What legal websites and legal blogs can learn from online newspapers

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Do you read a lot of legal blogs?  I do – especially about social media and the law and the impact on our lives.  Many legal websites and blogs are so dull and boring and yet they could be easily tweaked to be more reader-friendly.

Other blogs and websites engage the audience and ‘speak to the audience’ in their language and refer to the audience’s world – rather than being a dry dissertation on the legalities of issues.

 

From my experience as a lawyer (before running off to join the media circus), lawyers are used to reading lots of words without any pictures or graphic design.

Better blogs use journalism techniques to: get readers attention, persuade the reader why they should read a post and attract them into the substance of the blog post.

1.get readers attention

2. persuade the reader why they should read a post

3. attract and draw the reader into the substance of the blog post.

 

For example:

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This legal blog post on a legal website looks like something you’d see in an online/digital version of a newspaper.

Note:

  1. The eye-catching thumbnail (image)

2. The headline that starts off ‘light’ – yet also has the ‘reason to read’ – the need to be aware.

3. The plain language in the enticing few sentences in the ‘preview’ to draw you into the post.

There’s a huge debate on whether blogs should be on legal websites in the first place. I’ll discuss that in a future post. For now, I’m busy reading about the legal implications of Love at First Swipe!

 

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IMPORTANT: This post does not create a consultant-client relationship.

For legal marketing advice you can contact a legal marketing consultant in YOUR area – OR (if you are based in Australia or Singapore/South East Asia) you can engage me in a professional relationship.

OR you can just enjoy reading how other law firms are building business and developing relationships through their Legal Marketing. ENJOY!

TB LL mosaic

Hi, I’m Tony Biancotti and I help lawyers communicate more effectively with everyday people. I’m a former lawyer turned journalist, communication consultant, and legal marketing maverick.

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting it’s easy for you to follow and connect.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.

Twitter

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

 

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Why law firm websites need visual variety

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Lawyers are used to reading lots of information and have a ‘high threshold to boredom’ – but they need to consider that their clients may find the writing on law firm websites dull and tiresome.

Legal documents and cases are usually set out plainly in black and white and lawyers are used to reading visually ‘heavy’ and ‘dense’ material – but the average ‘non-professional’ person is not.

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I’m a former lawyer who ran away to join the media circus and I enjoy helping lawyers simplify how they communicate with non-lawyers.  I also enjoy reading legal blogs about  social media and the law on blogs like Slater+Gordon’s blog. I am not connected with this firm now, although I did help one of their former legal experts and bloggers. (that’s how I first discovered their audience-friendly style)

Not all law firm sites or blogs have as much visual variety.

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(Note the use of lots of white space and the variation of a key quote in the blue that echoes the blue in the logo)

Lawyers love detail and thoroughness and lots of information One of the things I stress when helping lawyers is the ‘look’ of their websites and blogs – especially visual variety and white space.

Many clients view websites on their smartphones with smaller screens – so scrolling through masses of text without variety can become very tiresome.

 

When I help law firms I use lots of techniques from journalism such as using:

  • pull quotes
  • bullet points for variety – not too many as they get boring too (think how the Financial Review uses them)
  • changes of text colour
  • emphasis devices such as bold and italics
  • narrower columns rather than writing right across the screen

 

“White space is not a waste”

Some clients initially have trouble adjusting to using visual variety and lots of white space that (to them) can seem childish and wasteful. As I advise them – they are presenting information for clients and potential clients.

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IMPORTANT: This post does not create a consultant-client relationship.

For legal marketing advice you can contact a legal marketing consultant in YOUR area – OR (if you are based in Australia or Singapore/South East Asia) you can engage me in a professional relationship.

OR you can just enjoy reading how other law firms are building business and developing relationships through their Legal Marketing. ENJOY!

TB LL mosaic

Hi, I’m Tony Biancotti and I help lawyers communicate more effectively with everyday people. I’m a former lawyer turned journalist, communication consultant, and legal marketing maverick.

