If you're thinking about ignoring your profile on Avvo, here's something to consider: Avvo is very good at search engine optimization. So in all likelihood, when you type your name into Google, your Avvo profile will often come up on the first page of results.
Avvo is now a major force in Internet marketing for attorneys. Here's my advice: You don’t have to like Avvo to benefit from Avvo. They are here to stay so learn how to use them to build and influence your law firm’s Internet presence and generate more business!
Here are the 10 steps you should take to get started or to optimize your current listing:
1. Claim your profile. This process is free and allows you to update your contact information and add information about you and your law firm.
2. Put your ENTIRE resume into Avvo. This can go a long way to improving your rating.
3. Add all the seminars you have given, awards you have received, and articles you have written. These items can also improve your rating.
4. Add your photo! I have heard reports that profiles with a photo are clicked on up to 10 times more than profiles without photos.
5. Add videos. If you have videos, put them into your Avvo profile. While they won't improve your rating, it will give potential clients who are checking you out online an opportunity to see who you are, how you articulate your answers, and will position you as more of an “expert.” The production quality of your videos does not matter nearly as much as the information you include in them. It's all about education-based marketing—educating your prospects.
6. Answer user’s questions. Thousands of consumers every week ask legally related questions on Avvo. Please be sure to put a standard disclaimer on each response, i.e., that your reply does not constitute legal advice or the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, etc.
7. Create Avvo “Legal Guides” for your top 10 questions. If you're like most attorneys, you constantly get asked a common set of questions. Write down these FAQs and write a short response to each one. Make each question a legal guide. Keep the questions and answers highly focused on a specific topic. Be sure to add a disclaimer on each guide.
8. Ask your attorney friends to endorse you. This can make a big difference in your rating. Just like a referral from another attorney in the real world makes a big impression on a prospect, so having a reference from another attorney or a judge on your Avvo profile can improve your rating.
9. Ask your clients to write a testimonial for you on Avvo. Client testimonials do NOT have a positive or negative impact on your rating. However, I assure you, potential clients read them! I can't remember the last time I bought a book or other product off Amazon.com without reading a few of the user reviews. Yes, I know several states, like Florida, do not allow the usage of testimonials by lawyers. However, the Florida bar agreed to exempt online directories like Avvo from most of its ad rules because attorneys cannot control endorsements posted on 3rd party websites like Avvo.
10. Put your Avvo badge on your website or blog. Avvo allows you to create a “badge” with your profile score on it that links directly to your Avvo profile.
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