Rainmaking Recommendation #151: Awards, Testimonials & Reviews

Recently, I have been receiving a rash of awards and nominations.

Now, before you think I am bragging, let me explain.

I have been voted:

  • “2017 Attorney of The Year”
  • “Who’s Who in Women Attorneys”
  • A recipient of the “2017 Legal Elite Awards”

And that’s just in the past week.

There is a slight problem with these awards . . . I haven’t practiced law in 15 years.

Most of the awards out there are meant to do two things and two things only – stroke a lawyer’s ego and get lots of money for the “awarding body” in the form of advertisements, trophies, plaques and anything else they can monetize.

There are awarding companies that have gained great reputations, but you should not feel bad about not receiving a nomination or award.  (And, by the way, if you have received an accolade from a “reputable” company, please check your state bar association for the appropriate ethics rules about how to announce your listing and the use of banners on your website.)

Instead, concentrate on two things – your clients’ testimonials and their reviews.

The Difference between a Testimonial and a Review

You’ve all seen the attorney website where they have a page of quotes from happy clients – their testimonials. While this is an excellent start, you have control over what you put on your website so unhappy client quotes are never posted. And, potential clients are smart enough to know this.

A review, on the other hand, is an honest opinion given about your level of service posted on third party websites like Google, Yelp! (yes, Yelp!), Lawyers.com, AVVO, Lawyer Ratingz and even your Facebook page, to name just a few.   In fact, even if the outcome of a case is not exactly what the client wanted, if you exceed their expectations in every other area, they will give you a good rating/review.

The Statistics are In

Each year, Bright Local conducts a local consumer review survey.  In 2016 they found,

  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and
  • 54% of people will visit the website after reading positive reviews.

Additionally, Review Tracker stated in 2015 that:

  • Approximately 83% of people check lawyer reviews as the first step to finding an attorney.
  • 70% of clients are willing to go to an attorney in an inconvenient location if that attorney has better reviews and higher ratings than legal professional who are closer to home.
  • 48% of clients say quality of service and years of experience are the two most important types of information for clients when reading online reviews of lawyers and law firms.

What does this mean?

What this means is that you have to start asking your clients to give you reviews.  It’s scary, I know, but you know the clients who are happiest with your services.  Ask them to go to one of the sites above and give you a rating/review.  And if you don’t think they will, one of the other statistics that Bright Local found is

  • 7 out of 10 consumers (70%) will leave a review when asked.

Ask your favorite (and happiest) clients to post a review on a third party site.  Then, ask if you can take that review and post it as a testimonial on your firm website.

(The next Rainmaking Recommendation will be on how to get good reviews.)



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