Marketing for Lawyers: 6 Tips for Outstanding Attorney Bios
Top-notch marketing for lawyers includes crafting attorney bios that inspire trust, confidence and loyalty. When a potential client looks for an attorney, they are often in crisis and want to find someone who has expertise as well as compassion. A compelling bio can help you rise head and shoulders above your competition.
Clients use attorney bios as a selection method. Bios are one way they compare you to other lawyers before deciding who to call. This is true of individuals as well as corporations seeking outside counsel. Roughly 90% of in-house counsel say they research attorney bios when choosing an outside firm.
While every bio should include information about your education, bar memberships, professional organizations and awards, a unique personal narrative can also convey elements that humanize you and describe your approach to serving clients. Additionally, an attorney bio is a great way to reinforce your E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness). E.A.T. is insider SEO lingo for the elements that Google says are essential to achieve credibility and excellence in your online content. This affects Google’s assessment of your website’s quality when determining indexing and rankings.
Google’s algorithm likes content that users can trust is accurate. One way to evaluate trustworthy content is to evaluate the author – which means evaluating you. Readers research attorneys to find evidence of education, achievement and a winning track record. If they find a legal resource online, they can trust the information more fully if it’s written by an experienced, well-qualified attorney. Your bio should convey the story of an attorney whose clients feel safe and confident relying upon, as well as an attorney with legal prowess. Effective marketing for lawyers is enhanced by a unique, richly textured bio.
Following are 6 tips to keep in mind when crafting an attorney bio:
- Be Relatable and Friendly
There’s nothing worse than a bio that sounds stiff and generic. Feel comfortable using your first name only or “I” when writing your bio. You want to be concise and clear, yet also remember to be approachable and human. You can include specific examples of your style or approach. Find ways to be unique and memorable.
- Focus on the Client
Keep your audience in mind when writing a bio, and focus on the benefits to them rather than simply stating your own accomplishments. Use client-centered content. Put yourself in their shoes and consider the important factors you would want to know when choosing a lawyer. What do you offer a client that no one else does? A niche expertise, low cost, speed, or geographic knowledge? Each of these can be differentiators. Always communicate benefits and value.
- Professional Photo, Credentials and Contact Info
A headshot photo is not a place to cut corners. Be sure to employ a professional photographer. A bio isn’t the place to use an iPhone camera. The caption should include your formal name and title. List all of the credentials that are must-haves: education, practice areas, state bar memberships, awards, publications and any speaking engagements. A bio can also be a place to link to a “client testimonials” page if your website has one. Make it easy to find your contact info, including phone, email and text. If you’re on social media, you can also provide links to your LinkedIn, professional Facebook, Twitter or other sites.
- Think Visuals — Badges, Citations and Awards
Visuals can be a great addition to a bio. Awards like Super Lawyers and others often include a colorful “badge” or logo. If it’s appropriate, consider adding this graphic element to your bio. While you’re at it, give your bio the “at-a-glance” test – is there enough eye relief? Be sure to keep sentences and paragraphs short and include plenty of white space on the page. Consider using bullets where appropriate. You don’t want to hit the reader with a wall of dense, run-on text.
- Avoid Legalese
Overuse of complicated legal terms is almost always a turn-off for readers. Find ways to convey your message in everyday language. Increasingly, Google algorithms prefer natural language when scanning online sites.
- Think SEO
There are small tricks you can employ that will help you with search engine optimization (SEO). Be as specific as possible when describing your practice area, location and services. This is especially true when trying to rank with Google for Local SEO. For example, rather than referring to yourself as a “local attorney,” rephrase that with specificity such as “a divorce attorney in Chicago” or “a personal injury lawyer in Lubbock, Texas.” Consider adding your office address to the footer of the bio page.
Fresh Is Always Better
When it comes to marketing for lawyers, it’s critically important to keep content fresh and up to date. This means you should review your bio at least once a year to make sure all the information is current. Have you recently won a big case that you want to reference? Has your title changed? Have you joined the board of a new legal or civic organization? By proofing your bio annually, you can spruce it up and keep it fresh.
Also, consider deleting any non-critical information that is more than 10 years old. For example, if you were a featured speaker at a legal conference 20 years ago, you might want to consider removing that information. And if your headshot is more than 8 to 10 years old, it may be time to have a new one taken. Photography and clothing styles change over the years, and you don’t want your picture to appear dated.
Consistency in Style
If you work at a law firm with several other attorneys, make sure the length, format and style of each attorney bio is similar. Consistency in style makes your website look professional. Keep these things in mind:
- Keep the outline and structure the same for all bios. For example, narrative at the top and bullets with education, bar memberships and publications at the bottom.
- Capitalize consistently. If you capitalize the first letter of practice areas in one bio, do it in all of the bios.
- Use the same font size and color across all bios. This goes for headings as well as main text. Don’t have blue headings in one bio and orange headings in another unless it’s an intentional design element.
- Verb tense and point of view should also be consistent in all bios. For example, don’t write one bio in the past tense and one in the present tense. Don’t use first person (“I”) in one bio and third person (“he”) in another bio.
These are small things, but they add polish and put the final touch of professionalism on your bios.
Marketing for Lawyers Done Right
As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. For many busy lawyers, a bio can be an afterthought. This is a mistake. Research shows that attorney bios are the second-most important element that potential clients consider when choosing a lawyer.
The first element is a trusted referral. Attorney bios are a way to humanize your law firm and clearly articulate the service and value you provide. It’s a place to sway would-be clients and get them to take the next step and call your firm. If you just don’t have the time to craft a professional bio or update your current one, there are professionals who can help. Feel free to give our team of SEO experts at Gladiator Law Marketing a call at 1-888-683-3212. We’d be glad to help!
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