In a presentation she gave at the Clio Cloud Conference in 2017, Nicole Abboud pointed out that your clients expect to be able to engage with you 24/7, and one of the tools you have to do that is your website.

You need to roll out the red carpet for your clients. You need to make sure that you are available 24/7—either actually available … or have some aspect of your brand that’s available to them. So having an online client portal where they can log in and get some information about their documents, information about their case, where they can just do it themselves …

*Nicole was talking about Millennials, specifically, but I think it applies to everyone.

This has stuck with me ever since. Most professional websites are just marketing brochures. Once the lead becomes a client, the website is largely irrelevant to the representation and there is no way for the client to keep an eye on the status of their case or project.

But if you order a pizza, you can use an app to see when it goes into the oven. You can visit your doctor’s websites to see your health records and get your prescriptions. You can check your balances, deposit checks, and transfer money 24/7 on your bank’s website.

Those websites and apps are just part of the service. And in a time of social distancing where clients may only be able to interact with you online, your website should do more than just marketing. It should be part of the value you offer to your clients.

Unfortunately, there has been no easy way for independent contractors, consultants, and professionals to offer a client portal on their website. So after I left Lawyerist I decided to build one, and here it is. I hope you like it!

Sam Glover