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting it’s easy for you to follow and connect.

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.

Twitter

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

 

 

Twitter for long-winded lawyers – Pt 2 – how to write an engaging profile

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Likeable Lawyer

Are you making the most of your twitter profile?

Are you encouraging people to want to follow you – by describing what you do, what makes you different, and a bit about your interests?

twitter-logo-1

Many lawyers don’t use their profile effectively – to describe more precisely how they can help – what they offer that’s different.

It’s often too general – lawyer or partner or just the law firm name.

And…very, very few lawyers dare to share any passions or interests that make them seem more human and interesting and likeable.

I hear some readers saying to themselves: How can you possibly achieve all that in a brief profile – 160 characters?

Check out how this Canadian Legal Marketing expert, Jordan Furlong, says so much in such little space.

jordan furlong

Jordan was a law student who loved to write and he perfected his writing style working as a legal journalist.

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How lawyers can win more business – through the power of LIKE part 2/4

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doubleshot media

How lawyers can win more business – through the power of LIKE

Do YOU think lawyers, doctors and other professionals “selling” their services is unprofessional and undignified?

Here’s how professionals can “sell”, win more clients, and boost their business in an effective yet dignified way.

This is part 2 of 4 on how  lawyers and professional services businesses can increase their LIKE-ability and boost business through daring to break from tradition and harness the power of LIKE.

My original post ended up being very long – so I’ve broken it down into more audience -friendly, bite-sized chunks. If you want to get all the tips in one hit – there is a link at the end of this post.

1. Put images of people LIKE the audience YOU want to attract prominently in your marketing material – including your website.

2. Think of what you have in common with…

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The childhood “game” that ignited the passion to become a lawyer

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Likeable Lawyer

I found it!

point of law

If found on the internet – the “game” that made me want to become a lawyer. Did YOU ever play this game?

It was a “game” called Point of Law  – where you read about cases (based on real-life cases)  then you had to say what you thought the outcome would be.

I hadn’t seen this image of the cover for decades. I’d forgotten the name of this game. I searched and searched the internet for law and legal board games until I found it – and the memories came flooding back!

The game was a gift from may parents. Maybe they were guiding me towards a career in law.

I would have been the first one on our family ever to go to law school – let alone become a lawyer.

I think I was pre-teen or in my early teens – and I remember…

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How lawyers can win more business – through the power of LIKE part 3/4

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How lawyers can win more business – through the power of LIKE part 3/4

jag3

What have cars and bands got to do with attracting business for professionals?

This is all revealed below – PLUS  what YOU can learn from how US attorneys are revealing what they LIKE (in an appropriately professional way!)

Eugene & The Egg - trying to look like/sound like  those great British bands Echo & The Bunnymen and The Cure

Have you noticed business has changed from the days when clients would line up to see you? You have to work harder these days!

When I was a lawyer I thought it was undignified to go looking for business – but these days you can still encourage more business in an effective and yet dignified way. You can reach out and attract more business connections AND business through the power of LIKE.

I’ve recently been helping professionals (including lawyers) stand out from  their competitors and create extra bonds of connection with their potential clients.

I encourage lawyers…

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Tweak your business #twitter (Part 1/3) – make it about your audience

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Tweak your tweets.

If you tweet for business you can tweet more effectively with purposeful tweaks.

If you want your audience to actually pay attention to your tweets and click though to any links – make your tweets audience-focussed rather than just about you or your business. How does your message relate to or possibly affect your audience?

As a lawyer turned journalist and social media writing trainer, I study business tweets – especially law firm tweets and I see so many missed opportunities.

TB training group

Law firm tweeters – it’s not that your tweets are bad – it’s just that they could be so much better with a greater awareness of:

Why you are tweeting this particular tweet?
What you want your readers to do?

Some of the main challenges I see with Business tweets:

1. They are focussed on the firm rather than the audience
2. They use wordy expressions…

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