Your Name, Your Profile
“Words have meaning and names have power.” Anonymous
By custom and practice, law firms have been named for the principals in the practice. Sometimes more names are added as more partners are created, however, most stick to the original name. Why? Simply because, over time, the firm name came to have recognition and meaning; it stood for a special service.
In the past, the firm’s name was only displayed locally, through business cards, stationery, billboards, telephone book ads, and local papers. In today’s world of the Internet, the selection of a name for your profile in a directory, website, blog, twitter, and Facebook account is important.
You want a name that will last for all the years of your practice and will help potential clients find you after meeting you at a networking event. A memorable name makes it easier for search engines such as Google to discover you and for referral sources to recommend you when they meet someone looking for the services you provide.
Over time, as your practice grows, your firm name will mean more than a mere identification of you, it will have an identity of its own reflecting your practice and reputation. Your State Bar of Michigan Member Directory recognizes the importance of your name and has added a new service to your profile selection.
It’s called a personalized vanity URL (Uniform Resource Locator or Web address) that uses the lawyer’s name rather than a string of numbers. There are several advantages to a vanity URL.
- It enhances the lawyer’s professional branding within the directory
- Using your name creates better SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in searches
- The address can be printed on your business card
- You can place a link to your profile on your social media sites
Setting up your personalized vanity URL is easy. After logging in to the Zeekbeek website, click on your name in the upper right-hand corner. From the drop-down menu select “Edit profile.” Up will pop the General Information box. Scroll down and look at the Vanity URL section. You will see a string that looks like this: www.zeekbeek.com/u/ your name. This is the system’s suggestion for your profile page. You may accept this suggestion or change it by deleting the suggestion and adding the name you want. Select the orange update button to save the selection. Your SBM profile directory page name is now changed.
Two caveats to remember:
Caveat I: The URL can only be changed one time, so select wisely.
Caveat II: Zeekbeek plans to build a vanity URL for a future law firm package, so if you use your law firm name as your personal vanity URL and later purchase the law firm package, you cannot use the same URL twice.
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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