What Your Website Bio Needs

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An attorney’s online presence is usually multifaceted, consisting one or more Facebook profiles, a Twitter account, blog(s), website, and website bio.

For many solo and small firms, attorney bios are one of the most popular pages on their site. Whether you are crafting a new bio or ready to revamp your existing one, here are a few tips.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Your picture is important to potential clients. Clients like to put a face with a name and seeing your face might create an extra level of comfort for a potential client (assuming you are posting the right kind of picture).

If you present yourself as the tough-as-nails criminal defense attorney, your picture should reflect that. If you operate relaxed and family-friendly office, your picture should reflect that. Or maybe you just like pictures of trains in the background.

Whatever image you want to project, it is worth hiring a professional photographer. Posting a grainy and awkwardly cropped photo from your friend’s wedding six years ago does not look professional.

Pitch your services

Your bio should contain your elevator speech—what type of law you practice and who you can help. I can only imagine the frustration of potential clients when they cannot figure out what you actually do. Not only will it help clients who want to hire you, it may also help filter out potential clients who need help with something that you do not handle.

Many attorneys also include information about why they handle a certain type of law. If you are passionate about your area of law, that is certainly worth including, just don’t overdo it. Lastly, you may also want to include what clients should expect when they work with you: are you available on the weekends, can clients call you anytime, etc.

How did you get there?

Where you went to law school and undergrad are fairly common fare for a website bio. In addition, be sure to list other professional experience acquired during and after law school—as long as it is relevant. For example, your clerkships during law school are usually worth adding, your 1L work as a pizza delivery driver can probably be left out.

If you switched from a big firm associate to running your own show, feel free to include that experience. To many clients, that shows you have big firm pedigree and experience but without alls the bells and whistles (and high rates).

Most importantly, add anything that showcases your individuality and makes you stick out from the crowd. I had an interesting life prior to law school and my clients love to hear stories about Hollywood. I doubt it gets me any extra business, but it is good way for me to connect with them on a personal level—and strong client relationships are critical to my success as a solo attorney.

Extra bells and whistles

There are other ways to enhance your online bio, like using a video introduction. I have yet to take the leap of faith, but I am becoming more and interested in using it as a way to distinguish my site. The danger with video, however, is that it is easy to create a low-quality, cheesy, and lame video. On the other hand, there are plenty of affordable resources to help you make something at presentable, if not distinguishable.

Other easy add-ons are embedding your Twitter feed and including a visual CV. A bio may seem like a cookie cutter piece of information, but taking the time to add some personality and flare can make all the difference.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/3332319267/)

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  • Larry Rose

    Randall,

    Good, useful post, but I found it ironic that your name appears no where in your bio, or in the heading!

    The only place it appears is in the list of Consumer News articles!

    I think it might be helpful to let people know who you are!

    Larry

  • Great tips, Randall. Keep in mind, too, what NOT to include:

    – Memberships and nothing more—e.g. ABA and your local bar association. These dilute the effect of the organizations in which you are active and to a sophisticated viewer might look like you are desperate for something to include.
    – Political organizations, unless you are targeting others of your party
    – Religious organizations, unless you are targeting others of your religion

    I’d be interested to know your thoughts. -ae

  • Greg Tackett

    We are currently in the process of updating all attorney profiles. I am trying to stress the importance of including what industries each attorney has prior experience in on their profiles. This way if a potential client needs help with a horse farm as opposed to a coal company they know who to contact.

    Also, we are including a “More Info” section for the attorneys to tell clients a little more about their personal lives.

  • When it comes to trains, it looks like you’ve got followers, Randall. ;) http://www.malaiselawfirm.com/