The web has fundamentally changed the speed with which we can publish information as well as the access others have to that information. With these changes, it has become increasingly important that you not only make sure you are putting forth efforts to establish your reputation online, but that you monitor what is being said about you as well.
I want to address not only ways you can build your reputation online, but also some suggestions for tracking what is being said about you.
- Write a blog – You must actively participate in the conversation. Make sure you or your firm has a blog that is regularly updated. This will help to establish your expertise and develop your law firm’s brand.
- Use Google Alerts – Google provides this tool to everyone for free. This powerful tool enables you to enter words you want to scrape the internet for. It will email when a new instance of the word you are tracking appears. You can track your name, the name of your firm, and much more.
- Check out the Twitter search service – Twitter enables you to search the tweet stream for real time conversation. By searching for your name or the name of you firm you can see almost instantly when others are talking about you and your brand.
- Get active on LinkedIn, Digg, and other social media – Taking the time to answer LinkedIn questions, submitting articles to Digg, and joining LinkedIn groups you can actively participate in the conversation. This will help build connections…. and your reputation.
The online community is an data harvesting extension of how people interact in the real world. If you take time to establish yourself and gain credibility, it will benefit you should anyone attempt negative conversation about you.
People will sometimes write negatively about an experience with you or your company. The best part about establishing a reputation and setting up tracking is that you can quickly respond to any criticism. This reflects well on you and can turn a negative into a positive quickly.
Taking the time to monitor your web presence and developing a following as a thought leader in your field will pay big dividends later on. To convert prospects into clients, there is no better tool than establishing trust and expertise.