Bruce Willis can help you improve your online image. Sort of (Law society Gazette/In business blog)

Click here to see the article on the Law Society Gazette web site.

For those of you who have not seen the film, I don’t think I would be giving too much away by explaining that the characters in the film have younger, fitter, more beautiful surrogates who live life on their behalf.

This reminded me that it was about a year ago that there was a lot of media coverage about the major law firms setting up Second Life – an online virtual 'world' – law firms.

What has happened to these virtual firms?

When it comes to prioritising marketing activities, I usually advise people to think about how well an activity will further a relationship with a client or referral source. Clearly, face-to-face activities rate highest, followed by phone contact. Then you have a range of marketing communications materials used to maintain contact and develop understanding of your firm, such as your website, brochures, newsletter and so on. Second Life was pretty low down that priority scale for me!

Despite the plethora of online introduction websites springing up, we know that most new work comes via a personal introduction from a client, friend, relative or business acquaintance. The potential new client will then look on your website, if only to obtain the phone number, but more often to look up the particular solicitor that has been recommended.

When putting together new websites for law firms it seems as if many solicitors would love to call in a surrogate when it comes to the personal profile page – especially on the day of the corporate photo shoot.

Getting the page written is like pulling teeth, often because most people are actually quite modest and struggle to write about themselves. Search engines are looking for relevant content – so a personal profile can play a valuable role in highlighting niche areas of specialism.

Adding a few personal facts is useful – it can serve as an icebreaker at an initial meeting and help clients to identify common interests and thereby build the relationship.

People do business with people – and a good web profile will help a new client to feel more comfortable when they meet you – so if you have not updated your web profile in a while, take a moment to do so while you eat your sandwich today.

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