You can add a biography of yourself on your social channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Which begs the question, what makes a good online biography? In this article, we’ll tell you what you should include in your biography and how important it is to keep it up to date, detailed and clear.
Getting paying clients through the door is very similar to getting hired by a company. First impressions matter. Just like having a solid, clear, and concise resume to get your foot in the door, every lawyer should have a great lawyer biography, either on a legal directory or on your firm’s website.
Use the 6 Second Rule
Similar to the elevator pitch, you have roughly 6 seconds to make your first impression, so make it count.
Your readers want short sentences and short paragraphs. Embrace the negative space on your page. Provide the information that you need to give your clients so they will ultimately pick up the phone and call you for your legal services.
Make Sure Your Name is Extremely Easy to Pinpoint
Have you ever tried to Google your own name? What did you find? Out of the 95% of customers who look online for legal support, 75% of them will do their research online to learn more about the lawyer themselves before they ever make that first call.
In addition to having your law firm’s name obvious, your name should be obvious as well. Especially for smaller law firms that may not have the budget for an elaborate website, it’s still important to have an ‘About Us’ page. Take full advantage of this page and highlight your team, lawyers, and their biographies so that your potential prospects may have the opportunity to learn more about you, even before they’ve reached out.
Cover the Basics
Even though these may seem obvious, many law firms still neglect to post all of the following information listed below. Make sure you take the time to review your biography to ensure that you’re covering all the basics:
- Contact Information: This includes your firm’s address, phone number, social media links, and email address (if you can provide a direct email address, this could be advantageous)
- Education: Tell your prospects your story. Where did you study? What qualifications do you possess?
- Work History: Did you come from another firm? Did you start your own firm? Tell your audience about it.
- Practice Area: What are you an expert on? This should align with the areas of practice for your firm.
- Participation and involvement in the Bar Association + Legal Organizations: Make sure you highlight your leadership in your area of practice. You should include your highest leadership position first then make your way down to general memberships and include your years of involvement.
- Publications: Have you ever done a panel or participated in any lectures, podcasts, or panel discussions? If you believe they will benefit you as a legal professional, make sure to note it down.
Include a Headshot of Yourself
There’s a phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Make sure you choose a photo that will represent who you are in the legal space. If possible, have a professional photographer take one for yourself to include it in your bio. You want to ensure that the image you portray on your website reflects the professionalism that is necessary for the legal sector. Your professionalism needs to be obvious and will be weighed more heavily.
Avoid using old repurposed photos that you took during casual events, parties or engagements. Try to stay authentic and refrain from making any edits or revisions on Photoshop. Finally, make sure you take a new photo every 12-24 months to keep your profile updated. This is a great way to make the best possible first impression that will reflect your best qualities and establish a brand that you represent.
Update Your Biography Regularly
Don’t ‘schedule’ a time to update your biography. Rather than that, use every milestone or accomplishment in your career to add to your biography. Make sure your biography is relevant to the current trends and practices. Your goal is to demonstrate that you have the updated knowledge and skills to help your potential clients. It’s crucial that you focus on the benefits and demonstrate your ongoing client services, customer service and values.
Stay Focused on One Style of Writing
One of the mistakes about composing and writing your biography is the fact that your writing style may be different from your peers or the rest of the legal team. It’s important to establish how you’d like the writing style to be, such as writing you’d like to write in first person or third person.
It could be noted that your writing style should reflect your area of practice as well. If you are practicing family law, for example, it’s important to add a personal touch to your writing, otherwise, stick to a third person writing style.
Although it’s important to have a structured biography that includes all the elements of a solid bio, it’s more important to stay true to yourself, your values, and your brand.
Ultimately, and it goes without saying, your authenticity is what will draw your potential clients through the door. Like a resume, you want to make yours stand out above the rest of your competition. Before you post your biography online, ask yourself: does your biography reflect who you are? How you feel? And what you believe in?
In a saturated industry, creating and establishing an honest and trustworthy brand will give your clients a reason to hire you, and also refer you to future prospects down the road.
Know Your Audience
Finally, it’s important to know who needs your services – your current, former and future clients and referral sources. This could include the age, demography, and geographic information of your clients. Know your audience and address their needs and expectations in your bio.
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