Taking Stock of Your Firm’s Brand in 2015

If you’ve been doing your homework, you’ve spent a lot of time spreading the message of your law firm this year. As you tweet, blog, post and talk about your firm time and again, it’s easy to believe your own hype. But if you never check in with the world at large, you can’t really be sure where you stand.

Listen to the marketplace
Spend some time actively searching for and reading reviews online. You might discover problems in your customer service processes, or hidden gems that you’ve been taking for granted. Fix the bad news. Turn the good news into a selling point. And if a really troubling review rears its head, remember that any response shows your character. A polite, professional reply may turn the tide in your favor, but some comments aren’t worth engaging.

Get your (satisfied) customers talking
Everyone worries about negative reviews, but be honest – you know who your happy customers are. Commit to soliciting their positive feedback in the coming year. Online reviews are easier to get and share than letters of recommendation, and they carry a huge amount of weight with search engines. Often, gaining reviews is simply a matter of showing clients where and how they can help spread the word.

Ask for opinions
Another excellent way to assess where your brand stands is through customer surveys. Online services like Survey Monkey and even Google offer valuable, inexpensive ways to create a set of questions that your clients can answer online. To get the best results from your survey, remember these basic concepts:

  1. Define the goal of your survey up front. A vague assessment of how your law firm is doing won’t result in a lot of actionable information. Instead, try to measure specifics. For example:
    • How much did name recognition factor into your decision to hire our firm?
    • Rank the following areas in order of influence on your hiring decision:
      Print ads, Online ads, Social media, etc.
  2. Use an odd-numbered scale that reflects two extremes. And note that studies show most people aren’t able to articulate their position on a scale greater than seven points. We recommend keeping it to five. For example:
    • How often were you able to reach your attorney by phone?
      Never—Rarely—Sometimes—Often—Always
  3. Keep it short and simple. Remember that you’re asking for a favor of your audience. Respect their time with a short survey that only asks as many questions as you truly need to know. Likewise, keep individual questions clear and concise. Muddy language can result in misunderstandings and useless data.

No brand exists in a vacuum. External factors can have an immense influence on your public perception. To make sure your brand isn’t getting trashed online, keep your eyes and ears open in 2015. It’s easier than you think, and the results may delight you.

For help developing your brand and working with the leads it can bring, download the free playbook Legal Marketing 101: A Guide for Small Law Firms.

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