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It’s a New Year—Time to Update Your Profile

By Roberta Gubbins posted 01-04-2019 04:00 PM


Your profile has a lot of power. It is the highest trafficked page on your law firm website. Surveys show that consumers hire lawyers they like and trust and who they consider to be an expert. A well-written bio can convince potential clients that you are trustworthy and can help them solve their legal problems. It’s your chance to highlight your work and areas of expertise.

What constitutes a well-written profile?

Make it easy for clients to find you and put your contact information in a conspicuous spot, like the upper right-hand corner. Also, provide links to your social media, publications, events, and news about the firm. These items should be updated throughout the year.

Write with your clients and consumers in mind. Remember that they are not lawyers, so avoid legalese. Use formatting techniques such as bullet points, numbering, underlining, or bolding to make the material easy to follow. Use short paragraphs, short sentences, and subheads to keep your message clear. And add keywords that describe what you do for better standing with search engines.

You can write a profile in first-person point of view (POV) (I, me, we, us, our, etc.) or third-person (he, she, him, her, etc.) First-person POV is more personal, while third-person is objective and separates the writer from the reader. Either POV is fine—it's a matter of strategy. For example, elder law attorneys may write in first-person to show their empathy to the family situation while patent attorneys could choose a third-person viewpoint to emphasize their qualifications and expertise in that field.

Also, this column is written in a second-person POV (you, yours), which is good for conveying information in a conversational tone. You might consider this POV for your practice pages.

Clients want to know how you can help. Include specific information about your niche market and examples of solutions for previous problems. Highlight results in the bullet points in your experience section.

Clients want to hire real people, so show them who you are by including information about community involvement, service clubs, or your hobbies; things that show your human side. Your clients may have the same interests which can help build business relationships.

Remember to update your picture. Have it taken professionally and be sure you look approachable.

Once your profile page is complete, remember to also update your enhanced profile in the SBM Member Directory. It’s simple. Start by signing in to your account, and your name will appear in the upper right-hand corner. A drop-down menu will pop up, click on edit profile, make the changes you need, click save, and you’re done. Your profile is now updated and ready to bring in new clients for the new year.

After years practicing law, Roberta Gubbins served as editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides writing services to lawyers ghostwriting content for websites, blogs, and articles. She is editor of The Mentor, the SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.

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