review quality and review quantity.
Getting more five-star reviews provides multiple benefits.
To start, with more Google reviews, you can improve your rankings on search engines and on the Google Local 3-Pack, the map selections that show top nearby search results.
You can also use positive reviews from satisfied clients as testimonials on your website or across social media to help increase your online conversion rates.
To build off this last point, reviews form the backbone of reputation marketing, which is the strategy of leveraging your reviews as marketing collateral to promote your law firm.
Here, you’re not only passively managing reviews but using your reviews in your marketing materials to grow your legal firm and build your business—more on this below!
But getting reviews isn’t easy. So how exactly as a law firm can you get more reviews to start winning more clients than your local competition?
At NiceJob, we’ve outlined dozens of ways to get online reviews—29 of them to be exact.
As a law firm, you have a uniquely personal relationship with all of your clients to provide a strong starting point for getting more reviews.
You’re not just another small service business that only spends an hour or two with customers. You’re a professional service that has to work closely with clients to serve them.
Start by emailing your most satisfied past clients and ask them if they’d mind leaving you a positive review. It might seem tiresome but it works!
Promptness is also key—asking a client right after you settle their case will increase your odds of getting a desired result.
With NiceJob’s Clio integration, for example, you can automatically send out review requests upon the closing of a legal job or case (i.e., a “matter”) in a Clio client profile.
Other options empower you to trigger review-request campaigns via email and SMS after an initial consultation, receiving a retainer payment or after a milestone in a client’s case.
Now that we’ve outlined the basics of why and how to get Google reviews from clients, how can you put those reviews to work? This is where reputation marketing comes in.
What is reputation marketing? Reputation marketing is a strategy where law firms repurpose their online reviews as advertising and promotional materials.
You could use reviews on your website, in advertisements, across social media or more!
Reputation marketing with online reviews matters for lawyers because it has the potential to greatly impact your business.
Most firms that compete with yours will also have Google reviews, so it makes sense that proactively leveraging your reviews in your marketing can give your firm an edge.
And your law firm’s revenue metrics will thank you for it!
For instance, let’s consider the following statistics:
Therefore, you need to stop thinking in terms of reputation management and start thinking in terms of reputation marketing.
So what exactly is the difference in reputation marketing vs. reputation management?
Many consider reputation management as crisis management. You’re simply mitigating or trying to reverse the damage done to your firm’s brand when you receive a negative review.
At best, you’re soliciting positive reviews when it’s not awkward just to keep up with your competition or to help bury a negative review.
Reputation marketing, on the other hand, is more proactive. It involves using your reviews as collateral in your marketing campaigns.
How does this work? There are lots of creative ways for using customer reviews in marketing.
Adding reviews as testimonials to your website is an easy and effective start.
With NiceJob’s reputation marketing software, you can add a widget to your website to automatically populate “client stories” and show off your amazing work!
And of course, with the Clio legal software, you can easily import client profiles into NiceJob to streamline the process of getting those Google reviews for your law firm.
Check out this below example of the NiceJob Stories widget from the website of a Texas-based immigration lawyer!
Using your reviews across social media and in advertisements are also excellent ways to build your brand and grow your firm.
Promoting your reviews in social posts, as in the below example from an injury law firm, increases post engagement on average by 200%.
And we already mentioned above how highlighting positive reviews in paid ads can improve the ROI of your advertising expenses in multiple ways.
Even something as simple as adding your star rating into banner ads can make a difference, but making a testimonial the focal point of a promotion can pay huge dividends.
Of course, it can be as simple as using NiceJob to automatically share your “stories” to Facebook and then boosting those posts to increase their reach to a target audience.
Even more exciting, Google has introduced Google Local Services Ads for law firms. Check out these below examples of Local Services results for “San Diego Estate Planning Lawyer.”
These new types of Google advertisements have the potential to be incredibly effective for law firms.
They’re the first thing users see on their screens when searching for a lawyer, even before other types of paid ads, the Local 3-Pack and organic search results.
And Google charges law firms for them not per click but per lead, so you only pay when a potential client actually reaches out to you and leaves their contact information.
However, online reviews are a huge factor for your success here. The more reviews and stars you get, the better your odds of your ad showing regularly.
As Google themselves say about reviews for ads: “Providers with higher star ratings and more reviews stand out and typically book more jobs through Local Services Ads.”
So be sure to check out our guide on getting Google Local Services reviews to start expanding your marketing reach and booking more clients!
Now you know the power of reputation marketing and reputation management for lawyers, so it’s easy to see how adding a review tool to your firm’s legal software is a winning case!
Since Clio is one of the most popular legal softwares for practice management and client intake, we made sure that NiceJob integrates with Clio easily to benefit firms like yours.
With NiceJob and Clio, you can automatically import client and company information into NiceJob’s reputation marketing software.
From there, they can create automatic triggers for review solicitations, such as closing a job or case in Clio, invoice statuses or matter updates.
And NiceJob’s unique review-solicitation campaigns of custom emails and text messages double the amount of online reviews your law firm gets.
So start growing your law firm today and get the reputation you deserve with NiceJob reputation marketing software.