I just checked my calendar and, yup, it really is 2012.
Other than the earth coming to an end later this year, it’s about fricken time you got a website.
There just aren’t any good excuses out there.
Yeah, I’m talking to you solo and small firms out there.
And this is especially true for those of you who represent consumers – family law, divorces, child custody, employment matters, trusts & estates. I’d add personal injury, DUI and immigration to the list, but those folks are marketing machines.
Seriously. If you Google yourself or your firm, what do you find? If the answer is NOTHING, than you are LOSING business every day, and you don’t even know it.
Case in point:
No secret that I went through a divorce a few years ago. I got numerous referrals and then tried doing my due diligence on these folks.
For the most part, I found NOTHING. It was alarming to me.
Normally between Google, Martindale, LexisNexis or Westlaw, I can find SOMETHING. But there was nothing on these people.
It quickly became apparent that I would not be able to use my CI skills to cull my list of 12 down to a manageable number. I would have to go meet with them to get to “know, like and trust” one of them enough to sign an engagement letter.
Obviously, I wasn’t going to meet with all 12, so I had to make choices based on things such as:
- Where was their office location?
- How quickly they returned my phone calls?
- How much time did they gave me on the phone?
- Were they pleasant or dismissing to me?
In the end, I had to go with a “hunch” and a “gut feeling” rather than facts.
I was placing my future in the hands of someone based on a hunch. How scary is that??
Thank goodness I have good intuition on these things. My mediator ended up being awesome, and was recently featured on the cover of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine.
He still doesn’t have a website :/
Fast forward to this week, I have a friend going through a divorce in another part of the state.
She just fired her attorney (who was a Super Lawyer, so she couldn’t understand why the relationship turned south), and was researching new ones.
One attorney came highly recommended, but had a low AVVO rating, and the other nothing. She was completely fixated on the AVVO rating, not that she knew anything about AVVO.
I offered to help her out and started researching these lawyers.
There was nothing there.
- No websites.
- Google search results were just directory listings of their addresses. Or their AVVO page.
- Nothing in Martindale. LinkedIn. Facebook.
- State Bar shows that they have not been disciplined.
Come on, people. It’s three fricken years later. Why are you still operating a business without a website?
Referrals are great, but how many potential clients are you losing because when someone goes to research you there is nothing to find?
There’s just no excuse. Unless there is some conspiracy out there that I don’t know about, urging you to remain anonymous in cyber-space.
Is it money? Go to WordPress.com and you can purchase a (or transfer your) domain for $10/year and get started.
You can use one of the free themes (backgrounds), or spend some money (under $100) for a fancier one.
Within a couple hours, you (or your kid) can have a basic website (see The Legalwatercooler) up and running.
You can upgrade and add personalized e-mails and drop your Yahoo! account already.
It might not be anything to win an LMA Your Honor’s Award over, but it will be functional, professional, and better than nothing at all.
If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can spend the money and have someone (Jayne Navarre) do it for you.
You want to perk it up, add in a designer (Zamboo), and hire a writer (Amy Spach), and you’ll have a professional presence out there to go with the business you want to attract.
When you have NOTHING, you are allowing 3rd party vendors (AVVO, Best Lawyers, Martindale, Super Lawyers) to have the first, final and only say as to your service capabilities.
Why would you do that? Don’t you want to craft your message and promote your services the way YOU want to promote them?
I cannot believe it’s 2012 and there are lawyers out there who don’t have websites.