How do you get a leg up for your services business when there is serious competition in your space for marketing your type of firm online?
For every savvy lawyer, there are 10 other savvy lawyers who also have good domain names and good web copy.
Here are two subtle things you can do to boost your Preference Quotient that will give you a better chance of connecting your professional services to the people and companies that need them or will make referrals to someone else.
- Give some of your individual services a brand name.
- Get a vanity phone number that makes an impact.
The idea behind a brand name is to give people the impression of two things: (1) that this is not your first time to the dance; and (2) that you have created a process around your service.
Let me explain this further.
People naturally are attracted to systems that suggest success. They don’t want to be guinea pigs.
They want to know that you have a plan which you have done before and that you can repeat again for them – even if it has to be customized and personalized for their situation.
Divers have a system they call “plan the dive, dive the plan” which reinforces itself every time they dive.
Airplane pilots have a very cumbersome checklist because one item missed can mean a plane crash.
How to put these two subtle ideas into practice:
Take an ordinary employment handbook you have used for years. Start calling it “The Bulletproof Restaurant Employment Handbook.”
All of a sudden, the boring handbook has become bulletproof and it’s focused on restaurants.
What is one of the employer’s biggest fears with employees? Getting sued by an employee. Often employees can sue just to threaten an employer as a sort of blackmail – especially in employee friendly states like California.
When an employer sees a law firm offering a bulletproof handbook, don’t you think that is going to make a huge impression and shock them out of their trance of wanting to ignore the information about your employee handbook just like they ignore everyone else’s handbook description too?
Put a Trademark symbol ™ after the handbook name to give it that official stamp that says you didn’t just name your process (that protects employers from angry and deceitful employees), you protected your process too.
If you want, you can even make an acronym out of the name of the handbook.
All these little subtleties are building blocks to be used in the game of connecting more intimately with your target audiences and convincing them of your “greatness” and credibility.
Do what you can to create this “flow of trust” wherever you can.
The more the pieces add up into a complete picture that makes some kind of sense (to the lizard and the rest of the brain) – even if there are still some missing puzzle pieces – the more likely it will be that you convert prospects and win their business.
As you continue reading, keep this formula in mind because it’s just another way of saying you should look for ways to use your website to create the appearance of a relationship of trust because this fosters more trusted engagement which leads to more business transactions.
Let’s review a law firm case study as we complete the 5th ingredient of our P6 success formula.
- Your firm offers employment law services (mostly in Kentucky).
- Your firm specializes in representing employers – i.e. the businesses that need an employment law firm.
- You have done an audience segmentation analysis (as part of your Local SEO Audit) and learned that there are specific industries to target (e.g. food, environmental testing, waste management) in your geographic reach in Kentucky that have a big demand for your legal services.
- You have created landing pages for each of these audience segments describing some of the services you can offer that are contextualized to each reader.
- You have created specialized content in the form of blogs, articles and/or videos to address multiple audience segments.
The 5th ingredient says: “Do things that inspire trust” so that you can convince people to PREFER you over alternative choices.
When people reach a web page there is a 3-fold challenge that exists in order to win their trust and keep them from leaving. In the visitor’s mind, there are 3 roadblocks (like a toll-gate) with security guards who are instructed to tell the visitor to leave the site unless 3 needs are satisfied:
- The site is clear about what it is about.
- The site is clear about who is being addressed.
- The site is clear about why it should be trusted.
If you have a web page and you want your digital branding message to grab your visitor’s attention and bypass the mental (and distrustful) security guards, you must address the following items.
Let’s discuss a case study that describes a person who works as the head of HR for a candy company that needs an employment law firm for an employee handbook. In this scenario, the URL does not hint to the firm’s specific specialty in food law. Let’s see if this matters.
- Sally first discovers KentuckyEmploymentLawyers.com where her lizard brain instantly makes some connections:
- The firm likely offers employment law services,
- She knows that she needs a new employee handbook,
- This site may provide WHAT she needs (e.g. handbook).
- Sally also may feel even more secure that this website is the right place for her because her company is located in Kentucky. This test satisfies her need to know WHO this firm works with.
- Yet, there are still things Sally doesn’t yet know:
- What type of employment law practice is it?
- Does it represent employees or employers?
- What industry specialties exist (like food)?
- Is the firm [really] good? Can its partners be trusted?
These last questions are part of what I call the “why choose us” obstacle which is sometimes the toughest test to overcome. Inspiring trust takes on many forms in the digital brand messaging game.
There are many ways to INSPIRE TRUST and most of them are pretty much under the radar but become quite visible in a negative way if you don’t adhere to these rules.
Naturally this Kentucky law firm wants Sally’s mental security guard(that distrusts websites) to go on vacation and let her consume more information she can get by staying on the site. And hopefully this continued engagement leads to her requesting more information (by filling out a lead form and initiating the whole lead nurturing process).
Here are just a few examples of things this Kentucky law firm can do on its website to inspire trust:
- Avoid typos on the website.
- Make sure all the links work (do 404 testing monthly).
- Showcase industry awards.
- Highlight years of experience in specific industries.
- Signup for at least one social media account like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and put the links on your website.
- Match the visual imagery and branding of your website inside your social media pages.
- Your Facebook page should appear visually related to your website.
- If your partners are a selling point, then have rich Team Profiles with good photos and strong web copy (that is more than just a few boring sentences or “me too” paragraphs).
- Publish to its blog at least 2x per month to show the Firm is current with relevant legal trends, settlements and cases.
- If the blog is just for fun, that can be a powerful “trust” strategy building rapport in a non-business way too.
- Have a fresh, compelling looking website that is not more than two years out of date in terms of styling.
- Promote a YouTube video which presents something more compelling than just text and images on a web page.
- Display testimonials and references from clients or other authorities that would matter to each audience segment.
- Write case studies (and drop names) that people will recognize.
- Don’t use photos from image libraries that are inappropriate.
- Make it easy and intuitive to navigate the website.
- Display contact info very clearly on every page.
- If physical location matters, display the address on all pages.
If you made it this far, you can almost unbuckle your seat belt to get to your wallet, because this last ingredient is the one that matters most – getting people to pay you for the work you can do on their behalf.
Let’s get to the 6th ingredient of P6 – Attracting People Who Can Pay For Your Services.