Profile – importance of photos, updating information on your profile, the Avvo Rating, Client Ratings, peer endorsementsContribute Avvo – Participating in the Question and Answer Forum, Writing Legal Guides, Contributor Points & we will touch a little bit on SEO, but if you are interested in more information we do have a different presentation for thatShare what you have contributed on Avvo– Twitter & FB, your website, I’ll show some website badgesUpgrade – Opportunities to take your profile to the next level (if you have already maximized your profile)New Feature that we are really excited about and wanted to share with you and hope to get your feedback on.
So first lets go ahead talk about the profile:
We will go ahead and start with photos. So Most of you on the line have claimed your profile. I don’t know how much you have updated your profile, but I really want to stress that if you have not updated your profile photo, then it is the first thing you want to do. Profiles with photos are 7x more likely to be viewed. What that means is that when someone is searching for a lawyer and the results show one profile with a photo and one without a photo, they are 7x much more likely to click on the profile with the photo, and this is regardless of the Avvo Rating, client reviews, or peer endorsmements. When you are choosing a photo there are few things to consider. The first is The Size of the photo. Here are a few examples. Some people like the close up, but there are other ways to get people interested in your profile. As you see there the dinosaur photo can definitely get one’s attention and can be compelling too if that is your style. So your profile photo is going to be attached to every answer you provide, and every single legal guides that you write, this is going to turn into a thumbnail on other places on Avvo. So you want to make sure your photo is not too dark so you want to make sure everyone can see your face. If you don’t have a photo like this I would recommend to have a friend or a colleague take a picture you in youroffice or outside where there would be lots of lights. Definitely put some thoughts on what picture you would want up as your profile picture.
Next is to make sure that your profile is updated with the most recent information. Over to the right are a list of all the fields that are available for you to add You have the ability add Links to your website, blog, social media. It provides another way to contact you when people are viewing your profile, and they can read more about your background.If you have created your own video answering questions or giving legal advice or even if you have appeared on the nightly news. You can add those videos Language – people filter their search results by languages spoken in your officeCase work – even if you do transactional work, you want to still add some cases or transactions that are more representative of what you do every day so people can see the different cases you have worked on as well some of your all star, award winning cases. Work experience –we want to see everywhere you have worked since you graduated law school, Then your awards, associations, publications, speaking engagements, last four is industry recognition that I will touch on a little bit later
Avvo Rating This Is probably the number 1 question we get through customer care. We just wanted to touch on some of the most frequently asked questions about the Avvo Rating. First it is a mathematical algorithm, what that means is that the information you add to your profile adds points towards your rating. And those points are calculated automatically based on the predetermined rating system. You don’t have to contact us every time you add something. Everybody every attorney is rated with the same algorithm. And the algorithm is based on your activity within the legal system and we do that sort of through 3 different sections. Experience, Industry Recognition, and Professional Conducts. So Your Experience is not just based on the number of years you have practiced law but the type of work experience you have, Your experience can also include leadership positions that you have held with an association, those are things that gives you experience not only practicing law but talking about law and talking with other attorneys, Industry Recognition – this going to be the awards you have earned through , super lawyers, best lawyers in america, martin dale hubble, and also articles you have written through the peer review journals. So we definitely see that as a way that the industry recognizes you as an expert in your field along with the speaking engagements you are invited to, you know if you given a talk at the Annual bar association or something like that would definitely count towards your Avvo Rating. Again I want to emphasize that that this is just in the legal industry but if you were the president of your Rotary, we think that is important for your prospective clients to know but does not necessary add to your Avvo Rating so something to keep in mind. And then your professional conduct this is based on your disciplinary history with the bar. If you don’t have any disciplinary history or if you have never been sanctioned then your professional conduct would be a 5. Just a few tips here: Keeping your profile up to date is really important. The most recent information matters the most. And that makes a lot of sense when you are talking about speaking engagements you spoke at 10 years ago versus something you have done a month ago. Obviously The law changes and people want to know that you have kept up with all the changes. So the most recent information is going to give more weight. The date should always be added because if we don’t know the date then we assume the oldest date we can which would only get you the least amount of points for that entry. so the date can make a big difference. One question I do get about the Avvo Rating is whether the purchasing ads will affect the Avvo Rating. And the answer is that it does not. Advertising is completely separate from the Avvo Rating. The only thing that affects the Avvo Rating is the information that you included in your profile that we have just discussed.
