Marketing of Law Firms

Marketing a law firm is primarily based on promoting the lawyer as the product, so a biography is a necessary part of selling services. This article provides five quick ideas to make sure you get your biography just right.

Developing a bio, to market a lawyer on websites or in printed material is often given very little thought and can appear to have been done in a rush. Worse still is the bio that a lawyer has not been involved in creating and an admin worker has had to scrape together from a resume.

If this is true of your firm or your bio then you have a serious flaw in your marketing strategy. You must be aware that marketing for lawyers, especially those in repeat business areas of law, is based on the principle that the lawyer is the product. That’s why the team page of a law firm website is almost always the most popular page after the home or landing page. If you charge an hourly rate for your time, you are the ‘product’, and any prospective clients will wish to know what they are buying!

It’s true that some companies base their marketing on a general sales pitch, or branding in a specific area of law, but generally, the success of a marketing strategy will be due to the client believing they are getting good value when they buy the time of the solicitor doing their work. So, hopefully having convinced you of the importance of a strong bio, here are five ideas for putting one together:

Quick Tips for writing a compelling Law Firm Bio

Provide all the obvious information
It’s surprising how many law firm web-sites have biographies of their staff that do not include relevant information. And this doesn’t mean what law school they attended. Make sure you begin the bio with a full name, your position within the company, the type of work you provide, and any other firm responsibilities. And remember, you’re not writing this for other lawyers to read.

As a lawyer I was pretty pleased the day I was admitted to the Supreme Court in my state. But frankly, many clients won’t have any interest what this means. So remember to include information that could be relevant to your client, not just what will impress other lawyers. Certainly mention qualifications, positions on legal committees and the like, but unless it’s something you believe your clients will understand and consider important, leave it to the end of the bio. It may be of some help to involve a third party. Have someone outside the legal industry read your bio and offer some feedback.

Your client is looking for a solution
As hard as it may be for your ego to accept, clients are not charmed in you as individual. They are looking for whoever they believe can best solve their problem or most successfully undertake their project. So give them information that will convince them you’re the right person for the job. In printed documents you should aim to include examples of how you’ve helped people, but online bios are often concise. So try to cover this one with phrases such as: “More than ten years experience in”, “Recognised within the X business community for assisting with”, “A certified specialist in the area of”, or “Successfully negotiated more than 200 rural property contracts”.

Connect with the real world, not just the legal world
If your company or practice provides services that are based in a particular city or region you can help your marketing efforts by demonstrating a connection to that community. Being recognised as a “local” by your prospective clients or demonstrating a connection with the region’s major industry eg. ” from a family with a long involvement in the coal mining industry”, helps to build an immediate connection with the client.

Add a little personality
Don’t hesitate to add a little personality to your bio. And this doesn’t just have to be the standard “Married with 2.5 children”. By all means include personal information if it helps with point number 4 above, but more importantly, you should think about your ‘flavour’ and the type of “client experience” you provide. Are you a ” fiercely determined approach”, a “collaborative practitioner focussed on keeping costs down” or a “down to earth, with a knack for easing clients concerns”. Finding a genuine point of difference in how you work shows that you are a real person with a real personality” and not the same as the myriad of other lawyers who are busily marketing themselves.

John Gray is a practising lawyer and the Senior Marketer at John Gray Marketing, an Australian specialist law firm and legal marketing consultancy. If you are interested in law firm marketing, legal marketing and marketing for lawyers, contact John Gray today.

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