This is not some sycophantic creation aimed at bigging it up for lawyers or, more likely, jabbing a pointy finger at the legal profession for their lack of ‘friendliness’.
No, this is much more basic but profoundly more important.
In case you haven’t got a (bloody) clue what I am talking about, I am referring to the ubiquitous Like button that is now appearing at an alarming rate on practically all websites and blogs that you encounter. And that is no surprise given the way in which Facebook now dominates a lot of people’s lives.
Still not sure what I am prattling upon about? Well in case you hadn’t heard, social indexing is the way, in the future, that we will come to make and or select our legal services provider (that means You!).
Crudely this is how it works (and no doubt will be refined over time).
- You visit a website that you like. You may have already used the service but whatever the reason you express your appreciation by hitting the Facebook Like button which records that on your page.
- You may do that quite a few times, particularly if you like the content. A blog is often a good way to generate multiple hits.
- Your stream on Facebook includes people who have similar buying habits to yourself. They go and check out your Liked page and they then go on to purchase the service. They may start off at a much less engaging point but over time, with the transmuted credibility that comes from following your stream, your friend is far more likely to make his/her decision based on the fact that they (hopefully) trust you. Absent this sort of engagement they would have to resort to the good old fashioned search engine. Of course, no matter how powerful the timing, word score and relevancy, at the moment no search engine is going to give a rating for your search – is it any good in other words.
This process of social indexing is only likely to increase and, by any other name, it would be called word of mouth but it happens that all the interaction, certainly in the early stages, is likely to be electronic.
A similar effect can be had by using the share button on a website or blog and distribute the sparkling content but the problem is that so few people have enabled RSS or Google Reader that for many they are stumbling through the dark and being very sporadic, rather than being focused over their interests. Let’s face it who wants to visit the same websites every day, and scour the pages for new content. What a pain.
If you want to start getting noticed and increase the likelihood of people buying your services, then hear are my top takeaways:
- Make sure your blog, news or website has Like and share buttons enabled. But be careful that they are linked to pages that have some interesting content.
- Make sure you have a RSS button in a prominent place so that I can dovetail it with the various readers that exist.
- Get over the fact that you need a blog. I am sick to death of the debate: “Should I or shouldn’t I”. Just accept that until you have dived in and started blogging you cannot possibly begin to know if it is for your business. Of course, no one, least of all me who now blogs everyday, is going to deny that it is hard sometimes but that is no reason to give up on the idea before you have even started. If you must send out a three line whip to make sure you get copy then so be it but the point is that I am far more likely to engage with your brand when you have something to say than when your website gets updated only infrequently.
- Think multi-media. Use video, audio and free giveaways. Again it gives your friendlies something to talk about or more likely Like you for.
Now I know there will be those of you who still don’t believe that any of this stuff is a substitute for real people interaction but the point is that this process and enabling technologies will just hasten the contact process. And, more particularly, in the legal space anything that makes you slightly different will give you a nice crisp edge to leverage. Oh and that hopefully means more instructions and more profit.
If all of this sounds too much effort then the best thing to do is to get someone in who can do an audit of your business and set the temperature dial in such a way that you don’t completely feel that you have lost control.
For more on developing profitable business, innovating in professional practice and implementing social media, subscribe to the RSS Feed of my Blog. Follow me on Twitter at @0neLife, or @Ju_Summerhayes connect to me on LinkedIn or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your practice, check out my coaching and consulting firm via LinkedIn, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 075888 15384.