A consistent theme for marketing on the web is that you must establish trust. That is, you must build trust with the third party websites like Google who help you get found online and also with the visitors that come to your website. In the physical world, this is accomplished through staples like being the member of a better business Bureau, being a member of other local organizations, having an established office that people can visit and in general looking and playing the part of an attorney.
Online, its easy for anyone to “look” legitimate so you need to find a way to stand out among your peers (or those trying to look like they are your peers). One way is to become a Super Lawyer ®.
What is a Super Lawyer®?
This is a rating service that recognizes attorneys who have achieved a high degree of peer recognition in their field of practice. It involves a rigid and comprehensive selection process where lawyers are nominated by a peer for inclusion.
How to Become a Super Lawyer®
The entire goal of the Super Lawyer ® designation is to create something credible and valuable that lets people know an attorney is special. With that in mind, becoming a Super Lawyer® is not easy and the system relies on peer nominations as well as independent research by the issuing entity (in this case Thomson Reuters).
Inclusion into Super Lawyers® follows this basic sequence of events:
1. Formal nominations: Lawyers from states all over the country nominate attorneys who have demonstrated professional excellence. Note that steps have been taken to identify and eliminate submissions that are not genuine such as nomination exchanges, nominations gained through campaigning and nomination pooling. Informal nominations can also be accepted.
2. Research: Staff at Super Lawyers® go to work seeing what accolades and achievements nominees have attained throughout their careers as well as verifying any information submitted by those who nominated the candidate.
3. Peer evaluation: Candidates are grouped by practice area and asked to serve on a panel that rates candidates from their area on a scale of one to ten.
4. Final Selection: During final selection, attorneys with the highest point totals from the categories they were evaluated on are chosen for inclusion in Super Lawyers®. Candidates are compared based on firm size. So sole practitioners are not compared with larger multi-lawyer firms.
Why Would I Become A Super Lawyer®?
There are a variety of benefits to becoming a Super Lawyer®:
• Stand out among other attorneys in your state
• Inclusion in Super Lawyers® Magazine
• Inclusion on the Super Lawyers® website
• Expanded online profile
• A personalized Super Lawyers® badge that you can place on your website
Inclusion in Super Lawyers® is great social proof. It tells both your peers as well as potential clients that un-biased third party has carefully vetted your credentials and that you are the best of the best.
Another benefit is that inclusion on the Super Lawyers® website is great for your law firm’s SEO. The links carry a lot of weight and the profiles on the website typically rank very well in search.
Building trust (especially for attorneys) is important when building a brand. People want to know they are in good hands and that the professional they are dealing with has a good reputation. If you can do that while enhancing your online presence at the same time, you are a step ahead of your competitors.