On-line reviews have become incredibly important for professionals to build their client base. Entire industries have been built on the notion that one person’s experience – even someone you do not know – is a tool used to judge ones abilities. We do it all the time with restaurants, stores, apps, and on and on. More and more on-line reviews are being used when people choose service providers.
It used to be when you needed a lawyer, you would reach out to someone you know and hope they knew someone. This may have led you to a tax lawyer when you were really looking for a real estate lawyer but eventually a name would be shared and you would have someone to work with. With search, this is obviously much easier and you are able to pinpoint the type of lawyer you are looking for in the area you need them. You still need to make a decision on which one to choose which is where on-line reviews come in.
Client reviews come in many forms and are second in the way to grow your practice surpassed only by direct referrals. Potential clients will look at your LinkedIn profile and read your recommendations; they will look at your Google Business page to see what people have said about you; they may look up award or accreditation sites; believe it or not they may even look up your Yelp page and other listing sites. The point is what other people say about you is important, which means it is important to make sure the reviews you have a positive and genuine.
The obvious route to get the best reviews is to only ask those people that you know had a great experience. Depending on your practice will determine where the best place for the review to be. For example if you are with a large corporate firm, LinkedIn is likely the best place. A small generalist firm may emphasize reviews on Google to drive traffic. If you’re in a specific niche, having these testimonials in the right place is as good as gold and may bring you more clients that you want to work with.
Taking reviews to the next level is adding video. Video provides a unique perspective for potential clients that a written testimonial has difficulty conveying. There is a cost to having these done well, along with a time commitment from your client so being sure to select only the best is imperative. You don’t need hundreds, a few well done will do. Video adds a personal element and will act almost as a defacto direct referral.
Rarely will a client simply provide a review either on-line or offer to do a video. You need to ask them. Let them know why you are asking and what it will be used for. Stress to them that their opinion matters not only to you but to others who may require similar services.
Asking for a referral should not be awkward especially if you ask once you have solved their problems and made the experience a great one, there is a good chance they will have something positive to say about you. Let your past clients help you find your next client.