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 tips for long-winded Lawyers – Writing Tips Part 1

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As you’ve probably found out – writing for Law and writing for Twitter are totally different – even opposite skills! And yet modern legal firms need people who can write “legally” and “socially” (as in for social media).

 

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Legal types can face severe challenges when trying to write for social media.

Of course, other professionals and business people can benefit from these tips – it’s just that many “more mature” lawyers face writing challenges when it comes to writing for twitter.

Legal writing is often detailed, passive, indirect, long, and deliberately detached.

Writing for twitter is short – and often expressive and active and direct and enthusiastic. It’s also casual!

Tweets should also be more personal – as if written specifically for the reader – an audience of one.

I’m sharing a series of tips on how lawyers can improve their writing style to adapt to social media – especially blogging and twitter.

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What’s in it for you?

Your people can learn how adapt their writing for twitter. They can learn from a lawyer-turned journalist/social media writing trainer who once hated twitter!

What’s in it for me?

I enjoy the work ( and the pecuniary benefits) of teaching businesses how to improve their writing.

In future posts I’ll cover tips on how to overcome writing problems many lawyers face including, but not limited to:

1. Writing concisely – editing tips – lawyers are notoriously “complete” and detailed and too passive and polysyllabic

2.Writing in a “real” and human voice – lawyers are trained to write with dispassionate professional detachment. Law firm tweets are often awful. I have seen good examples too – bur for the most part, law firm tweets are dull and do not connect.

Twitter’s writing “voice” should  be:

energetic and enthusiastic
conversational
casual
helpful to the reader
After you’ve read these posts you’ll be much better equipped to write for social media – including twitter:

You come in with a brain full of mush – you’ll leave thinking like a blogger(or a tweeter!)

That line is inspired by the crusty Contracts Professor in that great law movie – The Paper Chase

I’m a lawyer turned business communication consultant and I’ve had to adapt my old “legal” style to modern business communication and social media.

If you want to improve the probability that people read your tweets (and click onto any links) – here are 5 easy “tricks” you can start using – straight away!

If you want tips on the technical side of Twitter and how to use different Twitter tools – it’s best that you check out other “twexperts”.

What I can do is give you word tips – on how to write for Twitter. The writing part is my area of expertise.

Quick context for you:

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I used to hate Twitter – but now I’m a massive fan – actually I’m attwicted (as they say in twitter speak!)

I remember helping the editor of a leading Australian magazine – and we got onto the topic of Twitter.

She is a media veteran and a skilled, articulate and elegant writer – and yet she was unsure (back then) about how to write for Twitter.

The brevity and “superficiality” of Twitter can be a challenge for professionals who didn’t grow up on social media. The Twitter”canvas” can appear too small to do anything “meaningful”.

Many skilled writers can struggle with adapting to and writing for twitter!

 

“What’s the point?” is a common reaction.

A lot of my senior business exec friends and clients have a strong distaste for Twitter:

I don’t want to waste my time or other people’s time writing about “what I had for breakfast”.

Have you heard that reaction before?

I convince them about the importance of learning how to adapt and write for Twitter and other Social Media.

Sure – I have a vested interest in being able to get paid to teach them and their people how to write – but they like that I can:

1. understand their attitude, reluctance, and writing challenges

2. “walk them through” easy steps on how to write better for this media that requires that you to write in a style that’s concise, engaging, and attracts your intended readers’ attention.

I help “more mature” professionals and “more conservative” businesses  such as law firms improve their Twitter writing.

I often use age-old journalism and copywriting techniques to “hook” reader attention and encourage ”deeper engagement”.

O.K. – this has just been the set-up

In future posts we will work our way though these easy “tricks” to help you improve your writing

1. Add THIS word to make your reader want to go deeper

2. Use “question” words and question marks

3. You use YOU and YOUR

4. Easy!

5. Why these Insider tricks really work!

 

 

If you think your business can benefit from a quick session on writing better tweets – I’d love to help.

I specialise in the writing side of twitter – persuasion strategies and word tweaks andwriting concisely.

Other tw-experts can help you better with the technical side. I’m still learning that side of twitter!

 

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!

TB media bgrd

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

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.

Twitter

https://twitter.com/tonybiancotti

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti
Linked In – under Tony Biancotti

 

 

 

 

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