So many law firms are so caught up in what their competition is doing and how their competition is beating them, that they never take the time to sit back and think how they can cooperate to increase profitability for both law firms. You do this all the time within your referral networks without thinking about it. You send Jim Smith your medical malpractice cases while Jim sends you all of his car accident claims. You send mesothelioma cases to Sally Johnson and Sally sends you her premises liability claims. You are all in the injury/malpractice field and in some areas you compete with each other. But when you can you help each other out.

You endorse strong attorneys within your industry on Avvo.com and nominate them for inclusion into different associations and memberships. The concepts I’m about to discuss are not new ones.

Developing a digital relationship

So how can you go about getting a competing law firm or any other attorney to form a digital relationship with you? This is the million dollar question isn’t it? The truth is, you already know the answer. Here are a few small steps you can take.

1) Visit their blog frequently. Leave productive comments on occasion while never poaching clients or answering potential clients’ questions (leave those to the firm to answer). This benefits the attorney and his or her readers, as it makes them appear well-informed and competent.

2) Share things of interest. You can do this via your blog, social media, or another medium. Don’t post to their wall unless you have something of value to their readers. Instead, like them and simply mention them or use their hashtag in your post. They will see it.

3) Never demand a link or try to squeeze in a link to your website while posting to them or on their website. You will terminate any relationships that are in place and those doors are rarely reopened.

4) Provide great content. If you want to get a link back to your website and/or have the other firm show you some love in return, you need to have great content. Without it, the above efforts will be fruitless.

Always remember, there’s no separation between the real world and digital world anymore. Everything you do online has consequences, both good and bad. Whenever you are reaching out via social media, blogs, email or any other means, think to yourself how you would react. If you would mark your post, comment or e-mail as spam or delete it, likely so will they. Be thoughtful. Be insightful. Be respectful. And don’t be afraid to offer a little praise. “@attorneyabc Saw you in court really sticking it to the defense. Hope you were able to bring your client justice!”

Beat your competition

How do we beat our competition in the SEO game? A major contributing factor is having links and relationships that others can’t get easily. By forming relationships with authoritative legal resources and other attorneys, you will find a whole new world of link opportunities opening up to your firm that no one else has access to. Some agencies such as ours will advise you along the way and help you form these relationships, but at the foundation of the relationship is you, the attorney. You will only get out of these relationships what you put into them. You can be successful without them, but with them the sky is the limit.

Disclaimer: Before partaking in any of these outreaches, check your bar association guidelines as some of these tips and tricks are not allowed in all states.