Take control of your online reputation
Ever "Googled" someone? Sure, we all have. These days, the
Internet is the first place we go to find and gather information
about someone. Whether you ask Siri or type in a search string, our
introduction to a new contact is whatever we discover on the
Internet. That begs the question, what does your Internet presence
Try it, Google yourself. See what you find.
Ideally, if you are a practicing attorney, you want that first
page of results to accurately reflect your brand. Now, this isn't
an easy feat. It takes work to build your online presence.
Unfortunately, if you have negative information (maybe a
disciplinary history) floating out there, it can be difficult to
make it disappear. However, if you take steps to increase your
online presence, you can curate the search results in your favor
and effectively hide any negative information by pushing it down to
subsequent search result pages.
Here are a few tips for managing your online reputation:
- Create or claim strategic online profiles. For example,
LinkedIn does an excellent job with its search engine optimization,
thus a name search of an attorney with a LinkedIn profile will
typically result in that attorney's LinkedIn profile among the top
results. Creating a profile with LinkedIn is a simple
and effective way to provide a potential client or referral source
with information about your practice. Be sure to set your LinkedIn
profile settings to allow your profile to be viewed by the
- Build a website. This is another way in which you can
curate your appearance in the eyes of the public rather than stand
to chance whatever might be lurking on the Internet about you and
your firm. Spend time developing your website content to fit with
- Have a blog and use social media. Search engines index blog
entries and social media. Therefore, the more you can effectively
utilize these programs, the better chance your blog and social
media entries will appear in search results associated with your
- Monitor blog comments, recommendations and reviews. For sites
that allow commenting (i.e. blogs), recommendations (i.e.,
LinkedIn), and reviews (i.e., Google, Yelp, Avvo), be sure to
monitor what people are posting about you. If it is unfavorable,
reach out to the commenter on a personal level. Having a personal
conversation may very well lead the commenter to pull his/her
negative comment. You can further monitor what people might be
saying about you on the Internet by setting up Google alerts based
on your name.
- Assume everything is public. Don't put anything online that
would be damaging to your reputation if released to the public. If
you do use certain social media platforms for purely personal
endeavors, proceed with caution and be sure to check and double
check that the privacy settings are set as such.
Tip courtesy of Heidi Alexander, Law Office
Management Assistance Program.
Published March 27, 2014
To learn more about the Law Practice Management
Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members,
contact LPM Section Chair Cynthia E.
MacCausland or Vice Chair Damian J.