Whether your law firm is composed of one lawyer, twenty or two hundred, your law firm has a unique culture and personality. That personality is reflected in everything from the way the telephone is answered to your firm letterhead to your approach to resolving your clients’ problems. It informs the way employees are treated and the way work gets done. Some firms are more ‘corporate’ and some are more laid back. Some firms take an aggressive approach to advocacy and some lean more toward collaboration.
Whether intentional or not, the personality of your firm defines your clients’ experience with your firm. Your clients come to expect and count on certain things from you.Your clients are going to experience your firm’s personality once they have retained you, so why not show them what to expect by injecting that personality into your law firm website?
By showing your personality rather than creating a cookie-cutter site that merely recites credentials, accomplishments and practice areas, you give clients a preview of who you are and what they can expect when working with you. You differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace.
Who you are, not just what you do
One of my law firm clients recently decided to feature bio photos depicting the lawyers engaged in their ‘free time’ pursuits. Rather than showing the lawyers in business suits, the photos on each lawyer’s bio page showed them cycling, playing golf, etc. But after he saw the site, one of the partners got nervous and retreated, saying it would be more ‘appropriate’ to feature a business attire photo on the bio page and make the more casual shot smaller and less prominent.
I stepped in to remind my client of the goal of the site and all of the reasons they had decided to do this in the first place, including differentiating themselves, putting a more human face on the firm and its lawyers, and developing connections with clients with similar non-business interests. In short, the site’s personality and the non-business photos would give clients a fuller picture of who they were, not just what they did.
Personality gets people to pay attention, and it gets remembered. I can guarantee that those photos will create a buzz and get people talking. I know the firm will get comments from clients about them.
People want to do business with people. Law is a relationship business. Your law firm website may be the first contact a potential client has with your firm and their first impression of you. Who wants a relationship with someone who is boring, clinical, or talks all about themselves? Nobody. People want relationships with interesting people who care about them. Let that shine through on your site.
Remind clients that lawyers are people, too. Tell the story of why your firm exists and why you work with your clients. And remember – the one thing your competitors cannot copy is your personality.