Would you want to talk to you at a cocktail party?
I often ask our law firm clients this question when discussing their brand messaging strategy. However, the question seems even more pertinent when addressing their lawyers’ bios. With most traffic on law firm websites going to lawyers’ bios, it’s the perfect place to add that “human touch” that engages and connects with clients—making them someone clients want to work with rather than have to work with. You know, the kind of thing that makes people want to talk to you at a party. And yet, so many lawyer bios have all the warmth and interest of a slab of concrete. Why?
Perhaps it’s the “just the facts” mentality of the attorney psyche. The majority of lawyer bios outline their areas of practice, their experience and their education. They might also list their various accolades and successes, along with publications and appearances. More marketing-savvy lawyers will include links to blogs and other forms of thought leadership. What most of them don’t include is anything that relates to how they work with clients, their approach and their principles—in other words, anything that sheds light on their personality.
Most attorney bios read like a chest-pounding laundry list of experience, achievements and accolades—but give very little clue as to how they work with their clients and help them achieve success. There’s nothing inherently wrong with listing all those things, but they aren’t particularly client-focused. Furthermore, they fail to take into account how clients actually make hiring decisions. While experience, reputation and results definitely play a major role in how clients choose a lawyer, when choosing between two or more attorneys of fairly equal experience, reputation and abilities, a client will hire the lawyer that gels more with their personality. Likeability and chemistry—like in anything else—is usually the deciding factor in getting the job.
Text that describes how you work with clients and your approach to their matters does two things: it tells clients (or potential clients) what’s in it for them by working with you, making it more personal and oriented to how you fill their needs, and it reveals some of your personality as well. Including personal quotes or client testimonials about how you work with clients or approach your practice also help make your bio more personal and interesting.
Keep in mind, however, to not over-do it. It doesn’t have to be long. In fact, the shorter, the better. Think “small talk” rather than life story. Going back to our cocktail party analogy—people who ramble on often end up standing alone in the corner.
Adding a little personality to your bio will go a long way toward helping generate new business, as well as enhancing both yours and the firm's brand. What are you doing to make your attorneys' bios more interesting and engaging? Do you think adding more personality to your bios would help your firm's business? We'd love to hear your thoughts!