The Most Important Thing on Your Firm’s Website

Marketing and public relations specialists know that uncertainty is a big part of our work. We rely as much as we can on data to decide how to deploy our resources in ways that will make the biggest difference, but there’s often some amount of guesswork and unpredictability involved.

But do you know what is completely predictable? The importance of effective attorney bios. According to Greentarget’s State of Digital Survey, 90% of in-house counsel rely on attorney bios when researching outside firms.

We can tell you for sure, based on years of experience helping firms improve their messaging to the marketplace, that devoting time and attention to revising attorney bios on your firm’s website is one of the most impactful steps you can take. Prospective clients and competing firms visit this part of your website to determine not just who you are and what you do, but what you say about who you are and what you do.

The ideal attorney bio  . . .

Speaks to the client audience. We see too many firms who treat their lawyers’ bios like resumes, with endless lists of accolades that only carry meaning within the legal industry. Instead, think about the bio from the point of view of the prospective client who is going to be reading it. What kinds of information would persuade that GC, CEO or small-business owner to pick up the phone? How can you anticipate what they are worried about and demonstrate your ability to solve those problems?

Includes a “standout statement.” People read attorney bios all the time, but they skim looking for the two-second takeaway. If a visitor has to read a thousand words of text and still doesn’t know, exactly, how you focus your legal practice, that is a problem. The standout statement is becoming the standard for quality bios, for good reason. In one sentence sum up 1) the attorney’s area of expertise 2) who they serve and 3) what they deliver for their clients. That statement should go at the top in a large, easy-to-read font.

Is up to date and focused. Not to beat this point to death, but your attorney bio is not your law school yearbook page! Every piece of information included there should be relevant to the kind of work you want to do more of today. Some attorneys think listing every last practice group they’ve worked with in their entire career burnishes their reputation, but in fact it has the opposite effect. Communicating in a focused way the niche you’ve carved out for yourself will be far more effective in instilling confidence in a prospective client.