One of the hottest ‘new’ tools for marketing and business development is infographics. Infographics are visually appealing, highly shareable and, when done right, can convey a lot of information quickly and easily, or make a mountain of data easy to understand. By combining text and visuals into one, infographics make the most of both to reinforce a message.
For lawyers, infographics are another tool that can be used to help differentiate a firm from others in the same practice area and a way to help clients and potential clients understand the legal process.
Lawyers are generally a text-heavy bunch. For most clients the law is a foreign language. In order to help clients understand the law and the legal process, often, lawyers must provide lengthy explanations, both orally and in written form. Infographics can help clients understand complicated legal concepts without confronting long blocks of text. By presenting material in infographic form, lawyers can help make legal concepts less intimidating for both existing clients and prospective clients. Infographics may also help keep prospects’ and clients’ attention longer and help them retain the information longer than information presented purely in text format.
When confronted with a legal problem, clients are concerned not only with the ultimate outcome, but also with the legal process. Hearings, depositions, and court appearances can all be anxiety-laden experiences. But clients also need to be informed about time limits, the judicial process and what to expect as their matter progresses. I often suggest that lawyers provide their clients with a written explanation of the expected progression of their matter or a flowchart that they can refer to throughout the engagement. Providing this information in infographic form may be even more effective.
Infographics are also great marketing tools because they are so easy to share. Visuals are always popular on social media, and good infographics can go viral quickly. Visuals get more clicks on the web than text links and they get much more attention. Infographics are also easy to embed in a website or blog, and they help to demonstrate your expertise in a new and engaging way.
There are a number of other ways that lawyers can use infographics in their law practices. Infographics can be used to help train employees, to enhance firm newsletters, as a recruitment tool, or as an alternate or additional lawyer biography. Lawyers may want to provide statistical firm information on the law firm website in infographic form, or create an infographic that showcases the results the firm has attained for clients.
Gyi Tsakalakis has created a Pinterest board just for legal infographics, where you can see some great examples of how lawyers are using infographics to convey information. Many of the infographics on his board come from personal injury lawyers providing visual depictions of statistics for texting while driving, trucking accidents, slip and fall accidents during the holidays and the like, but there are other examples, including debt information, divorce and bankruptcy statistics, and an infographic about new legal structures. In short, the infographic format can be used for any practice area.
Infographics can be designed relatively inexpensively by using an outside design company, but there are also many resources available on the web that will allow you to design them yourself. Some of the more popular include visual.ly, infogr.am, easel.ly and Piktochart for traditional infographics and Wordle, a program that creates word clouds from text or web pages.
If you are looking for something new to add to your marketing and business development efforts in 2013, you might try incorporating some infographics.