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What makes a good expert witness directory? (Part 2) — For Experts

August 23, 2011

We previously discussed the common deficiencies and key features that attorneys should look for when using expert witness directories to research and locate experts.  Now, let’s change perspectives and look at items experts should watch for when considering expert directories for advertising.

There are many online and print expert witness directories that offer listings ranging in price from free to well over $1,000 per year.  When considering whether to invest in such advertisements, experts must evaluate whether the value received is worth the expenditure.  Ultimately, the most important barometer of success is the number of potential clients who contact the expert.  Such success is influenced by several different factors, including the ability to do the following:

  • Differentiate yourself from other experts in your field.  If all directory listings appear similar, then it is difficult to catch an attorney’s attention.  Even if the overall categories or quantity of information is restricted by the site, you should add very specific keywords to emphasize your area of expertise and/or industry experience.  In paid listings, narrow expertise is better than broad.
  • Provide meaningful information to attract attention from clients.  Name, address and area of expertise do not provide sufficient detail to an attorney to merit consideration.  Additional information such as photographs, prior testimony experiences and references will help set you apart from other experts in your field.
  • Appear in expert directory searches and/or major search engines.  When an attorney navigates to an expert witness directory, he wants to find useful information quickly.  You will be at a significant disadvantage if your listing is buried within an obscure classification or if the site is not easily searchable.  Make sure that your listing is displayed prominently within the directory or via Google search results if that is the focus of the paid directory.
  • Regularly update your professional information.  Directory listings that only allow annual submissions of information (e.g., those that are primarily focused on print publications) do not enable experts to include the most up-to-date information.  On-line directories that provide unlimited editing of profiles, therefore offer an easier way to let attorneys know about recent testimony experience, speaking engagements or publications.
  • Email profile listings to other attorneys.  We all know that client recommendations are one of the best ways to get new business.  Attorneys are regularly asking each other for suggested experts so expert witness directories should offer an easier way for attorneys to quickly email profile listings.

These are just some of the key features to look for when deciding where to invest you marketing budget.  At the end of this if you are still unsure which expert directory is best for you, try contacting the listing company to ask for site usage statistics.  Many directories are happy to discuss their average page hits or the company’s efforts to get your profile more attention.

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