I am sure you are really familiar with the idea of client reviews and testimonials. We have a section in your profile just for this so you can solicit client reviews from those clients that you know have been happy with your services.obviously this is really important to prospective clients because this tells them a little about the kind of service you provide. This is also something we feature in the search results, this is something people filter their results on constantly, they will definitely will click on a profile that has a client review versus one that doesn’t. 85% of the reviews that we receive and we publish on Avvo are positive. Every single review is read by one of our customer care team members before it gets posted to ensure that they meet our community guidelines. With that being said 15% are negative, but we want to let you know to not fear the negative review. First of all Client Reviews do not affect the Avvo Rating. We keep this separate and keep it is as a third party evaluation of your services. We also know that one bad experience with a client does not mean you are a bad attorney. Everybody has these run ins. Whenever you are in the service industry, you will always have people who are unhappy with the service you provide which is why we keep them separate. You do have the opportunity to respond.so if you look at the screen shot to the right you can see the link to add a comment at the bottom of the review. And that is available for all reviews positive or negative so you can respond publicly to all reviews. Reviews show up in chronological order so the most recent review will be on top. So if you do get a negative review, we recommend to solicit additional client reviews so that the negative review is not the first one and is mixed in with the rest of the reviews. And it shows potential clients that there may have been one not so great experience, but look at all the other great reviews this attorney has. Lastly if you are really stuck, and you are not sure how to respond or you are really questioning whether this person was a client of yours you can give us a call or email us and we can look into this for you. And again I will give you our contact information at the end of the webinar and we can talk through some different options that we have for you. This is a website for potential clients to trust but attorneys have to trust as well so we want to make sure that we are working with you on these types of issues. However, I do want to mention that we don’t ever remove review at the request of the attorneys. We do however take look a look at the review to make sure they meet our guidelines.
Peer Endorsements are also part of your profile. Peer Endorsements are when your colleagues come and post an endorsement on your Avvo Profile. This is an opportunity really to showcase your virtual law firm. What that means is that if you practice family law but you have some colleagues that practice immigration or criminal defense who are endorsing you then a potential client knows that if you can’t handle their matter than maybe someone you know can. And it would be the same for when you endorse another colleague. So that is what we mean by the virtual law firm. The Peer Endorsements can positively impact to your Avvo Rating. Those can contribute to your industry recognition factor of your Avvo Rating. One thing we definitely want to point out is when endorsing a colleague you want to make sure it’s personal. If you take a look at the first endorsement on the screen saying “I endorse this lawyer’s work”. That’s just some filler copy that we have in the form when you open it up just to get you started, but we highly recommend expanding on it and talk about why you are endorsing this lawyer. People can tell the difference between a template like this and a full fledge endorsement that tells you why you are endorsing this lawyer. You can mention something like educational or work experiences that you had with this lawyer or things like I have been opposing counsel and I really respect how he practices law. Something like that can make a really big impact. And then just a note the person endorsing you must have a claimed profile. We require this because it affects your Avvo Rating so we need to be confident that the person posting that comment is another attorney in the community.
And the last thing I want to touch on in regards to the profile is our Group Claim process. So maybe you as individuals have already claimed your profile, have added information to it but maybe your whole law firm isn’t signed up yet. We make that easy for you. We created this group claim process so that it’s easy for your whole firm to claim all their profiles in one step. You send us the names and the email addresses of the lawyers in your firm and we send you back their login credentials. It is absolutely free with no charge. This is a free service. Once you get that information you can decide how to manage these profiles going forward. You can keep them central in the marketing department or maybe an office manager that wants to make sure your Avvo profile is updated when you receive an award or you can distribute the login information to the individual lawyer and they would be responsible for updating their own profiles. So you get to decide that within your own firm. And so far we have over 200 firms who have participated with thisgroup claim process
So we will move onto how you would contribute on Avvo.
