I talk to my clients a lot about the need to manage their online presence. I encourage them to create a compelling profile on LinkedIn and build a network of connections that they know, like and trust – and who know, like and trust them. I tell them to claim their Avvo profiles and complete them. I suggest that – within the bounds of the ethical rules in their states – they seek endorsements from their peers and reviews from their clients. I tell them that this is really important to marketing their practice.
While social media networks will never replace good, old face-to-face relationship marketing, they can either support your other marketing efforts or drive a stake right through them. This point was made painfully clear for me recently when I made a referral to an attorney who’s a good friend of mine.
After I made the referral, I did what everybody does nowadays; I pulled up my friend on Avvo. There he was – a 25- year attorney, board certified, AV Rated, one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in his state – and – to my horror – he had an Avvo rating of 7.5. Ouch. And right there next to his profile were links to other attorneys who had an Avvo rating of 10.0 – Superb. (You can block other attorneys from appearing on your profile by upgrading to Avvo Pro for $49.95 a month. A bit of shrewd, albeit annoying, marketing on Avvo’s part, but $50 bucks well-spent in my opinion. Avvo Pro also lets you customize the way your profile appears.)
Even though I know my friend is an experienced attorney who has represented thousands of clients through some very complex cases, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe those other attorneys might be as good or even better. If I was thinking these things when I saw his profile, what were people who didn’t know him thinking?
I’m not saying that Avvo is everything, but I am saying that if you don’t manage it, it can hurt you.
What is required to increase an AVVO rating?
Hi Peter. Your Avvo profile should be as complete as possible. Make sure to include any associations you belong to – legal or non-legal, articles you’ve written – include hyper-links to your articles, if possible, and speaking engagements. Link your profile to your website, LinkedIn profile, and Twitter account, you have one. Login to your Avvo profile and go through every section to make sure it is as complete as posible. Be aware of the ethics rules in your state regarding requesting client endorsements or recommendations from other attorneys. Once you’ve updated your profile, it may take a day or two to see your rating increase.