Consumers Use the Internet—You Need to Be There


Clear & Convincing Feature Article

Clarence and Beth Potter have moved to Michigan from California to be near their grandchildren. Once settled in their new home, they follow the suggestion of Joshua, their California attorney, that they find a Michigan attorney to re-draft their wills and powers of attorney. Clarence, well trained by his grandson on the mysteries of the world-wide-web, turns to the Internet for help.Clarence & Beth Potter search for attorneys

Clarence types in "Michigan Attorneys." Up pops the State Bar of Michigan Member Directory powered by ZeekBeek. By using the tools on the site, he narrows his search down to six possible estate-planning lawyers who are geographically close. He clicks on profiles, pleased to see that all of his selections are in good standing and licensed in Michigan. Using the information provided he selects four to contact, one mentioned by Joshua and three who had enhanced profiles. He sends inquiries to each attorney.

Would your profile make you one of Clarence's Final Four?

It would if you were one of 1,800 plus members who have taken advantage of the SBM's new improved Member Directory.

What made those profiles stand out? They were informative and attractive.

ZeekBeek created easy-to-use tools to help you enhance your basic profile. You can:

    Use your biography to tell prospective clients the basics such as education and experience and a lot more about who you are. Do you skateboard like the skate board lawyer or are you a runner or perhaps a bird-watcher—clients like to feel a connection to a human being.

    Include a photo—essential so have it professionally taken and fairly recent—it's best if the client can recognize you.

    Add your title—are you owner, shareholder, or partner of your organization?

    Create a tagline—tell the reader the type of law you practice and the clients you serve.

    Add your active social accounts with easy links.

    List all jurisdictions where you are licensed to practice—it's possible the prospect needs a lawyer who can practice in a neighboring state. You can do this in the Professional Details section.

The newly redesigned Member Directory lets you add even more information. For example, you can list your community connections. Volunteering, sitting on boards, or coaching a team are activities that might seal the deal for the consumer. List other languages you speak—your fluency in Spanish or French could land you your next important client.

Are you accepting new clients? If so, turn on that feature and consider adding that you want consumer contact. The form allowing prospective clients to send you a query includes instructions telling the reader that they shouldn't include confidential information and sending the form doesn't create an attorney-client relationship.

Folks searching on the web are used to seeing reviews.

SBM members understand that and many are opting in to the Recommendations feature, which includes both Reviews and Endorsements. Reviews are first checked by ZeekBeek for inappropriate language and the name of the reviewer is then sent to you to be sure the writer is actually a client. Endorsements let clients rate you according to attributes such as "Client felt educated. Lawyer was professional." You can opt in to one or both of these features.

Using the information provided by the SBM Member Directory, Clarence and Beth select an attorney to help them with their wills and powers of attorney. They make an appointment and are on their way, confident that a qualified attorney will soon resolve their legal problem.

Help prospective clients, like Clarence, find you.

Click on the new improved SBM Member Directory powered by ZeekBeek to make your profile stand out.

Roberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section Newsletter.

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Expanded Profile Resources

How to Edit Your Profile
Import LinkedIn Data into Profile
Summary of ZeekBeek Review Policy
What if I Receive a Negative Review?

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