In our experience working with law firm websites, we’ve seen that the About page is one of the places many searchers spend their time after landing on a firm’s website. As a result, your law firm bio is often the make or break point and a main deciding factor between choosing a law firm and is an essential part of your law firm marketing.
Before you’re tempted to put out as much information about yourself as possible, smart attorneys think about what their ideal customers want to know and what will convince those people to hire their law firm.
Your lawyer bio has to achieve three things:
- Build trust with potential clients
- Demonstrate you’re qualified and experienced
- Show potential clients you’re the only choice for them
Writing an effective bio to help your law firm website be more successful doesn’t have to be difficult. Let’s break it down into steps you can take to craft a bio that brings in clients.
Great Attorney Bios Capture Attention
Introductions are important, whether in person or online. But without face-to-face communication a good first impression can be difficult to make.
The lede, or opening sentence of your bio, is the most important part of your bio because it captures attention and motivates your reader to continue on. Most attorney bios start with a boring line that doesn’t give the reader any reason to continue—or engage to become a client.
You don’t want your audience to lose interest in you or leave your page quickly, so don’t bury the lede that your ideal clients are looking for when reading your bio.
More than likely your readers already want to talk to an attorney so give them a good reason why that attorney should be you. Instead of only saying who you are to your firm, you can engage your prospective clients by speaking to how they’re feeling and what outcomes they’re searching for.
For example, take a look at first sentence of a bio we wrote for a tax litigation firm:
“[She] is the founding partner in the firm and has stood shoulder to shoulder with clients against the IRS and state tax agencies to resolve tax matters and help clients continue on with their lives for the past decade.”
Not only does this give information about the lawyer’s relationship to the firm as the founding partner, it taps into the emotional state of how potential clients are feeling and the outcomes they want to gain when working with an attorney.
Tapping into emotions is a lot more powerful than simply stating the lawyer’s position in the firm and proceeding directly to qualifications.
Replace Non-Verbal Cues With Tone & Voice
The best lawyers have an undeniable presence when they walk into a courtroom or negotiation table that sets the stage without even saying a word. But that can be difficult to translate into a written bio.
Website bios lose key in-person, non-verbal cues that skilled attorneys cultivate to influence how people perceive them. But most attorneys overlook the abilities of tone and voice used in writing to replace these non-verbal cues. After all, most lawyers have been taught to write with the same tone and voice to eliminate flourishes from legal writing.
With a keen awareness of who your ideal clients are and who is searching for a lawyer like you to hire, you can adapt the tone and voice to match expectations and convey that you’re the best choice because you “speak their language”.
For example, a wealth management law firm should use a very different tone and word choice in their attorney bios than a drug crimes defense firm because their target clientele have different expectations of how a lawyer they hire should sound.
Asking yourself what expectations your ideal clients have for their lawyer is a great way to guide the words and sentence structure you use to create your bio. Try to put yourself in the mind of the clientele you’re trying to reach and how they’d expect you to talk to them.
Don’t forget, you can be both professional and simple in your language and online persona. Your lawyer bio doesn’t have to be overly complex to be effective.
A Great Lawyer Bio Isn’t a Resume
Attorneys tend to fall into the habit of listing awards and credentials in a bullet list. After all, isn’t which law school you went to and what notable cases you’ve worked on enough to qualify you to potential clients? In most cases, not in the slightest.
Most non-attorneys don’t know that law schools are ranked and it’s even more rare to find prospective clients who know notable cases, even if the case was a hot topic in the news.
Most prospective clients want to know if you’re experienced in their particular matter and if they can trust you. They want to get a glimpse of what it will be like working with you and who you are, not just a list of what you’ve done.
You don’t have to leave your education and credentials out but try to not make that the main focus at the beginning of your attorney bio page. Your bio is the page that has the ability to make people want to meet you, not just a list of accomplishments rattled off.
Also note that you want to share qualifications that make sense to your target clients. If your bio is a list of achievements only other lawyers know the meaning of, your ideal clients may not be able to understand what you are really trying to say.
The best attorney bios don’t just focus on what you have done but _how _what you’ve done can help. Tell your readers how your education and experience can benefit them and their situation. Showing how your experience helps clients makes a huge difference in turning website visitors into leads.
Build Authority With Testimonials & Cases
Most lawyers fall into the trap of listing cases in their bio with no explanation of their importance or relevance to potential clients. Instead of relying on the unlikely scenario where your clients know specific cases, you should use notable cases as a way of demonstrating your expertise and what it’s like to work with you. Including testimonials also gives an additional perspective that builds trust and authority.
It’s better to explain the relevancy, meaning, and impact of notable cases to your ideal clients on your ability to provide legal representation and use testimonials or reviews to drive home your point that it can go a long way to standing out.
You can create a sense of comfort and trust in your abilities with reviews from clients you have worked with and that working with you is a positive experience. Different jurisdictions have different ethical rules on including reviews on your website but if you can include them, they can go a long way to building up your reputation and credibility of your firm.
Potential clients like to imagine what it would be like to work with you, what the process will feel like to them, and if you’re worth trusting. Giving prospective clients a way to visualize that is often one of the most important factors in hiring an attorney. A great attorney bio highlights your credibility and speaks to your experiences in a way ideal clients can imagine themselves in a similar scenario.
Optimize For Search Engines
When it comes to law firm marketing, it may come as no surprise that it’s important to optimize your bio along with the rest of the site so it turns up in search results. While you’re probably thinking about including keywords for your practice areas, the best strategy is to target searches for attorney names and let other parts of your website do the heavy lifting for practice area keywords.
Instead, your firm wants attorney bio pages to turn up in search results if someone searches for an attorney’s name. Searchers are likely looking for the contact information for that attorney—and it’s a quick win for your firm to turn up at the top of search results for these kinds of searches.
Optimizing for lawyer names also helps you control the results better so your firm is what people click on, instead of social media profiles, media mentions, or other legal directories where your firm can’t control the content.
Schema markup is a great way to help search engines better understand the contextual information of attorney biographies and should be included in the code of how your bio pages are created. Microdata can include all kinds of facts and information about attorneys that help create a more complete picture of the individual for search engines that helps your bio pages perform better in search engines.
Struggling to Write an Effective Attorney Bio?
Writing your own lawyer bio can be one of the hardest parts of writing website content for your law firm, especially if you’re unsure what your audience cares about the most when looking for an attorney to hire.
If you’re struggling to write your attorney bio for your website, we can help. We offer attorney bio writing services as part of our website services and help lawyers craft bios that convert.
Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about our process and how we can help you.