Q: Like any business, firms and service providers alike need to build a reputation. Is it possible to suggest that it’s now less about what people say about you and more about what you say about yourself?

For any business, building a reputation is fundamental to success. It is not something that can be achieved overnight or bought, and relies heavily on consumer opinion. In the last 10 years as firms have shifted more toward the digital world of marketing and online presence, there is a certain factor of self-promotion and advocacy, however I think as is often the case, both what people say about your business and what you say about yourself are equally important yet, each outcome relies on each other.

I’d like to draw on the Apple example. If, like me, you are able to remember the 1990’s, Apple did not hold the reputation they have today. Aside from their products being expensive, they were thought of as outdated and niche. Upon the return of Steve Jobs, Apple changed their approach, starting by building better, customer focused products. Subsequently, they modified their messaging to be more customer focused, and talked about why they do what they do, rather than what they do as a whole. By meticulously focusing on their own message to the market, they successfully built a reputation that had people talking about them. In doing so, they removed the perception of being expensive.

Today, PracticeEvolve are putting this into practice. We understand that a higher level of service is required for law firms using our software. It has become more about software with a service, rather than out of the box solutions, which is why we have developed EvolveLearning and Community, and also introduced multiple Client Success Consultants across the board.
To suggest that it’s now less about what people say about you and more about what you say about yourself would be incorrect, however, it is fundamentally important for businesses to outline why they do what they do, while ensuring their actions lead to better word of mouth.

The great news is it really doesn’t matter where you start. If you already have great products and services, focus on ensuring you shout about them, and that your clients are also talking positively about you. With the growth in review sites, what people say about your business influences others opinions.