Your bio is a valuable piece of digital real estate that should be used to convey both expertise and approachability. A tall order to be sure, but not an impossible one. With the majority of law firm website traffic going to attorney bios, it’s paramount to create a page that makes a killer first impression.
Don’t bury the lead
The first sentence in your bio is an opportunity to grab the reader’s attention with an informative and provocative introductory message that sets you apart from the crowd.
Think of all the content available to a potential client. Now, consider that this potential client has managed to wade through all of the information available on the Internet to land at your bio page. Now what? Will “Gina handles a wide array of environmental matters for Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses” really make you want to read the rest?
Rather than using a style akin to the previous example, try something more engaging: “Gina’s experiences as a marine biologist tracking whales in the Pacific Northwest inspired her to pursue environmental law to work as an advocate for wildlife.”
Often, law firm bio page templates include sections for awards, publications, memberships and pro bono work. For each of these areas, it’s important to list your most recent accomplishments first.
For example, let’s say you wrote the definitive treatise on NAFTA in 1994. Even if that publication launched your entire trade agreements career, it should still be grouped with the nineties. Instead of listing it first, use your professional summary as an opportunity to expand on the treatise and provide a background story for your work.
The same principle applies to your photograph. If Friends was still airing new episodes the last time you sat for your headshot, it’s time for an update. Forego the standard gray background and head-and-shoulders image for something dynamic. Use a local park or the lobby of your building; try looking away from the camera and taking the shot at an unsuspecting angle. For more photography advice, have a look at Androvett Creative Director Verdell Christopherson’s tips for taking a good photo.
Make it sound like you
In-house counsel wants to work with attorneys who are intelligent, capable and competent. The problem is that there are loads of attorneys who fit the bill.
Your bio page is your opportunity to set yourself apart. Of course, you’ll want to convey intelligence, capability, and competence, but you also want to position yourself as someone who would be pleasant to work with.
Ultimately, people want to work with people they can talk to. So, avoid long phrases filled with legal jargon, and steer clear of monotonous lists separated by a mind-numbing series of commas and semi-colons (try bullet points instead). Use the space to make your bio smart, and yourself approachable.
Once your bio is written, work on the finishing touches. Have a proofreader review it for spelling, grammar and style accuracy. Don’t forget the contact info and office location.
Finally, if you’re ready to take your bio to the next level, send it over to a digital marketing team for review. A digital marketer can help you optimize your content to make it appealing to search engines (i.e. Google-friendly) and to track visitors to your bio page so you know where all that traffic is originating.
Mark Annick helps businesses respond to reporters and the media. Prior to joining Androvett Legal Media & Marketing, Mark spent more than 20 years in print, radio, and television journalism, working as a reporter and anchor for television stations in Dallas, as well as Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. You can contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.