You have 20 years of practice and a single paragraph biography? Really? You’re not making this easy for me.
I heard your name at a recent meeting and thought we could use your expertise to resolve an issue we’re struggling with. I found your firm website, but didn’t learn enough about you or your services to take the next step and contact you. I’ll dig a little further and see what I can find online about you. Oh, wait. There’s someone else who can help us … they know our business and have listed some of their experience. Perfect. I’ll fire off a quick e-mail and schedule a call.
This scenario above is avoidable. Let’s look at how to correct your content with a few quick and simple suggestions:
Tell me what’s different about you. First start with your practice areas, the type of clients you work with and the highlights of your experience. Did you work on precedent-setting decisions? Did you close a deal under unique and challenging circumstances? Give me insight into where you excel and also how any previous work-experience, community service or related education gives you a leg up.
As your practice grows and evolves, so too should your biography. Too bashful to get it done right? Pair up with a colleague who is familiar with your work and success and draft each other’s biography, or outsource the task. Whatever it takes, make sure your biography shines.
Whenever you can, be strategic about your content. If your current goals are to raise the profile of a group or a new lawyer, or attract a particular client-type, use your news page to make announcements, offer congratulations to others, or post your media mentions.
Use keywords and strong headlines to grab your audience and Google’s attention. If you have social media accounts for your firm, or members of the firm have personal accounts, encourage them to repost your news to take your message further. I did so myself recently and in one evening, reached thousands of people thanks to pass along readership via retweets. It took a whopping three minutes.
Give me rich, helpful and impressive content here. Explain what you do, but also why you’re right for me. Avoid trying to be all things to all people, and do take a sincere look at your strengths and areas of focus. Your niche areas might be in specific industries, types of transactions, client type (think: busy, risk-averse entrepreneur; analytical CFO; physiotherapists who rehabilitate the injured) or even a convenient under-served geographic location if you’re a general practitioner.
Address the things that concern me and tell me what you’ve done for others. Representative experience will bring integrity to your claims of experience and expertise. You can make general statements about your experience without identifying clients or their matters.
Your annual practice group planning process would do well to include a review and update of your practice group description. This is the time to take inventory of the year’s work and ensure it’s showcased on your group’s webpage.
This is where you convert me, a prospective client, to a new client whether I call you or e-mail you. That first point of contact sets the impression of what it will look like to work with you and your firm.
Make it easy for me to find you. Help me understand who best to contact in each of your practice areas – who’s the leader? Is it that person I should reach out to? I don’t want to feel silly by initiating contact with the wrong person and starting off our relationship on the wrong foot.
If you direct me to call your main reception (and not list direct phone numbers for your lawyers), please don’t ask me, “Who’s calling, please?” I may not want to identify myself to your receptionist, particularly if I’m enquiring about assistance in a personal matter.
Your practice group page and biographies should include your assistant’s name and other supporting members of your firm should be listed in your “Contact us” page. Give me alternative people to call if I need a live voice and you’re not available. Ensure those folks can respond to client stress or needs appropriately and helpfully. (This is why regular client service training is a must!)
Now you’re really making this easy for me to decide that you’re the one to contact. In fact, I probably don’t need to look any further. Let’s hope you respond quickly to my enquiry.