Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Sep. 27, 2012
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Law Practice Management Tip

The most important page on your website

If your law practice relies on referrals, then building relationships with potential referral sources is the most important thing you can do to build your practice. But what happens after a potential client gets your name from a referral source? In all likelihood, one of the first things he or she will do is to read your bio on your firm's website (either because the referral source provided your website URL or because the prospect has Googled your name). Your LinkedIn profile may also get a look (i.e. in addition to or instead of your website bio).

Your bio is typically one of the most visited pages on your website. Prospective clients turn to your bio to help evaluate whether they think you are someone they can trust to help them solve their problem. They are looking for tangible evidence that you have experience in working with similar clients and that you have worked on similar projects for these clients. In short, they are hoping to further substantiate what the referral source has already said about you.

If you mainly represent institutions, prospective clients will be looking to see that you have experience in their industry. They will be looking for evidence that you have handled the kind of problem they have and they will be looking to see examples of representative matters.

Like an elevator speech, your biography and your LinkedIn profile should position you in a way that makes you memorable. While you have more latitude in a bio (i.e. to include a broader mix of work that you want to be known for), make sure that your biography is not simply a laundry list of everything you have ever done. Instead, focus more on how you are best positioned in the marketplace. Find a way to describe your expertise in a manner that differentiates you from other lawyers who may handle similar matters.

A good biography or LinkedIn profile should contain the following elements:

  • A description of the industries and types of businesses, organizations and individuals that you represent;
  • A summary of the kinds of problems you solve for these clients;
  • What have you done (i.e. give examples of matters you have handled and describe what you accomplished for these clients);
  • Other professional activities which highlight the depth of your experience (volunteer activities, trade group involvement, speaking, writing, etc.); and
  • Any "recognition" that you have received (either implicitly through leadership positions you have assumed in trade groups or community groups, by being quoted in the press, or explicitly through any awards you have received).

You can spend hours trying to get this right and if that is all you do to market your practice, then you are probably not allocating your marketing time well. In my last LPM tip, I mentioned the same issue when talking about social media. But maintaining an up to date and descriptive bio will help turn those referrals into actual phone calls and ultimately, it will help you build the practice you want. So get out and network, but don't forget about your bio.

Tip courtesy of Stephen Seckler, president, Seckler Legal Consulting and Coaching.

Published September 27, 2012

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To learn more about the Law Practice Management Section, which is complimentary for all MBA members, contact LPM Section Chair Thomas J. Barbar or Vice Chair Cynthia E. MacCausland.
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