Daily Dispatch

Optimizing for Potential Clients

By | Nov.28.12 | Daily Dispatch, Marketing & Business Development, Optimize, Social Media

Many readers will require no introduction to the newest regular at Attorney at Work. Gyi Tsakalakis already has a following. He’s been teaching social media and website best practices to lawyers for quite some time. “Optimize,” his monthly column here, promises to deliver great ideas to help you make the most of yourself and your practice in the online world.     

Why Do Lawyers Do These Things?

In the race to increase online exposure, many lawyers forget about the very people they’re trying to attract. Does your Twitter profile look something like the example below? Is this making the most effective use of the tool at hand? Whether it’s because of a lack of understanding or they’ve gotten bad advice, some lawyers are “optimizing” their web profiles in ways that are at best a waste of time and money, and at worst potentially harming their reputations.

You might wonder why folks are doing this. For many, the answer is they believe it will help them rank better in search results. Ignoring, for the moment, the futility of these techniques as “search engine optimization” strategies, as well as the potential ethical problems, think about how these “optimizations” might be perceived by potential clients and referral sources. Do you think they’re impressed? Do you think they’re motivated to meet “Best Attorney In LA”? Are you?

Truth Is, This Stuff Simply Doesn’t Work

It doesn’t provide some tactical advantage in search engines. It doesn’t impress, is far more likely to be ignored and may even repulse. And so, if you want to make the most effective use of the Internet to connect with people, use some common sense:

  • Be yourself.
  • Be authentic.
  • Use your real name.
  • Use a real picture of yourself.
  • Keep in touch with people you know.
  • Participate in conversations that interest you.
  • Be mindful of your ethical obligations—they apply online, too.

You don’t earn clients with link juice, followers and “likes.” You earn them by building, nurturing and solidifying relationships with the people behind the profiles. So, if you’re going to “optimize,” you should do it with those people in mind. Looking to learn more? Why not hear it from the mouths of the horses:

Gyi Tsakalakis helps lawyers put their best foot forward online because clients are looking for them there. He is a co-founder of AttorneySync, a digital marketing agency for law firms. You can find more of his writing at Lawyerist & Avvo’s Lawyernomics blog. You can ask him a question (or just say hi) at LinkedInTwitterGoogle+ and Facebook.

Image ©ImageZoo.

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3 Responses to “Optimizing for Potential Clients”

  1. Bill Wilson
    28 November 2012 at 8:38 am #

    I hate comments that basically say “I agree,” but in this instance the “I agree” response is right on. After 21 years of practicing law, I can say that my best clients and experiences have all been those that came to me because of personal connections and referrals–not because of a phone book ad or our web site. (OK, I can think of one great client that found me via the web site, but it’s the exception.)

    My hunch is that those who would hire “BestLawyerNLA” are looking for cheap, not good.

  2. Gyi
    29 November 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Hi Bill,

    Thanks for commenting and sharing. With all of the noise about the internet, it’s important that experienced attorneys remind the younger generation that personal connections and referrals are the cornerstones of a successful practice.

    Web technologies should be viewed as tools that enable us to create, nurture and solidify those connections.


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