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!

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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 it’s easy for you to follow and connect.

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

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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

 

 

I’d never even heard of this law firm – until this made a very good impression

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If you specialise in a particular area of law – you can learn a lot from this example of increasing your awareness to your target market.

 

I was driving to band practice and I stopped at some lights.  That’s when I noticed a cool car in front of me. It was the “lines” and the red and black and white paint job  that attracted my eye – then I noticed a sign on the back of  car – for a law firm!

 

wiseman lawyers

I thought  – what a great way to get your message out to your audience and to establish a point of difference!

This guy is a lawyer who likes cars like I like cars.  He dares to be different. I’d never heard of this firm before until the car and the sign was brought before my eyes.

 

I then wanted to find out more – so I searched for the firm on-line. I then saw photos of  the office – that  “echoed” that car paint job and reminded me of a car racing team. Same dramatic colour scheme.

 

Apparently this lawyer specialises in one area of law – helping you save your licence.

 

I’m usually a very cautious and “cruisey” driver – but I now know who to call if I need help.

 

So how can you get your name out in front of your audience?

Blokes check out cars. They can’t help themselves. Musicians check out musical equipment.

Maybe if you’re an entertainment lawyer who happens to be a drummer as well – you could get your logo emblazoned on the front of your kick drum. At least you’d be getting your message in front of your potential audience.

Plus, your audience would know you are a lawyer AND you share their interest in music and entertainment. I’m not an entertainment lawyer. Some may argue – I am NOT a drummer either 🙂 – but you get the idea. Dare to be different.

Egg Chardon's

 

Maybe, it’s the business part of me speaking – but two other words jump out in my mind – TAX DEDUCTION!!!

 

I imagine you’d be able to claim as a business expense deduction part of the cost of your “promotional props”.

MMMMMMM… I wonder if I can get and claim part of a cool set of wheels like the Wiseman’s lawyer car driver. 🙂

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TB LL mosaic

 

Tony Biancotti helps lawyers communicate more effectively with everyday people. Tony is a former lawyer turned journalist, communication consultant, and legal marketing maverick.

 

He is an average drummer – but he’s good at helping businesses (especially professionals) drum up business by daring to be different!

 

Eugene and the Egg copy copy

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.

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tony biancotti

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Why is a law firm creating striking Lady Gaga-like posters and screening the classic Aussie movie “The Castle”?

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Once again I am surprised by the social media engagement and real-world engagement of a progressive Australian law firm – Wilde Legal.

I do not work for the firm – yet I  have started a social media relationship.  The firm is in Newcastle. I live in Brisbane.

I do disclose that I have become a fan of the creativity and social media and marketing smarts of the firm.

I regularly “check in” on the firm’s very bold social media to see what interesting things its people are up to.

Festival de wilde

Most recently I saw this  striking image on the firm’s twitter and Facebook presence.

Festival de wilde

Prima facie – when I first saw  the image as a small photo on twitter and Facebook it reminded me of Lady Gaga or even the band The Empire of the Sun.  Very unusual for a law firm.

On closer inspection, I saw the image was of a “poster” promoting a film screening of the classic Australian movie “The Castle” – a movie that spawned so many quoteable quotes:

– ahhh…the serenity

– this’ll go straight to the pool room

– tell ’em they’re dreaming

There are so many great characters in The Castle.

As a former lawyer, some of my favourite scenes were the courtroom scenes where the “bumbling” lawyer tries to convince a judge by talking about “the vibe” of the Constitution.

Anyway, I’m keen to find out more about things such as:

1. Why is a law firm  involved in starting its own screenings of films? – under the grand name (tongue in cheek in my opinion) – Festival De Wilde.

2. Who designed that striking poster? I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the firms own staff or creative clients were responsible for the poster. I reckon they should get some posters  framed so they can go straight to the pool room.

3. Will they be serving sponge cake at the screening (an in-joke from the movie!)

4. Who came up with the idea for the Festival?

5. Why choose The Castle?

I have my own theories – but I’m keen to find out from the firm. (My reasoning is: The Castle fits in with newCastle, it has a connection with lawyers, and the movie is so well-known and well-loved)

I will request further and better particulars!

the castle

Now I understand that few law firms can be as “creative” as this firm. I’m just sharing how legal marketing is changing.

Note that this firm is a boutique firm with a strong interest in IP. In my opinion the firm is cleverly targeting a young and creative client base  –  yet is also appealing to “middle” Australia with the choice of The Castle.

In my opinion, part of the strategy is also  internally focussed –  to also create an interesting creative environment that harnesses the skills of the creative staff – and to attract progressive staff for future placements.

Then again, I could be reading too much into it. Maybe they just like to have fun! I will ask.

Maybe they’ll say:

Tell him he’s dreamin’!

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Tony Biancotti helps lawyers communicate more effectively with everyday people. Tony is 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

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti