Why Your Online Lawyer Bio Matters.

Sometimes it is the little things that can make a big difference in growing a law practice. Often, lawyers will avoid marketing because it will take too much time or it is an activity outside of their comfort zone. 

Today I consulted with a lawyer who has avoided marketing for the past couple of years because he did not think he should have to market his practice. He is an established lawyer, has an excellent reputation and has been practicing law for 25 years. I challenged him to reframe his concept of marketing from "pushing" his service onto people to "attracting" clients who could benefit from what he does best.  
 
I also showed him how we could leverage his excellent reputation to create a marketing plan.
 
The first thing we did was type his name into Google and review the search results. We discovered that his LinkedIn profile had the wrong title, two of his bios from lawyer lists were outdated with old addresses, and his Avvo profile was incomplete. On his web site profile page, there was no information on how to contact the lawyer. Most important, none of his bios or profiles answered the question, "why should I hire you?". There was no mention on the value he provided clients or the client problems he excelled in solving.
 
The first marketing strategy was not to schedule 5 lunches or send out letters asking for referrals, rather it was to research how clients were finding him online and update and revise all online bios to communicate a consistent, relevant, and compelling message targeted to his ideal client.
 
Revising and updating your bio is a simple, effective marketing strategy every lawyer can take to increase their on-line presence and reinforce their reputation. Last week, I received 3 calls from lawyers who attracted clients as a result of updating and promoting their bios.
 
The following is one example:
 
"Interesting - I just got a call from a new client who, when asked how she got my name, said she found me on line and that she really liked my profile and how I relate to clients as people."
 
Updating your bio and profile may seem like a small thing, but it can deliver significant results.
 

Ten Questions to Inspire a Successful Law Practice

Most lawyers and Collaborative Law professionals struggle with not having enough time to build a law practice that attracts desirable and profitable clients. You can take charge of your practice by assessing your practice development strengths and weaknesses.

Read the following questions and rate the response with a score of 1-5. (1 - Not at all true and 5 - very true.)

  1. Purpose/Vision: Have you internalized “what” you want your practice to be and “why” this is important to you?
     
  2. Competence: Do you schedule time for attending conferences, workshops and advanced education?
     
  3. Best Clients: Do you know who your target client is and how to attract them to your practice?
     
  4. Core Message: Is your message distinctive? Does it differentiate you? Is it relevant to your target client? 
     
  5. Consistent Brand:  Does your brand communicate what you do, who you serve and the value you provide clients. Is it memorable? 
  1. Client Communication: Do your clients feel heard after they meet with you? Do you provide accessible and relevant education resources for your clients? How promptly do you return calls?
     
  2. On-line visibility: Does your website clearly communicate what you do and who you do it for? Does it reinforce your brand with high value educational resources and an informative blog? Do you have an updated bio on your web site and other social media sites including LinkedIn, twitter and Facebook?
     
  3. Building a referral network: Have you educated your referral sources on what distinguishes you and who your best clients are? Do you know the same information about your referral sources? How are you bringing value to your top referral sources?
  1. Exceptional Client Experience: Do you send out client evaluations and debrief with colleagues about improving your client’s experience? 
     
  2. Measure your results: Do you consistently evaluate how you get cases and assess your targeted goals with actual goals on a monthly basis?

Review your answers and make a note of the responses that scored below a 3. What are your top three priority actions for the next 90 days?

You can take charge of your practice by focusing on what you want and having a realistic understanding of what you need to do to achieve your goals. 

Four Strategies For An Effective Lawyer Bio

A recent analysis of activity on my clients’ websites showed the most read section was attorney bios.  Even more interesting, another client of mine recently revised her bio and retained a high-asset client for her firm because her client liked her bio.  These examples are consistent with studies showing that lawyer bios are the most-viewed pages on a law firm’s web site. 

A well written- client focused attorney bio is an effective marketing tool for attracting desirable and profitable clients.

What are the components to a successful bio?

The first is starting with the right focus. Many lawyer bios are focused on answering the question, “How can I impress you?”  rather than “How can I help you solve your problems?”

My suggestion is to look at your bio like an inverted pyramid. The large end of the pyramid answers the question, “How can I help you?” The smaller end provides information about your experience and credentials. Too often, lawyer bios start with facts such as graduation dates, memberships, years in practice, awards received, etc. But raw facts don’t resonate with clients, nor do they effectively communicate who you are and why you are the best lawyer for solving their problems.

The fundamental goal of your bio is to convert on-line searches into telephone inquires about your practice that lead to new clients.

The following are four strategies for writing an effective bio for your law practice:

1.      Communicate your personality: What is your approach to your work? What is your philosophy on how you work with clients? What are your strengths? What are you passionate about in your chosen practice area?

2.      Differentiate yourself: Who is your ideal client? Define your target audience, then speak to their interests and goals. Describe what makes your practice unique. What client problems are you good at solving? Avoid trying to be all things to all people.

3.      Create a dynamic bio: Update your bio, include recent articles and links to on line press releases, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites.

4.      Make it easy for client’s to contact you: Include your email address and direct phone number as well as your mailing address and fax number.

The bio you provide on your website is one of your most important marketing tools. Invest the time to refine your bio and communicate the value you provide for your clients. The more that clients know who you are and what you can offer to solve their problems,  the greater opportunity you have for converting on line searches into new clients.

What are your challenges in updating your bio? Send me questions or call me if you are finding it difficult to refine your bio.