How to write better lawyer bios for your website. Don’t make the usual “lawyer mistake”

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Likeable Lawyer

Did you know that one of the most visited part of a law firm website is the bio section – especially when your “audience” is a general audience for areas such as family law or workers compensation or personal injury.

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Many lawyer bios are poorly written – because they are filled with what matters to the lawyer rather than what matters to the potential client.

What a client wants to find out fast is:

1.how can this lawyer help me with my problem NOW
2.what makes this lawyer different or “stand out” in this area
3. will this lawyer be easy to work with?
Here are 3 simple ways to make your bio more audience focussed:

1. Start with the present tense – what you do now – don’t tell chronologically starting with the past tense as lawyers often do

2. Get the audience into the bio – through the…

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Holiday reading: How to connect on #LinkedIn using LWIW

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My good friend Bono told me name that  dropping was bad form.

Or was it my good friend Bryan Ferry who told me.?

TB BF

I don’t actually know Bono – but as you can see I have met Bryan Ferry –  briefly – long enough for a quick pic.  Many of my friends and business contacts (of a certain vintage) are impressed that I have a photo with Bryan.

The reason I share the photo is that I’ve noticed on LinkedIn that many people use profile shots of themselves with “more famous” people. I’ve tried to not reveal names – but to illustrate my point with these examples.

Exhibit A:

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Exhibit B:

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I must say that I wanted to connect with this next fellow (Exhibit C) – and all  because  his profile pic got my attention. I too am a fan of rugby union. The LWIW (Look Who I’m With) technique

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How to write better lawyer bios for your website. Don’t make the usual “lawyer mistake”

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Did you know that one of the most visited part of a law firm website is the bio section – especially when your “audience” is a general audience for areas such as family law or workers compensation or personal injury.

TB LL mosaic

 

Many lawyer bios are poorly written – because they are filled with what matters to the lawyer rather than what matters to the potential client.

What a client wants to find out fast is:

1.how can this lawyer help me with my problem NOW
2.what makes this lawyer different or “stand out” in this area
3. will this lawyer be easy to work with?
Here are 3 simple ways to make your bio more audience focussed:

1. Start with the present tense – what you do now – don’t tell chronologically starting with the past tense as lawyers often do

2. Get the audience into the bio – through the word YOU or refer to people similar to the audience

3. Work in what makes you different from most other lawyers – or at least why you are extra good to work with.

In family law, clients want expertise – but they are also looking for empathy and understanding and guidance. Work some of those words in.

 

An easy way to write in the present tense

Write what you do NOW (present tense) rather than all the past tense things like when you got admittED (past tense) as a lawyer and what university you attendED.

Sure, a client can be comforted by knowing you have X years experience and some may care where you went to a certain law school – but instead of saying Larry or Lisa Lawyer was admitted in 2001 – say what you do now – and SAY how many years experience you have (in general terms – more than 10 etc – that way you don’t have to update every year)

Also, work in what makes you different. Mention the law school later – but not up front. I understand in the United States, some top prestigious law schools carry a lot of persuasive weight even with everyday clients.

Many lawyers write chronologically – where they went to law school, when they got admitted, when they joined the firm, when they started in a particular area of law etc.

Just remember: a “general” client wants to know you have experience – but they are more interested in how you can help them NOW.

A growing trend in the US (slowly catching on in Australia) is adding more personal and human attributes of lawyers rather than just their qualifications. (compassionate, empathetic, dedicated etc)

 

This following example shows the above 3 tips: (Be aware that in some jurisdictions you may not be permitted to say you specialise, You may have to say something like you practise extensively in or have extensive experience in…) I use italics – just  to draw your attention to key parts.

 

Larry/Lisa Lawyer specialises (see present tense) in helping parents through the confronting divorce and custody process.

Divorce is always difficult and it can be even more challenging when kids are involved. Larry knows the process – he’s been guiding people like you through the process for more than 10 years.

Larry/Lisa always works to resolve matters as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible through settlement and mediation rather than through a long court process. That’s why he/she has worked hard to develop the extra skills in negotiation and mediation.

(then further down the bio you can mention where you went to law school and any other special qualifications)

Now some lawyers may look at this everyday, casual language and cringe – but I ask you to remember that you are writing for an everyday audience.

So, take a look at YOUR lawyer bios.

1. Do you start with what you can do NOW? Rather than past credentials. You can list the law school, admission date etc later

2. Do you work the audience into the bio by referring to what you do for them?

3. Do you work in what makes you different? Or what you offer that’s extra?

Remember these points are specially relevant for when you have a general public audience.

The bio is technically about YOU – but it’s not really just ABOUT YOU – it’s about how YOU can help your clients!

It’s not just about your legal and academic/career PAST – it’s about your FUTURE relationship with your client.

———

IMPORTANT: This post does not create a consultant-client relationship with any reader. 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!

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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 you can follow me and connect with me.

