The recent Law Society webinar “Playing by the price transparency rules – how do I make my website compliant and stand-out from the competition?” was split into two key sessions. In our last post, we re-capped some of the key points that SRA’s Policy Manager Natalie Darby spoke about (mainly, what was required in order to be compliant with the transparency rules).
In this post, we focus on Dave Seager’s segment – ‘Beyond transparency – why go further?’ where he takes a look at how you can make your website stand-out from the competition.
Mr Seager, Managing Director of SIFA Professional, was clear from the outset – transparency should be seen as a benefit, not a chore! And there are a few things that a firm can do in order to differentiate from its competitors.
Mr Seager presented a ’10 point plan’ of what he feels firms could be doing. Here is our summary of his key ideas:
- Go beyond what you have to do.
Don’t just be transparent to potential customers about the things you have to be transparent about – why not be transparent about it all? There is an argument to be made that if you are being completely up front and honest about what you do and how much you charge for all of your services, you may be considered by the potential customer as more approachable.
- Demonstrate value
Explain the work that goes into the professional service you are offering – show where their money is being spent and do not shy away from presenting your expertise.
- Use plain language
Don’t use legal jargon – the general public do not necessarily understand what comes as second nature for those work in the legal profession. Detail each step of the process – make it accessible for everyone by explaining key terminology.
- Staff biographies
Include details about all staff, not just the solicitors. It is a collaborative effort to get the job done, so be clear to potential customers exactly who is involved in the process.
Include a photo (makes it personable), qualifications, experience, personal detail (again, personalises it for anyone reading).
- Write blogs
Get key individuals / experts in your firm to write about their specialism. This not only will form an extension of the biography, but will also demonstrate their competence and approachability.
- Using social media
A website is ‘the modern day shop window’ for many firms – is yours a shop you wish to buy from? Make sure the profile of the firm, the solicitors, etc. are all linked to the website in a positive way. Has everyone linked their LinkedIn pages to the website also? Is the message consistent?
- Consider using short videos
Many shy away from videos, but this can be a relatively easy, straightforward and cost effective way to make yourself stand out against your competition.
A short, sharp and concise video which explains the stages of a particular legal process (in plain language – see point 3 above!) can bring your service to life for a potential customer. It can make a very daunting process, like buying a new house, seem much more accessible and understandable.
- Accreditations and awards
If you have them, DISPLAY them! Be proud of them. Share them. Make them the front and centre of your website.
Use, use, and use them! But do not make them a separate page – use them within the page so they are a constant affirmation of the work you do.
Try to use a mix of testimonials from clients as well as fellow professionals and be sure to keep them current and recent.
Reputation and referral are critical in terms of marketing your services.
- Holistic service
A potential customer may not be able to achieve all they require ‘under one roof’, but if you can show some ‘joined up thinking’ in the process of what they need, you will be one step ahead.
Have you got connections in relating areas of work that a customer may need? (e.g. accountancy) – if so, can you form a working relationship with them so you could then say on your website that you ‘work with fellow professionals’?
A potential customer needs a problem solved, so think strategically about aligning yourself with other professionals who can help solve the problem!