It pays to be the expert. This is true in just about every field – and it’s certainly true in law.

Most consumers looking for a lawyer are facing significant issues – divorce, bankruptcy, defending their business in a lawsuit, helping a loved one immigrate, planning for the future of their estate, and so on. These are significant issues, and they’re often overwhelming. Consumers facing these situations want to hire a lawyer that they can trust to guide them through.

Developing your status as an expert in your field is a critical way to establish this trust. And if you can do so, it will pay off handsomely. Your expert status will allow you to stand out from your competitors, to bring in more business, and to charge higher rates.

To illustrate why this is the case, imagine that a loved one was diagnosed with a rare disease. When you’re looking for a doctor to treat this disease, would you prefer to work with a recognized expert in their field, a professional with books published, papers written, awards won… or would you prefer to work with a generic and unremarkable provider?

Obviously you’d prefer the expert. And you’d be willing to pay a premium for that expertise. Most of your prospective clients would do the same when they need to hire a lawyer. So it’s well worth investing the time and resources to build that “expert” perception.

Here are a few practical ways to begin doing so:

Give speeches. Whether it’s a networking group, an industry gathering, a trade show or convention, or some other forum… public speaking is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge and build credibility.

Write articles and blog entries. Write on subjects and topics that appeal to your target market and/or your referral sources. Well-written content establishes your expertise and gives readers a chance to understand your thought process and your approach to their legal challenges.

Invest in a modern, mobile friendly website. In many cases, your website creates the first impression of your law firm. A modern, content-rich website helps to reinforce your professionalism, while an out-dated site may make visitors wonder about your commitment to your practice. Keep in mind that consumers today use a mobile device more often than not to access the internet – so your site needs to be mobile-friendly.

Use video on your website, in email marketing, and on social media. Well-filmed and well-produced video is a powerful tool. High quality audio and video can make you look and sound like the trusted professional you are. We recommend building an “FAQ Library” in which you answer common questions and concerns that potential clients often ask. For more information, check out this blog entry on the subject.

There’s a lot more you can do. Other effective strategies include leveraging media like TV and radio – or even publishing a book. Contact us today if you’d like to learn how we can help. But whether you utilize our services or not, remember… it pays to be the expert.