Did you know that attorney bios are the most-read content on a law firm’s website? In fact, they are responsible for more than 60 percent of the site’s total traffic. But if you take a look around the web (even your own site) and compare lawyer bios, you may notice they mostly follow the same generic pattern. It’s no wonder that many Americans are frustrated by the way lawyers communicate. Instead of getting a true sense of whether an attorney can help them, what kind of work they are good at, or the level of interaction they can expect, prospects are given impersonal data.
This data typically includes where a lawyer clerked, courts and bars in which they are admitted, law review articles written, and lawyer-focused rating systems. It is very difficult for a prospect that has no idea about law ratings or law review articles to determine whether the attorney is right for them based on this information.
- Tone down the focus on academics
As unconventional as it may seem, tone down the focus on academics. Don’t forget them altogether because while a prospect will be impressed that you graduated from a well-known law school, it doesn’t make a huge impact on them whether you made the Dean’s list every semester. Your prospects what to know the real you, not a bunch of dry facts.
- Eliminate legalese.
Write in a tone and manner that feels natural to the lead. After all, you are writing it for their information, not your own. While legal jargon has a place in contracts, agreements, wills, lawsuits, etc. your bio is not the place to showcase complicated legal concepts. Technical language may sound condescending and be a turn off to your prospect so remember to keep it simple. Before you publish your attorney bio, read it out loud. You may even want to run it by a few non-attorney staff members at your firm to ensure it sounds informative and makes you seem approachable.
- Be direct
Instead of mentioning your practice areas and the type of cases that fall under these specializations, be direct about how you can help prospects. Discuss where your expertise will be most beneficial to potential clients. Being clear about your specialty can help leads determine whether or not you will be able to handle their legal problems.
- Get personal.
Traditionally, inserting personal information in a legal bio was considered a no-no, but times are different. People yearn to bond with attorneys before they even meet in person. Show them you are a “normal” person by mentioning some of your interests and hobbies. Are you training for a marathon? Do you have a soft spot for animals? Are you a member of a softball team? You might be surprised how often a common interest triggers a sense of connection for potential clients. No matter how great you are at your job, remember that people want to work with an attorney they feel comfortable with and genuinely like.
- Use a great photo of yourself.
The first image a client sees of you should not remind them of High School yearbook pictures. You want to exude a combination of professionalism, confidence, and warmth. It is completely understandable if you or some of your associates feel awkward about being photographed. If this is the case, invest some time and money and work with experienced photographer who will put you more at ease. While the process of updating bio photos for every attorney in the firm may be time consuming, the ROI can be extremely high. If a prospect does not like the “look” of a lawyer, he or she will not hesitate to click off your site and search for another lawyer elsewhere.
- Make it easy for prospects to get in touch with you within a few clicks.
Include either a form to fill out or your Outlook v-card. If you opt for a form, keep it simple with four fields or less. You may also want to include your direct phone number and email address within your bio.
- Include Videos
More law firms have started including a video element on their attorney bio pages. While this trend is not right for everyone, it might work for your firm. The great thing about video is that it conveys your personality. Prospects can listen to the confidence in your voice, decide how they feel about you based on your body language, and evaluate whether you may be a good match for their case.
- Include testimonials from former clients.
While a lead may not believe all the great things you say about yourself, they are more likely to trust your former clients. Whether you decide to include quotes or include links to a review site, use examples where clients give specific details on how responsive, thorough, and helpful you were through the entire process. Many law firms have dedicated “Testimonial” or “Client” pages, but it is okay to quickly highlight positive feedback.
- Make your bio “search friendly.”
Robots search the pages of your website in order to help prospects find you. There are a few easy ways to improve your search engine rankings. First, use your most likely search terms and keywords together in bold subheadings, embedded with links to practice area pages within your site, and sprinkled throughout your bio – just be careful not to be too repetitive. Include your geographic location whenever possible. For example, “specializing in divorce law in Orange County.”
- Incorporate your social media presence within your bio.
An attorney’s bio on a corporate website should sync with their LinkedIn profile. Are you on Twitter? Do you blog? Do you contribute a column to your local newspaper on a regular basis? Your bio should feature these links to provide leads with a deeper, more rounded view of you and your experience.