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Helping Lawyers Humanize Their Online Presence: The Human Element

This article was originally posted on the Legal Marketing Association website but has since been removed.

A law firm’s attorneys are its brand ambassadors. In many cases, general counsel and inside counsel are hiring an attorney – due to the relationship – more so than they are hiring “the firm.” As a result, it has become more and more important to humanize the firm early in the buying process, beginning with the attorney’s biography page.

An attorney’s bio page is often the first interaction a prospective client will have with your firm, and, in many cases, the user will arrive on that bio page directly through a search engine, without navigating through the firm’s homepage or other areas of the site. Today, law firms are reimaging the attorney bio page to demonstrate their attorneys’ depth and expertise in a particular industry or practice area in a way that will resonate with their target audience and set the stage for building a relationship. Firms are looking for ways to use attorney biographies to communicate more than just a CV and a list of related matters or news items. They are developing these pages to create a personality for both the attorney and the firm. One of the most effective ways to do this is to rethink the style of photography on the page. Replace the dated “yearbook” headshot approach with more captivating images of attorneys in their natural environment. Use sophisticated lighting and interesting angles and compositions. For example, Berger Singerman and Boughton Law use engaging photography to portray the attorney’s approachability and personality. Today’s sophisticated corporate audiences are looking for law firms that are ingrained in their respective industries and understand their daily challenges. Users want evidence that a firm can support its claims of expertise and depth within a given area. Consider incorporating videos of your attorneys discussing their practice expertise, a particular case they won, industry news or a clip from a recent speaking engagement. Video, like written content, is an excellent way for attorneys to demonstrate their thought leadership. The right content on the right issue delivered at the right moment serves as the catalyst for prospects to reach out and begin the dialogue that leads to a relationship. According to Cisco, by 2019, video will account for 80 percent of global internet traffic. Embrace it. Proskauer features video on several of their attorney bio pages. You may even include some information on an attorney’s interests and hobbies outside of the office. Be relatable. Make it personal. These tactics can help set the stage for building a relationship with the prospect. Be creative in how you approach the individual lawyer’s online presence. First impressions are everything – and more than ever, an attorney’s bio page is serving as that first impression for potential clients. Be sure to take full advantage of the opportunity. Written by John Albert, Senior Account Executive, Herrmann Advertising | Branding | Technology with contributions from Ashley Smith, Business Development Manager, Herrmann Advertising | Branding | Technology for the May/June 2016 Issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.