Putting your best bio forward
Since 80% of legal site traffic goes to the lawyer profile page, your biography should really be created with the objective of engaging prospective clients. Yet too often, the typical bio seems designed to impress other lawyers. Unless your clients are other lawyers, why write a bio that speaks primarily to them?
The Venn Diagram, below, may be tongue-in-cheek but it makes a valid point regarding content that misses its mark. When your bio, or your website for that matter, talks past prospective clients and fails to include the specifics of interest to them, you have lost opportunity. Know your client and then fashion your bio to speak to them.
Use the same marketing objectives to attract clients
Your profile should be created with the same marketing objectives in mind as for the content of a blog post or for the pages of your website. The objective should always be to attract prospective clients by addressing their needs and their wants. That should include a bio that, odd as it seems, isn’t all about you. Think about it; what if you introduced yourself to a stranger at a social function or at a business meeting by announcing all your qualifications and your great professional achievements. Would that person warm up to you or would they be hoping for a rescue? While your bio needs to provide certain essential data about you, it should also demonstrate that the client is paramount in your practice.
Clients really do care about the type of information listed in the Venn Diagram. But your knowledge of your own clients may bring other elements to mind that apply uniquely to you and that should also be featured in your bio. So, why not include blog post titles that link to your posts? This not only demonstrates your expertise, but your willingness to educate and to share. Add a select number of testimonials from happy clients, because people just love reading what other people think. In fact, 84% trust online reviews for products and services as much as personal recommendations. There is good reason that every online retailer posts customer ratings. Informal exchanges on social media that reveal your helpfulness and how you communicate can be equally powerful, especially when clients have spontaneously posted positive comments. The informality of social media just makes you more human and approachable. Anything that helps create comfort and trust should be in your bio, as that is the likeliest place for a prospective client to see it.
Your profile picture
And there’s the picture. The degree of informality depends on your personality and on your client base but a stiff, hostage photo won’t do anyone any good. Use a high resolution, welcoming photo. And to find out how people actually perceive your photo, ask everyone you know what comes to mind about you when they look at the photo. How likeable are you? How professional or trustworthy do you seem? If you prefer the wisdom of crowds about this sort of thing, post your photo on websites like photofeeler.com to hear what people really think. Your professional bio deserves the effort.