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6 tips for writing successful attorney bios and about pages

6 tips for writing successful attorney bios and about pages

Attorney bios and about pages are underutilized resources. A website's home page and a firm's practice area offerings understandably receive a lot of attention. Such landing pages are a priority since they are in many cases the first page a visitor will see. However, attorney bios and about pages offer an opportunity for both individual lawyers and the firm as a whole to provide visitors with memorable reasons to become clients.

Analytics show that attorney bios are some of the most visited pages on a firm's site; people are interested in learning about the professionals with whom they will be working. If you present visitors with stale content, you lose an important chance to connect with them on a deeper level. You are more likely to increase conversion if you give visitors a reason to trust and remember you. Here are six elements successful attorney bios and firm about pages share:

1. Good story telling. Great copy is one of the foundations of success for every website. Great copy enhances your marketing efforts by drawing new visitors to your site. Great copy keeps visitors interested in the articles you write and the story you tell both on your site and across social media networks. And great copy shows search engines that your site will be useful to searchers, helping improve your rankings organically.

What makes copy engaging?

Emphasizing the importance of website content is no revelation; content-based marketing has been steadily growing in popularity while Google has continued to crack down on spammy optimization tactics. As more firms engage in content marketing, the need for your firm to publish compelling content only grows.

Your pages should be useful resources for visitors. You can accomplish this by infusing your biographical information and professional history with stories that help you connect with readers. Show your personality and your enthusiasm for the work that you do. Keep a professional tone, but avoid cold, sterile descriptions. Your firm has a story, from inception to serving clients, as do your attorneys. When you tell that story — sprinkled with appropriate personal details and in your firm's unique voice — your pages are more likely to resonate with potential clients.

2. Calls to action. Both your attorney bios and about the firm page should present visitors with a call to action, or at a minimum the ability to contact you. If people are interested in a specific attorney, they should be able to contact that attorney directly through his or her bio page. Publish a phone number with the extension. Place a contact form — or at least a direct way to access a form — within the page. Some professionals simply publish an email address, which forces visitors to take the additional step of opening their preferred email client and pasting the address. Removing extra steps produces better results. Providing a form also directs prospects naturally to the desired action. Once you have told your story and explained how you can help the visitor, you then lead him or her to the opportunity to contact you.

3. Advantage statements. Advantage statements show users why your services are important to them. Your background, experience and firm story reinforce the value you offer clients. Do not simply state what you do; make the connection between what you do, how you do it and why your approach is important to clients. To much of the content law firms produce is self-focused. Shift attention to the client and describe the benefit to the client of what you do. Writing more visitor-focused content will hell explain why your firm is worth their investment — a top priority for potential clients.

4. Good photography. About pages and bio pages are the ideal platform through which to present unconventional, interesting photography. Visitors are generally familiar with what a bookcase looks like, so you do not need to show them yet another series of attorneys lined up in front of rows of shelves. Consider hiring a professional photographer to catch your attorneys participating in more genuine activities. These activities may not even be related to practicing law. If one of your associates is a triathlete, show him or her with a bike. If a partner plays a particular instrument, use that instrument as a prop. Within the office, show natural interactions that give the visitor a feel for your firm's personality and culture. Challenge preconceived notions of what constitutes a “professional” attorney photo, and go outside your comfort zone to create images that truly distinguish your firm.

5. Compelling details. Your professional credentials may be impressive, but they do not set you apart from other attorneys. Every firm will say that it is experienced and results-oriented. Visitors do not make decisions based on where you went to law school or whether you have published scholarly articles in any recent law journals. They balance rationality with emotion and make decisions based on what feels right. You must give them the personal details necessary to make that connection. Add a quote about why you practice law or how you interact with clients. You may also want to place a positive review from a client on an about page or applicable attorney bio. These items go beyond the hackneyed, self-focused tone of traditional biographies and give clients a positive glimpse at who they will really be working with.

6. A cohesive tone. Attorney bios are rarely written at the same time or by the same person. Firms gather bios over a period of time, often without any guidelines covering style or content. As associates join the firm, they may be asked to cobble together bio information themselves, resulting in a series of bios that do not present a unified brand. At a minimum, have an editor review your pages for overall tone and style. Consider hiring a professional copywriter to write your bios. Given the importance of the impression you leave with visitors, it is worth the investment to have a series of bios and an about page that reinforce your firm's overall brand and give visitors a reason to trust you.

Kristen Friend
Kristen Friend holds two bachelors degrees from Indiana University and an associates degreee from the International Academy of Design. As Art Director for Custom Legal Marketing, her work has been awarded Webby Honorees, WebAwards, Davey Awards, Muse Awards, W3 Awards, and many others. She is also a contributor to Entrpreneur Magazine through the Entrepreneur Leadership Network.