Can Your Clients Trust You?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

This old adage might hold true in our personal lives, but if you’re fooling your prospective clients online even one time, you’re doing damage to your brand and your bottom line.

Now, I’m not saying that you’ve been intentionally tricking your visitors, but the harsh truth is that innocent mistakes can lead to confusion or frustration. This breaks the trust of your online audience and can have real-world effects. Think about it in your own life. I’ll bet you can easily remember a time when you were turned off by a simple mistake or bad decision that another business made. You may have even taken your business elsewhere.

To keep your law firm in the good graces of your audience, avoid the following missteps in your online marketing:

  1. Pushy multimedia – It should go without saying at this point, but some lawyers still don’t get it: Do not have videos, sound effects or other intrusive multimedia play automatically on your website. It’s been rude for over a decade now. Don’t force your “experience” on your visitors.
  2. Inconsistent branding – Your brand is more than your firm name. It’s your web address, your tagline or even your color scheme. You’d work to keep these consistent across business cards and email mastheads, so do the same online as well. Your audience should always be clear about who they’re working with.
  3. Not being transparent – Be up front with your audience. Let them know what they can really expect from working with you. Sometimes this means answering frequently asked questions, sometimes it means dialing back on sales language that makes a promise you can’t keep.
  4. Negative or aggressive language – Using fear as a sales tactic is always in bad taste. Instead of scaring your audience, educate them about the risks of inaction or the benefits of working with you. And when it’s time to sell, strive to be compelling, not domineering, in your calls to action.
  5. Abusing your followers – Finding the right amount of social media use for your firm is always a challenge. But for every brand, there is a line between enough and too much. And that line can move if you aren’t careful. Don’t overwhelm your audience with meaningless or off-brand postings. Odds are, your social network is made of courteous followers, not devoted fans.

Remember, trust is a key factor among legal consumers. Don’t let carelessness or self-interest get in the way of the connections that matter most to your business.

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