Law Firm Marketing: Establish Trust

One of the primary goals when it comes to your law firm marketing should be: Establish Trust.

Until you’ve established trust, nothing happens. Prospective clients don’t hire you. Your network doesn’t send referrals.

As an attorney, you handle complex matters and the stakes are high. Hiring a lawyer isn’t like choosing a restaurant for dinner. Clients aren’t going to “try you out” unless they’re confident that you can deliver a positive outcome.

And, you’re facing a trust deficit. Research over the years has reinforced this. For example, an ABA study conducted a few years back found that a full 69% of consumers surveyed believe that “Lawyers are more interested in making money than in serving their clients.” Obviously we know that’s not true – but that’s the perception.

That’s why it’s so important that your law firm marketing helps to build trust. Here are several ways to accomplish this:

1 – Make your website into an educational resource. 76% of consumers use the internet while searching for a lawyer, and so your website is a critical tool that you can use to create trust. You do this not by telling them they can trust you, but by showing them that they can trust you. Make your website into such a helpful and informative resource that there can be no doubt as to your expertise and your ability. Create content – such as blog entries or free reports – that educates potential clients and answers their pressing questions.

2 – Use video to establish a personal connection. Video is your “secret weapon” when it comes to establishing trust and building rapport. Short of a face-to-face conversation, there’s no better way to create a personal connection than video. Video gives your prospective clients the opportunity to hear your voice and get a feel for your body language. It allows them to feel like they know you, even before they’ve met you. It breaks down barriers and makes it much easier for them to pick up the phone and schedule a consultation. Specifically, we recommend that you create a Video FAQ Library on your website. Create a series of short videos in which you address common questions and concerns that your prospective clients commonly ask. You don’t need special effects or expensive production. Click here to see an example.  For more on the subject of video, check out a recent Legal Marketing Live episode in which Marc and I discussed the topic:

3 – Establish credibility by speaking, podcasting, and pursuing media exposure. Speaking provides an instant credibility boost and goes a long way towards building trust in you and your abilities. Whether it’s a bar function, an industry trade group, a conference or seminar, or whatever the case may be – look for opportunities to speak in front of your target audience. These days, podcasting has emerged as a popular media channel as well, and you can leverage this opportunity to build trust and credibility. Consider creating and hosting your own podcast, or seek out opportunities to appear on other podcasts that are targeted at your market. And finally, traditional media – such as TV, radio, newspapers – is still a powerful way to enhance your credibility. In each of these cases, you can use media channels to “prove” your expertise and give your audience reason to trust you.

4 – Compile social proof – testimonials, ratings, and reviews. Social proof makes it easier for a prospective client to trust you because you’re giving them evidence that other people already trust you. It dramatically reduces the “leap of faith” that is required. So feature testimonials on your website, and pursue ratings and reviews across your social media network. Obviously, make sure that you’re in compliance with your state Bar requirements. Each state is different, but you’re generally safe as long as you don’t feature testimonials that can be construed as a guarantee of future results. Instead, ask for testimonials that reference your commitment and your personal approach – your listening ability, your compassion, your communication skills, your dedication, etc.

Does your law firm marketing establish trust with prospective clients and referral sources? If not, we can help. Click here if you’d like to learn more about what we do

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Daniel Decker

Daniel Decker is a co-founder and Partner at Spotlight Branding. In addition to helping lawyers stand out from the crowd, he spends his time writing, dreaming up new marketing strategies, and coming up with catchy subject lines. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys playing sports, guitar, politics, and Minnesota sports.