What’s your plan for making your law firm more Highly Respected in your metro and practice areas? (so you attract and retain more high quality clients).

Investigate this 3 part series on how hungry attorneys can become one of the most prestigious & highly respected law firms in your metro and practice area(s).

You’ll discover a simple implementable, 3-step process to turn strangers into potential clients & potentials into paying clients. Listen to the audio below or download it now.


This is the start of a 3 part series that’s going to go over a dozen or more ways that you can become the pre-eminent and most respected law firm in your metro in your practice areas. We’re going to cover three areas of how potential clients find you and eventually retain you and how you can make changes to your marketing, your online presences and other tweaks so that you are perceived by them as the firm to hire, as the lawyer to hire, as the most preeminent and highly respected attorney that they are seeking amongst others.

The three main areas we’re going to cover before clients ever call you are when they are searching a web, they are looking at Google, and they are looking at reviews and all that stuff. Then we’re going to cover once they get to your website, what things you could do to get them to call you and consume your articles and get on the phone with you to do that initial consult. The third area after website is actual call itself to your firm and the follow up or like thereof. What happens when somebody calls your firm, how are they treated, scripts used, how are they followed up, how do you reduce no shows, thinking overs, price resistance, price shopping and that kind of thing. These are the three stages.

Research by the potential client before they ever call you, getting to your website, checking out your credentials online and making that decision to call you and then, once they call you for the initial consultation all the way through them retaining you. We’re going to go over strategies, tips and techniques on how to improve all these three areas. This will get you more clients and the reason being is you’ll be perceived as the top person to hire. This podcast is first, we’re going to go into the first of the third. When people are searching the web, first of all, will they find you, and when they do, what will they find.

Let’s talk first about places you want to be found. There are millions of legal directories out there, there are many sites where you can get reviews. I’ve found that there’s really only four places that are really important for online reviews. AVVO, your website, Yelp, and Google Maps or Google+. Those are the four places. The great thing is you can pretty much ignore all the other areas to get reviews and focus on these four because these are the four spots that commend top ranking in Google search, and Google search is the majority of all search. Yelp is used heavily by many people; AVVO is actually pretty huge and used by many people as well, and of course on your website. These are the four places where you want reviews.

Why is your review important? Because they are a third-party proof that you are a good attorney to hire. The best thing is reviews can come from past clients, they can come from current clients whose cases are not over yet. They also can come from fellow attorneys, so there’s nothing wrong with an attorney writing a review for you saying, “I’m not a client of John Smith but I know John Smith professionally. We practiced in the same courts. I’ve known him for 10 years. He is a zealous advocate for his clients and he does a great job, he’s very thorough. He tends to get good results from what I can see because he spends so much time on his cases”, that’s a great powerful review. It’s an honest one and it builds up what people think of you.

People search, whether they’re looking to eat Chinese foods or to hire a lawyer, they look at reviews and they want to make sure that you have good ones. The nice thing is that the threshold is not so high. I’m just Googling now “Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer”, and the top three people that appear at Google Maps have anywhere from 10 to 12 reviews, that’s not a lot. Restaurants have hundreds, hotels have thousands; you only need, in many cases, 5, 10, maybe 15 reviews on Google Maps. Sure, it takes time to get them but once you get to the 5 review threshold on Google Maps, Google+, you’ll get gold stars next to your name. If you get 5 or 6 gold stars, that’ll make your listing really stand out and it’s a sign of prestige to have this because a lot of firms don’t have any reviews.

The nice thing is if you have multiple locations, you want to get reviews for all of them. Your initial threshold, is to get 5 reviews. That’ll give you these gold stars and it’ll make your listing standout and it’ll help people’s image of you. A big question people have about reviews is that “Oh, what if I get a negative review, what if I get a bad one?” It happens. It’s far better to ask for reviews and to have 5 good reviews and 1 bad one than to have 1 bad one and no good reviews because now, it’s in context. Almost everybody runs into problems with clients, some of them are just mean and nasty and no matter what you did for them, no matter how much money you won for them, no matter how well their case was or it got totally dismissed, some of them just are thankless and they’ll write bad reviews, it happens.

The answer is not to live in fear and not ask anyone for reviews; the answer is to ask everyone for reviews because you’re going to get bad ones every once in a while, it happens; even rip off report, that happens. But I know attorneys that still succeed in spite of that because that bad review is in context with many other good reviews. Always ask and don’t be afraid of bad ones because you will get good ones. Another fear attorneys have is, “I do criminal defense or I do divorce and people are embarrassed and they don’t want to put reviews online”. Actually it’s not true. If you Google criminal defense or DUI in any city in the US, you’re going to see reviews from people.

Those people aren’t embarrassed or afraid to post reviews; why would your clients be embarrassed? Some of them will, sure, but a lot of them won’t and they’ll post for you. It’s not a problem. You got to ask them. If you don’t ask them, you won’t get. You’ve got to be in it to win it. Some attorneys seem to have unassailable positions because they have 20, 30, 40 reviews. I’ve talked to some of these guys and girls and asked them how do they do it, the surprising answer was “Hard work, consistently over a year’s time or two years’ time”, they ask everybody, all their past clients, attorneys and friends and they slowly build up reviews.

