Recently I have been asked by multiple family lawyers about what Divorce Marketing Group can do to help them with the branding of their law firm and some specifically mentioned that they are concerned about their online reputation because of poor ratings, reviews, and comments about them online.
A year ago, I wrote an article called “Have You Googled Your Name Lately?” for the Family Advocate magazine by the American Bar Association, I thought I would share some of my points here since this topic is still highly relevant.
Just about anyone can go on the internet and post comments anywhere about anything and anybody. That plays a role in shaping your online reputation. It is up to you to monitor your reputation and to manage it. Somethings you likely have no control over, like these comments that have been posted, but there are things you can do that are totally in your control so you may at least balance the scale, if not tip it in favor you.
Here are at least 4 scenarios as to where your online reputation is at:
- There is “bad stuff” about you – They could be reviews and comments left by spouses of clients you have represented and done a great job for. They may or may not be justifiable.
- There are other people with the same name as yours – This happens when you have a common name, like mine for example. When you Google “Martha Chan”, Google returns 770,000+ results. (Before Google tightened up its algorithms, it used to return 2 million+ results.) But the real me appears on page one seven times because I manage my online reputation and know how to dominate page one of Google’s search result under my name. How about you?
- You have no reputation online – You cannot be found when someone Googles your name, or you only show up on page 5 of Google search results. These days, no online presence can create a bad impression.
- You have a good reputation – Congratulations. Those are likely pages you have control over, like your firm website, bar association pages, articles you wrote. Now, keep that up.
How to rescue a tarnished reputation?
You can read more about the points above here in my original article which is reposted on FamilyLawyerMagazine.comHere is a summary of what you can do:
- Create personal and company social media pages
- Create a blog
- Create videos and market them online
- Create websites with your name in the website address
- Promote your web pages, especially the new ones
- Invite clients to post favorable ratings
- Address the dissatisfied person online
- Request the “bad stuff” be removed, but that is not likely to happen
Be aware of some reputation management companies
There are reputation-management companies that claim they can help you. Some are solid and legitimate, but not all of them are. Be very cautious about any company that claims to be able to remove negative comments for you, because they likely do not have the influence over websites they do not own. Why not run this test on them… Google “reputation management ripoff” or “the company’s name reviews” see what have been reported about these companies. The irony here is that if they really could clean up negative information about you, they should have been able to do it for themselves? Reportedly, some have such bad reputations that they found it easier to change their company names than to change their online reputation!