Great, you have a website! After much hesitation and putting it off as long as possible, you finally realized that your practice needs to have an online presence to keep up in the 21st century.
So you whipped something up, figured out how to make it go live, and were pretty proud of yourself at the time. You even got a few compliments from friends and family who checked out your page.
There’s only one small problem.
That happened back in 2002. And aside from paying a monthly fee, you haven’t updated your content since.
Two decades ago, this was not a problem. At the time you might have been one of the few lawyers in the area to have your own website, and that alone might have made you stand out.
Yet it’s 2020, and things have changed. You have an additional two decades of experience, including some major victories, which are worth flaunting. You have an amazing team now of associates, juniors, and staff which help give your firm its excellent reputation and should be featured prominently as part of your practice. And, to be honest, the 1990s headshot you’re still using is only making things look more dated.
Law has changed, too. Back then you may have been one of the few lawyers you knew with a website, but that is no longer the case. There are more lawyers in the bar each year, and newer ones especially realize the importance of having a strong online presence for building business.
So, here are 5 key things you’ll need to bring your law firm website into the 21st century.
Content - What you say about your firm on your website is what the public will first read about you. More importantly, it will help clients decide if they trust you enough to come in for a consultation. Your website should tell visitors what your firm is about and the variety of areas that you practice. Think about the areas that you are looking to increase business, and be sure that you are writing to them. Most importantly, avoid any unnecessary legal jargon. The courts are all moving towards plain language - so should you!
Bios - This is your opportunity to highlight the team that you have fostered and grown. Even as a sole practitioner, this is a chance to highlight your students, assistants, clerks, and any other administrative staff. These bios do not need to be long, or clunky, but they should highlight each person’s role, education, and some of their professional accomplishments. Not only do they highlight your firm’s prowess, but they will also make your staff feel like valued members of the team.
Photos - Have you ever seen a bad headshot? They’re horrible! Badly lit, badly angled, or just plain bad! First impressions are everything, and when it comes to your website your headshot is your first impression. Your clients won’t care what you look like, but they will notice a bad headshot that ruins the aesthetic of your website. You don’t need to look like a movie star, but the right photographer can easily get you looking your best.
Blogs - It’s now 2020, and it’s time to start blogging. Advertising can be effective, but a wide-scale campaign is usually cost prohibitive, especially for most small firms. While you may love to write, unless you have a nationally syndicated newspaper column it’s unlikely that your potential clients are reading any of your scholarly case commentary. Instead, think of blogs as a cheap and easy way to offer some thought leadership to a mass audience. Simple, easy-to-read articles communicate to the broader public that you are the expert, and you are who they need to see when they have a problem.
Contact Information - The best sites in the world are worthless unless the reader knows how to find you. Beyond just a simple address and phone number, make it easy for the modern-day client to come and find you. A handy email address, online appointment bookings, even an interactive chat forum (while an increased cost) are all ways that potential clients can engage with your office, so long as you first invite them to do so.
If you’re reading this, then this is my invitation for you to contact me. Reach out anytime to discuss how we can improve your website, from overhauling your content to getting your blog off the ground. I look forward to hearing from you.