The nice thing is if you do this, if you stick with it and you get to that 5 to 10 mark, maybe 10 on Google Maps, 10 on Yelp, 10 on your website, 10 on AVVO, if you got a high AVVO rating, you’re covered. You’ll show up in all these areas that are important, you’ve got a good amount of reviews, don’t stop but at that point, it’s really going to kick in and start to get you a lot more clients. So you definitely want to work in this process. If it takes two years, so what? Are you going to be an attorney for two more years unless you’re at the very end of your career? Yes. Once you’re an attorney, a lot of attorneys stick with it for life. Life is long, this process doesn’t have to take that long.

About a year or two is definitely worth your time and attention to build this stuff up for you. Now that we’ve covered reviews, we are going to talk about what else shows up when people Google you. A good thing to have is videos of yourself, not just commercials but question and answer videos. On YouTube, you can post them and you’re picked up by Google search because Google owns YouTube. I don’t know if you knew that. YouTube is searched alone billions of times a month; Google of course is tens of billions of times a month and Google actually shows YouTube results in some of its listing.

If you do videos on yourself and you answer legal questions, short and sweet, those videos may show up when somebody Googles your name. “John Smith, Houston Divorce Lawyer”, when they Google that, either nothing can show up or your website can show up or your website and your maps listing or your website and your maps listing and your pay-per-click ad and pictures of you and videos of you, it can look quite impressive if you have all these elements going for you. The full display that you’ll see on Google is called the knowledge graph. If there is a picture of you on the right and there are reviews and there is maps listings and there are videos, you have what’s called the Knowledge Graph. You put enough of the stuff about yourself online, Google will recognize you as an authority.

If you want an example of this, type in Albert Einstein. If you do that, you’ll see the entire page is about him, he’s got tons of information on him and he’s got this knowledge graph on the right side, images and everything. It’s not too hard to get that but you got to work on it a little bit, so you need some photos of yourself on your website so they can get indexed, some YouTube videos, just a few is fine, photos on all your profiles like AVVO and Yelp and Google Maps and all of that stuff. Then you’ll appear in the knowledge graph, which is great. It makes you look a lot more preeminent, a lot more respectable because you have all this information about you on the website, you seem to dominate for your name and that’s what you want. If your name is common, I understand it’s harder to do that but let’s say your name is so common that someone else eclipses you because they are a movie star or something.

If someone clicks on your listing or hovers over your listing, a knowledge graph will appear for your specific listing, it’ll still work even though you may not be the top one on the page. So, don’t be discouraged if your name is John Smith or something very common. I know one of the DUI attorneys Lawrence Taylor, there’s the football player but if you still put him in, he shows up and he has the knowledge graph and all of that stuff, so that’s doable. Don’t give up on it. What else can people run into before they even come to your website? So there is media publicity. Have you written any articles for local magazines or news? Have you been interviewed? Do you have any media publicity? Have you done press releases? All that stuff helps because it shows up in Google search, sometimes it shows up above everything else.

If you can get any of that done, and the secret sauce is to consistently ask local news outlets if they need an opinion on divorce, let’s say a celebrity divorce, or a famous person that gets a DUI, or someone famous dies and they have a big estate, so whether you are estate planning or injury law, family law, it doesn’t matter your practice area. There are always opportunities to get into the media, even immigration. There are tons of immigration stuff going on nowadays, business litigation, whatever it is. There is always legal stuff going about you should keep your eye on the news periodically and how do you capitalize on it, editorialize on it, make comments. If you’re tied to the news, if you’re tied to any of these media outlets or press releases, that’s very, very prestigious and that’ll help you show up.

Clients really like to see that. It gives them a great feeling that you’re the person that they want to hire above anyone else. That’s just a “me too” that just offers the same free consultation. Where else can you show up before if people even get to your website? There are other third-party sites, not a lot but some. Many of my clients, we’ve helped them writing a book, “Surviving divorce in Minnesota”, “What to do if you’re arrested for DUI/DWI in New York”, “How to plan your estate so that the relatives you don’t like take all of your assets in California”, we’ve done these books. We get them self-published on Amazon and on Kindle and sometimes on Audible. Amazon listings show up.

If you’ve done a book, not only can people find that information on Amazon and that’s a great thing to become pre-eminent and respected is to write a book for the layperson in your industry, not just for other attorneys, but both are good. But they see on Amazon, Amazon is a platform that has a lot of credibility, very important and Kindle too, so that’s yet another way that even before people get to your website, you can appear and show up and get a lot of notoriety. One last way before I beat this to death is AVVO. AVVO is a really great place to answer questions that people have online, you want to have a good profile, good rating there. This is all free, so you can work on this for free.