So when you claim your profile you have unlocked the ability to answer questions in our question and answer forum, to post your own legal guides, and to earn what we call “contributor points”. I will explain a little bit more about contributor points a little bit later.How the question and answer forum works is that say John asks a question about wills, small claims court or [your practice area]You Sign up for e-mail notifications in your practice area in your location/ so you are telling us what kinds of questions you are interested in answering and we send you a notification when a new question pops up that fits that category. You go to the question, read through the question and you Post your answer. And as you can see on the screen Your photo and link to your profile appear next to your answer so that meansThe Answer is not only seen by John who asked the question, but also everyone else who views that question in the future. They will now have a link to your profile so that they can contact you regarding this kind of issue and read more about your background – the way other people are seeing this questions is through sharing on social networks, through searching on Google and through searching on Avvo. So These kinds of questions get a lot of visability, especially when we get to what we call the long tail which I will get into when we get to the SEO screen, but that basically means that the more specific somebodies question is the more likely it is going to show up in the google search results. Along with every answer you post, you also earn contributor points. You can see the contributor points on the screen here and I made it bigger than normal so that you can see it. You Earn points in many ways. You earn points when you answer questions, when you help us categorize a question, adding practice areas, or adding tags to the questions and these points add up and I will show you in a little bit what they add up to.
Legal Guides work in a very similar ways. The advantage of legal guides is that it is really an article that you write. so you might be getting ideas from newspapers from the Q&A forum on Avvo from frequently asked questions from your clients. And you are thinking that maybe you have been asked this so many times that you should put it in an article and put the information out there so that when someone asks you again, you can refer them to this legal guide. So we give you the form to create those articles on Avvo. Again your photo and a link to your profile will appear and you are going to earn contributor points for that as well.
And back to contributorpoints. Contributor points mean that you can end up on, what we call the leader board, so that you can check your activities in regards to other attorneys in your practice areas that are answering questions. And then the top 6 on the leaderboard also get featured on the research legal issues page on Avvo and that is where a lot of consumers start their Avvo information search, so when they are typing in the word business they will also see the top contributors there and it is pretty much free advertising for you. And your contributor level gets added to your profile so that prospective clients can see a sample of your work. They have a link there to all of your questions that you have answered so that they can really narrow down and look at the experience and the advice that you have shared.
And like I said I just wanted to touch a little bit on SEO. Basically you are answering questions on Avvo and what Avvo is working hard to do is make sure that those questions can show up in relevant Google Searches. So if someone searches “washington state last paycheck” and as you can see the 2nd result on this page is to an answer that was posted on Avvo. And this is where those long tail searches come into play which means that users have typed in a lot of words into that search box. So that are not just typing in a single word like “divorce” which anybody who is familiar with google ad words knows that is a very expensive ad word to purchase on google. But as people start typing in more specific words and their searches get longer then that’s when the Avvo question and answer forum starts popping up in the search results.
The next thing would be to show you how to share this content.
As you can see here you have the option to share your answers on facebook and twitter. On the right you can see what that actually looks like on those social media sites. So Josh’s answer appeared on facebook and down below you see where the pheonix attorney’s answer on twitter. You have the option to select whether you want to have every single answer on twitter that you post or you can control it at the bottom of every answer to make sure every answer is relevant before you post it. That gives you a lot of control over sharing with your social network and that gives your followers an opportunity to retweet or share that content again on Facebook. You can also post content back to your website.
The last section here is is about how to upgrade your Profile.
