Should attorneys include personal tidbits on their bios?
In an online forum, recently I saw someone summarily dismiss the idea of including personal information by offering the following logic: What if the prospective client was a member of a rival fraternity? Personal information like this could keep us from being hired.
This is probably the most corrosive and counterproductive logic in all of marketing. Why? Because it reflects a fear of clearly defining yourself. While defining yourself strongly and unequivocally can be a difficult task, it is the key to successful marketing. In doing so, you may turn off some prospects -- but you’ll engender profound connections with others. And the trade-off will be worth it.
Personal marketing is important
Normally, when people talk about attorneys’ defining themselves, they mean on a professional level (i.e., focus on a clearly defined legal niche). However, this also needs to happen on a personal level. Why? Because people most often buy from people with whom they have a connection.
This is nothing new. Business relationships have always been at least partially personal, often built over dinner and drinks by people who travel in similar circles. However, in today’s business world, the client/lawyer relationship often begins online -- specifically, it occurs the moment the prospective client visits the attorney’s website bio.
The big question
So here is the question you need to ask yourself: what do you want prospects to see when they visit you online? A bland, lowest-common-denominator message or a strong, clear picture of who you are?
Those attorneys and firms who are afraid of “turning people off” will continue to offer the status quo: a one-page list of legal qualifications. Those that understand the new reality of our business culture will increasingly be offering a rich array of information that includes both professional qualifications and personal information.
Which approach do you think will win the day?