They’ll go crazy answering questions everyday but one a day, even one a week is fine on AVVO. People will see that you answered questions, people will see that you have a profile there, not just reviews but a profile, and that’ll help you as well. I hope you keep all this in mind and this is a very important part of the process because if people don’t see you, you don’t stand out before they even decide to click on your website. Your website may not get clicked on, it may not even show up in the search results, so it’s very important to have all that stuff going. One thing I forgot that’s actually pretty obvious, ranking in Google, getting to the top of Google.

I am not going to go too deep into this because this is a whole huge Pandora’s Box of stuff but what I will say is you do obviously want to be at the top of Google, but here is the twist. There are a few commercial keywords that everyone thinks, “If I was just at the top of Google for those keywords, my life would be beautiful and that’s it”. Things like New York DWI Lawyer, Houston Divorce Attorney, San Diego Estate Planning Lawyer, Seattle Injury Lawyer and that kind of stuff. Yes, it is good to be at the top of Google for those keywords and that shows prestige, which is great. But before people will type in those commercial keywords, I call them, they type in what I call question keywords.

Let’s say for DUI. “Got pulled over in Lakewood, blew at 0.12, will I go to jail”, they’ll ask questions like that. “Officers said I failed the breath test but I tried to blow, will I go to jail”, “Second DUI, how long is the jail time”, they’ll ask those questions before they’ll type in “San Francisco DUI attorney”. That’s what people tend to do. Google themselves show that people take a path. They’ll go up from questions and they’ll refine their search queries until they get to the point where they’re ready to make a decision. So what they’ll do is they’ll type in something in Google, they’ll go to one or more websites, they’ll read about it, they’ll research, then they may or may not find what they want, and then they’ll type in something else.

They’ll go from question to question until they get to this point where they’re ready to “Buy”. You’re not ecommerce but buy means call and engage the services of an attorney. So if you are there only for the last keyword they’ll type in, which could be, “Minneapolis Bankruptcy Attorney”, you’re missing out on all these question keywords that they are typing in. Again, this is verified by Google who is overseeing trillions of searches now. Do you want to be there for just a last thing they may type in and to show up then or do you want to show up for all the different questions they have? Imagine if someone’s searching and they type in 4 or 5 different things. And every time they do it, your website is there.

They start to get the opinion, “This attorney Sara Smith, she’s there for all the questions I’m looking at. I’m going to give her a call because she’s shown up every time I’ve typed something in, this lady is everywhere. She is all over Google, she’s got good reviews, let me Google her name, she’s got videos, she’s got reviews, she’s got articles. I’m going to go check out this lady’s website and go deeper. I think I’m going to call her”, that’s the effect you want. That’s when people have respect when they are less likely to price shop, when they call you and they’re a better qualified person to talk to. That’s what you want. Your first job, out of these three stages, is to create that image and prestige and these are a lot of the ways that you can do it.

In next podcast, we’re going to get to when people actually come to your website, what else can you do to further that image to really cement it so you get them to pick up the phone and call, or to touch that number that appears on their Smartphone and call because believe it or not, that’s a really big stuff. It’s not like just a minor thing, it’s a really big stuff for people to do that, they’re scared, they don’t know about the law. Before I get more into this, let me end this podcast. But this is one of three, I hope you find this valuable, I trust that you will. But if you master these three areas, you’re going to just grow your law firm like crazy.

You’re going to get better clients and you’re going to do phenomenally well. If you want help with any of these three stages of the process, call me at 888-225-8594, or email Richard.Jacobs@speakeasymarketinginc.com. Look forward to talking with you or you hearing from me.


Richard Jacobs

About Richard Jacobs

My name is Richard Jacobs, and I've discovered quite a bit about the plight of solo practitioners and small, 2-5 attorney firms like yours these past 12 years.

I've come to understand the unique challenges in marketing ethically and effectively that attorneys face because I have:

  • Helped over 180 attorneys author their own practice area book and become the 'implied expert' in their practice area
  • Helped hundreds of attorneys successfully navigate Google's search algorithm changes, growing their websites from 2 potential clients calling a month to 4+ calls per DAY for some clients.
  • Interviewed and promoted over 507 attorneys nationwide, in practice areas such as:
  • DUI / DWI
  • Family Law
  • Criminal Defense
  • Bankruptcy
  • Auto Accidents
  • Social Security Disability
  • Slip & Falls (Premises Liability)
  • Real Estate
  • Estate Planning / Probate
  • Wage and Hour Claims
  • Expungements / Post Conviction Relief

Before you decide to invest in your marketing, it makes sense to first request your complimentary, custom, no obligation video website review.

Richard is the author of 6 books published on Amazon, Kindle and Audible.com

Richard is available for speaking engagements on direct marketing for attorneys and has recently spoken at the following legal conferences:

  • PILMMA (Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing & Management Association)
  • Las Vegas DUI Summit – Private event for DUI attorneys
  • New York Boutique Lawyers Association
  • Perry Marshall & Associates Marketing Academy (Marina Del Rey, CA)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)