Is Social Proof More Powerful Than Credentials?

Posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 at 5:13 pm    

When it comes to Lawyer Marketing, so often we are compelled to try and convince our potential new customers that we are the right choice for them. We do this by drawing attention to our credentials, awards, accolades and achievements… in essence we are focusing on ourselves.

What if there was a far easier and effective way to earn the trust (and business) of our most sought after prospects?

This potential magic bullet is a concept called social proof which is a relatively unknown idea yet it may just be more influential than any of your high marks and credentials.

Social Proof is the authority or influence created when someone discovers that other people are already doing something. In other words, using the actions of others to infer the value of a course of action.

“Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect correct behavior for a given situation. This effect is prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior, and is driven by the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation.” – Wikipedia

On any given day we can observe countless examples of social proof. Consumer ratings (i.e. Yelp.com) are a cyber version of social proof and those ratings influence our buying habits. For example, we are much more likely to buy a product that has 150 positive reviews than a similar product that only has two or three reviews.

Psychology Professor Robert Cialdini, conducted a number of studies in an attempt to find out if social proof is as powerful as he assume it was. In most cases his assumptions were proven accurate. People are greatly influenced by the actions of others and more often than not will choose what others have already chosen.

There are many types of social proof: Expert or celebrity endorsements, crowds (long lines) and referrals from friends, just to name a few. One of the most influential types of social proof is testimonials. Video testimonials on your legal website are exceptionally powerful when it comes to attracting new clients on the web.

In this era of the social networking, social gaming and social everything; social proof may be the new marketing method of choice.

If you want more business from the web, encourage past and present clients to write or video a testimonial. Prominently posting these testimonials throughout your site will allow new visitors to learn why your service is so great and should help move them quickly towards taking that next step.


Should Lawyers Be Using Groupon?

Posted on Friday, October 28th, 2011 at 3:30 pm    

Just about everyone not living under a rock has heard of Groupon.  Some people are huge fans of the daily deal aggregator and others, well, not so much. Regardless, I wondered if the service would be useful for a Legal Practice?

If you’re not already aware, Groupon is an online company that offers daily deals at all sorts of local businesses.  Basically, on behalf of local businesses they provide a coupon for 50% – 70% off of the retail price for a good or service.  After the buyer pays for the deal, Groupon sends them a coupon via email and Groupon and the participating business split the proceeds.  For retailers looking for additional exposure and/or traffic, Groupon can have a dramatic affect however, one needs to be very well aware of what they are signing up for.  Just try Googling “Groupon Horror Stories” to get a sample of some of their less than happy users.

But can Groupon benefit lawyers looking for more business?  In my opinion, the answer (like so often) is “it depends”.  It depends on the type of law that the attorney practices.  I don’t see Groupon being a very good fit for a personal injury attorney who more than likely is compensated on a contingency basis however I can see it working for an Estate attorney or for Legal Entity formation (LLC’s, Corps, etc). Basic Divorce filings could work but then again, maybe not… like I said, it just depends.

For a Lawyer considering using Groupon it’s important to check with your individual State Bar rules to make sure that in fact, you can use Groupon. The North Carolina ethics committee recently decided that Groupon violates state bar rules’ prohibiting fee splitting. They believe that consumers pay a predetermined price for the Groupon offer and that the participating lawyers subsequently split that fee with Groupon, a practice that violates North Carolina’s rules. This ruling seems a little ticky tack to me but I’m part of the advertising community.

So, in conclusion, I do think that certain Law Practices could see a nice bump in business by using Groupon. I would limit that opinion to firms that charge flat fees and/or can pretty well guage what the average case will cost. In practices where the attorneys are paid on contingency or there are multiple layers of variables for each case then I think that Groupon will do more harm than good; attracting new clients at a price that you are unable to perform is a recipe for disaster.

As always, in my opinion, if a Lawyer wants more business what they really need to do is aggressively market on the internet and ensure that they have a system to capture the lead and convert that lead into an appointment… Simple as that!


Facebook Marketing Tips For Serious Business Only

Posted on Friday, February 11th, 2011 at 4:59 pm    

The internet has gone through a lot of changes in the last few year by going from web 1.0 to web 2.0 which is a major transformation.

This change occurred for many reasons, but the one of them was social networking. This caused social media to grow like crazy over the internet. More people begin communicating with their friends via social media, which caused the internet to be used ten times as much. Currently, Facebook leads the way in the social networking websites. This social networking site is very popular and has a half a million users with tons of interests. How is this used for internet marketers? It just shows that the site has huge potential when it comes to marketing and can be easily leveraged for that purpose. This why a lot of people are choosing to utilize Facebook for advertising purposes. If you do it correctly, there are many methods for marketing the right products to your targeted market. In this article, we will discuss a few of the Facebook things that can get you noticed more.

A Facebook fan page is an incredible tool, and it gives your the ability to meet with your target audience on a daily basis. But what’s more important is that you make this fan page give you the results you want. So when you’re planning out your fan page, you’ll really need to make it interesting because you naturally want it to be popular in your market. What is it about a popular fan page? You want people to see that other people have been there, that plus putting great content on your page frequently. Just find ways to get people to open up and write something in your fan page. Dare people to tell you what is on their minds, and you can do standard things like opinion polls and such. If you are successful with talking to your market, then you will be in a great position to know exactly what they like and don’t like, etc. If you play your cards right you will know what makes your market tick, and in the process creating great business relationships with people.

You should be sure to create a business profile because you will want to keep it separate from your personal profile. There are a lot of good reasons for doing so, but mainly you want to keep a professional appearance on your business activities. But there is nothing wrong with injecting a little light-heartedness into your business profile. Do something to spice up your business profile and page. But keep things in balance, and never create the appearance that you’re not serious, etc.

Have a solid idea of what you want to accomplish, and the organize everything and build a business and marketing plan. So take a look at what you’ll be marketing and promoting, and then build all the materials you will need to accomplish your goal. It’s very important to actually work towards growing your marketing efforts on Facebook by being crystal clear in your approach. If you put everything into a Word document, or anythng similar, then you can look at your plan and see more.

You can quickly get up to speed with Facebook marketing and do absolute wonders for your business bottom line. If you choose to ignore the enormous potential at Facebook, then that is your great loss.


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