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

Twitter

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

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Valuable Social Media lessons from fishing!

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Likeable Lawyer

Do you love fishing?   Do you love social media? Maybe you love both!

I don’t claim to be an exceptional fisherman – but I’m lucky to have mates who are very clever and effective  fishermen.

I just love the “experience of fishing”.  I don’t have to catch a fish to be happy.

Yet with social media and in particular legal marketing – I like to be more “purposeful” and strategic!

marlin fishing

(Instead of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – this is Marlin Fishing in Mauritius)

I’ve been lucky to have  enjoyed Hemingway-esque marlin fishing adventures in Mauritius – for TV travel reporting assignments of course! This was work!

I’m not one of those wealthy, globe-trotting marlin fishermen!

Marlin fishing1

Most of all, I love to go out fishing in a river or a  creek –  or an estuary – in a “tinny” with my mates – and my son.

Fishing can…

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Why you often get sick when you finish work to go on vacation – and what you can do to help prevent it

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These tips are very important this time of year. Not about marketing – but still worth a quick read to help you avoid getting ill when you transition from work to Christmas break!

doubleshot media

Have you noticed that people often get sick on the first days of their transition from work to holidays (holidaysvacation for US readers)?

Around this time of year, millions of people wind up their work to take a Christmas break – and many of them get sick, just in time for their holiday.

work vacation

Has this happened to you? It’s certainly happened to me and not just around Christmas vacation – much to my annoyance! It seems that as soon as I slow down and take a break, I get ill.

But there are things you can do to reduce the chance of getting ill.

I asked Julia Tyack* from Tyack Health – why we often get ill when we go on holidays (vacation) – and, more importantly, what we can do about it.

If you know anyone else who can benefit from Julia’s tips – please feel…

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Why it’s so important to claim good names for social media – LinkedIn Lawyer!

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Do you ever have those moments where you think you are ” oh so clever and creative”? You get that mental surge of satisfaction from being “creative”.

I’d been watching the movie The Lincoln Lawyer after a day helping legal clients in Australia with social media – including how to effectively use LinkedIN.

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I woke up with what I thought was a brilliant business name – The LinkedIn Lawyer.

Anyway, I did an internet search and found a US lawyer/social media specialist already had claimed this name! – An Attorney from Boston. I imagine HE probably thought he was very clever when he came up with the name too!!

I admired this guy’s creativity and boldness to not go with a “safe and conservative name” I connected with him on social media and I follow and learn from his advice from helping clients in the US.

I found out we had lots “in common” – we liked similar music. – like The Smiths.

He had very “English” music tastes (for an American).

He was also into using his communication and legal skills to help good causes – like education in developing regions!

I liked his “attitude” and imagined that he was probably one of those “80s optimists” inspired by “We are The World”/ “Feed the World” etc.

linked in lawyer

Anyway, all this thinking about the benefits of a great name for social media inspired another idea – to explore as well as Social Media for The Law – also How the Law effects Social Media.

All sorts of “issues”

How do you claim a name? – with an Australian perspective

There are so many different social media platforms! – Is there an easy way to claim a name/identity across several platforms?

What if a great name is taken – but in a different “jurisdiction”? Blogs and social media is often international. Which laws apply?

What if you are not in competition – you service different markets?

So many questions!

I’ll consult my lawyer friends who are experts in Intellectual Property and Copyright.

Even though the great name The LinkedIn Lawyer was taken – I DID enjoy the brief euphoria in creatively finding the LINK between the movie/book AND the business of helping lawyers with social media!

Here’s a Link to the LinkedIn lawyer. I don’t “know” him – but though his social media presence – I feel like I KNOW him!

That’s the power of social media to connect with like-minded people.

Linked In Lawyer

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting, you can 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

Or you can click to follow this blog.
Cheers, Tony

So, why do lawyers need to be likeable anyway?
Lawyers often get a bad rap ( perceived as dry, detached and dispassionate) – yet they can change their image and be more likeable. In these competitive times – to attract and retain clients, lawyers need to show more than just their legal expertise.

They need to create greater connections with existing and potential clients. Lawyers need to be more likeable. 1. by showing what they have in common with their audience ( how they are LIKE their audience). 2. by revealing just a bit of their human and private side – what things in life they LIKE. Lawyers in the US now list things (outside of work) that they LIKE and are passionate about. Social Media Savvy law firms are creating more shareable and likeable content.

Legal websites are more audience-focussed and dare to stand out from the old stodgy legal image.

So who is writing this?

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Hi, I’m Tony Biancotti. When I was a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland – I found the working as a lawyer too dull, so I “escaped” for an adventure-filled career as a TV reporter and Defence Correspondent – and even a political speechwriter and media adviser.

Since 2004 I’ve been an international presentation and writing coach and consultant helping leading Australian and global businesses. I use my media and social media skills to help professionals (including lawyers) communicate and persuade more effectively by “connecting” with their audience.

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