By charles Price
1) Contact details, contact details, contact details. Get your contact details seen. I mean your email, address and phone number displayed clearly. When a directory hides your information and a lengthy, pop up window asking for hundreds of details appears, lawyers will be off like a hefty middle man bill. A Lawyer's time is precious so opt for a showcase that reveals your contact details with no messing about. He or she can then jot that down, in their phone or on their lap top and contact you in a blink of an eye. You'll soon discover where the leads are coming from. It's not rocket science to know if the lawyer has forgotten where he or she found you that it'll be from a directory revealing all your contact details. Marketing: some popular expert witness marketing channels have a regular news wire and will send your story to their readership without a charge. This is a great way to gain additional exposure in major search engines.
2) Categories: The expert witness directory you choose should agree or offer to list your details under the key skill categories of your specialization. If they don't have a category ask them to add it. Choose a directory that understands your need for exposure under your categories. Maybe as well it will allow you to edit the actual title of your entry which is important for search engines to list you under the phrase you want. Not key words. They are out of date with major search engines. A short phrase will do. Afterall, no one types a series of key words in a search engine search.
3) Maybe you will prefer a scatter gun approach and list in a few or more expert directories. Annual fees are cheap considering fees lawyers pay for an expert's services. You will notice the directories that are more up to speed as they will offer many features and will be regularly adding new features compared with static websites that offer no more than a few paragraphs and contact details. No more, no editing function, haven't changed a basic design for a decade and look like they stuck in 1995. With directories that publish all your contact details don't be disappointed that leads have not stacked up. Lawyers will find it more important collecting your email for future uses than remembering the minutiae of a URL (web address). That is a good theory. Another method is the contact form approach asking lawyers many details and sending the email via the site as mentioned above. Then you will receive the lead details if he or she has the time. That's theory two. Maybe you would like to choose both approaches in scatter gun approach.
4) Filling in your profile. There's no point paying for a listing and not presenting yourself in a professional way. Your page is your showcase. I suggest uploading a professional photo of you in your professional work attire. Or if you may only add one image and would prefer a logo make sure its good quality and professional looking. It doesn't need to be written that your details should be kept up to date or you'll lose business. Some directories allow you to add several photos, PDFs and other media. All of this can be helpful. A video of you speaking is an excellent method of showcasing your skills these days as the internet has improved greatly so videos are not hard to download on phones. Choose a directory that allows you to edit your information at will. It would not be beneficial if you have to get your page correct in one go. Details can change.
5) Liaise with the directory manager about how best to fill in and finalize your listing. If your photo is not uploading let him know. There may be a good reason for it. The manager should help you even if he or she edits it and adds it for you. If the link to your website is not working let them know. A small mistake like that could hamper your chance of employment. Bonus features. If your budget for listings is limited, for one reason or another, look for a directory that has a special membership sale or offers a bonus the others don't for example a front page advert for a limited amount of time or a free listing in a sister site or on an APP. Another good piece of advice I've learned over the years is to write your information in the first person which uses pronouns including I and me and keep that consistent. It looks more professional. It is acceptable to write your description in the third person though the watch word is consistency. A few expert directories will feature experts who are available world-wide and in their own countries. With the internet being world-wide there is no reason to avoid these websites and you may even get offers from abroad.
6) Middle men/broker sites. The black cloud on the horizon. We don't suggest that these should be entertained. They often don't display contact details of the expert as they want to collect a hefty fee from the lawyer or the expert if a booking is secured. Some advertise bewildering headlines such as they have millions of expert witnesses on their books. You have to ask yourself if these sites are charging lawyers thousands for a booking and operating from million-dollar addresses will the fees be eventually passed on to the expert witness? Of course, yes. It's easy for a lawyer to justify paying less when a big fee goes to a middle man. In short: the deserved remuneration for the expert's hard work will be syphoned in a big way toward these companies. Reduced so fat cats can benefit.
Charles Price LLB, LLM is a practicing employment lawyer.