So again if you have already claimed your profile, updated your information, you are already answering questions, and sharing it on facebook and now you are thinking what is else is there for me. Well you can upgrade your profile to Avvo Pro which is only $50 a month and the biggest advantage of Avvo Pro is that it takes the competitors ads off of your Avvo profile. We definitely get a lot of calls saying “why we are promoting my competitors on my Avvo Rating page” and it is because that competitor has paid for advertising with Avvo and that’s how we make our money. Most of the services on Avvo are completely free to you and to people who are asking questions and for people searching for lawyers on our site, but the way we make our money is through advertising. Avvo Pro will give you this little pro Icon that you see next to Darren’s name and people can actually sort in the search results when they are looking for an attorney and narrow down to only those folks who have pro. We allow you to put a customized headline on the top of your profile. We allow you to feature a couple of your client reviews and then we give you this module you see to the right and again this is where the other ad would have been. It is replaced by this module that actually follows the user as they are scrolling down the page. So they always see your phone number, your email address, your contact box is there and is available to them no matter what part of the profile they are on. So if they see your education and they think great they this person graduated from the University of Washington that’s my alma mateur too, I want to contact this lawyer they can do so. Another big feature of Avvo Pro is that we give you a view into the analytics so we actually tell you how many visitors to your profile that you received and where those visitors are coming from so this is pretty powerful information. You get to know right away whether the answers you are providing are getting click backs to your profile or not. We also let you know who has contacted you from your Avvo Profile in the last 30 days. So We let you know who has visited your website and who has emailed you and who has called you. So it’s a pretty great feature for only $50 a month. I also want to quickly mention that we have sponsored listings and display ads available.
You can call our sales team for more information but I do want to show you examples of what they look like and the sales phone number is right there. You have the sponsored listings on the left and display ads on the right. Finally as I mentioned before I wanted to talk a little bit about our new feature.
It is our new “Call Now” feature. We are giving you a chance to connect with the person asking the question directly. The one thing we hear a lot about is direct solicitation within the answer, which is something we do not allow through our community guidelines. The reason we do not allow this is because we want people to feel safe in the forums and we want them to feel like they can come, ask their legal questions without being bombarded with people telling them to “call me!, call me!”. We want them to get quality answers so we do prohibit direct solicitations. We do take down answers with direct solicitations in them however this new feature is going to give the asker the ability to opt in to being contacted and once you provide your answer so you still have to provide that same quality answer that we have always required from you this whole time. You will see this module at the top of the screen, if the person has opted in. So if you did answer the question and you don’t see this module it just means the person did not opt in to be contacted. But if you do see a Call Now button then you can click on that button and connect with that person and it is for a limited amount of time. As you can see on the right of the module it says time left to call 47 hours in this case and that is because we do want to make sure people get quick responses to their questions. We want to make sure lawyers are contacting them in a relevant amount of time and not a weeks later and that’s why we put a time limit there. Currently this feature is in Beta you can see that over in the top right. It is free right now so if you see it and if this is a Beta in your area we ask you to try it and give us your feedback. Give us a call or email us. Let us know what worked, what didn’t work, what you liked and didn’t like and why. We just want to make sure that it works well. In a few months will be releasing across the country, but it will be an upgraded feature so there will be a charge. So if you do see it I would recommend taking advantage of it while it is free because there will be a charge in the next few monts. We are still ironing out cost and other details but will let you know as soon as we have that information. If you have questions on whether it is available in your area or practice areas you can call customer care and we can look it up for you. It is only available in selected states and practice areas.
So here is our contact information. I am going to answer as many questions as I can but feel free to contact us here if we don’t get to it. We will also provide more answers on our blog as well.Also Check Lawyernomics for upcoming webinar schedule & to sign up. It also gives you a lot of tips on how to manage your practice. Our next Webinar is…The Avvo Blog is where you will hear about the new feature. Ofourse we are available via twitter, linkedin, and facebook.
How to Maximize Your
Copyright 2013 - Avvo, Inc.
4 Ways to Maximize Your Profile
Preview New Features!!
Update Your Profile Photo
• Profiles with photos are
7x more likely to be
• ¾ headshot vs. full body
• Dark shots may not show
up in thumbnails
Update Your Profile
• Links to:
• Social Media
• Work Experience
• Speaking Engagements
• Mathematical algorithm
• Calculates automatically
• Based on activity within the
• Industry Recognition
• Professional Conduct
• Keep your profile up-to-date
• Most recent information matters
• Always include dates
• Important to prospective
• 85% positive
• Don’t fear the negative
• Doesn’t affect Avvo Rating
• Opportunity to respond
• Push down negative
• Work with Avvo
• Showcase your
“virtual” law firm
• Can positively impact
• Make it personal
• Endorser must have
claimed Avvo profile
• Claim all firm profiles
in one step
• Simple & free
• Manage profiles
centrally, or let each
• 500+ firms