Have you considered the power of your photography and images in attracting the clients relevant to your areas of practice.

I started carefully studying the marketing of a Newcastle law firm Wilde Legal – purely on the strength of an unusual image.

My first “exposure” was via this unusual twitter profile  image and I must say I was curious to find out more.

It doesn’t look like your typical legal image does it?  A person in a penguin suit with a retro Polaroid camera!

wilde legal

I am not connected with this firm in any way – other than being a “twitter buddy” and admirer of their bold and creative approach. I regularly check out the firm’s social media – to see what the firm is up to next.

I investigated further and found out the firm has lots of creative IP (Intellectual Property) clients as well as civil litigation clients.

The firm describes itself as a BOUTIQUE litigation firm.

For me the word boutique conjures up images of being individual and not “off the rack” – and the image certainly reflects that.

My more cynical legal friends would see boutique as another word for small – but I see boutique as flexible and daring to show a sense of flair.

Now of course –  IF the firm specialised in a different area of law, it would want to project a different image.

For example, I regularly analyse US Legal Marketing – and the conventional wisdom for firms specialising in Criminal Law is to look serious, don’t smile, wear a suit. Direct eye contact with the camera – you are a fighter – fighting to defend.

Maybe have your photo taken in front of lots of perfectly aligned thick and solid legal books – so you look solid and well-read.

For criminal law – no people in penguin suits with retro Polaroid cameras!

But if you want to appeal to creative IP type clients – the quirky penguin suit works well (in my opinion)

I was keen to find out more and contacted the firm to ask about the legal marketing “strategy” behind the photos.

It turns out the firm is fortunate to have a creative photographer Naomi who works as the Administration Officer.

I chat (via social media) with the firm principal Melanie Wilde.

The firm has a ritual where the staff have fresh profile shots and group shots taken with different,  non-legal looking themes.

The most recent theme was in the style of the celebrated Vanity Fair photographer Annie Liebowitz.


Screen Shot Wilde Legal

The strategy is also part of having a fun, team bonding experience.

A law firm and fun? Now we had fun  back when I was a lawyer – but we never let people know 🙂 Our public face was all serious.

In my opinion, the different themed  photo shoot ritual is very clever.

The firm is very active with its social media. As you probably know images draw attention and are effective “fodder” for the social media that is hungry for updates.

I do not use “fodder” disrespectfully – just to show it helps to have fresh material for updates.

Also – the photos are opportunities for followers and friends to interact and comment on the images and social media posts.

Recently I used the Wilde Legal “case study” when I was a guest speaker on the power of images and social media engagement.

TB talking to photog students

The talk audience seemed to be impressed that a law firm was so progressive in using images to engage by the KNOW, LIKE and TRUST technique.


O.K. what can YOU take away from this?

1. Be aware of your “audience” – the type of clients you want to engage and appeal to

2. Think of how images can help you project the image you want to convey – serious  and no-nonsense OR creative and innovative with a sense of flair? Boutique or “basic”?

3. Think of what sort of images YOUR audience is attracted to and can relate to.


On this point, Trilby Misso – a firm with a very  “suburban” clientele – uses everyday images very well (in my opinion).

Lots of images of community events and cooking and kids and family – yet all effectively “branded” with the Trilby Miso colours!

Anyway, back to Wilde Legal. On my most recent check-in  on their social media presence (as I write this post) – I see the twitter profile image has been updated to a photo from the most recent “Annie Liebowitz-inspired” shoot.

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 12.37.44 PM

Also,  on Facebook – happy images of supporting Girls Soccer. – and lots of comments from fans and followers about the glam photo shoot AND the girls soccer!

I could be wrong – but there seems to be a real girl power vibe going on!

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 12.35.44 PM

And to be honest – I probably would have never heard of the firm – except for the curiosity aroused by seeing that quirky image of the person in the penguin suit with the Polaroid camera.  Ahhh – the power of images!

wilde legal


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tony biancotti


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