Last month, Content Pilot CEO and Strategy Architect Deborah McMurray sat down with Scott Love to talk about “3-Dimensional Lawyer Bios” on his popular Partner Podcast. Inspired by a thought-leadership piece written by Deborah last fall, she shared common missteps and mistakes lawyers make, plus advice for lawyers needing a bio rewrite. For a 3-D Bio, lawyers must demonstrate expertise, prove relevancy and show humanity – here are three key takeaways from the episode:
Most Partner bios are outdated – simply, they are too old to be relevant to a reader
In 2019 Content Pilot surveyed partner representatives of a global law firm network about their website bios and the majority sheepishly admitted their bio content was between two and 10 years old. To lawyers the bio too often feels like an administrative task and they don’t fully understand how critical relevant and specific bio content is in the hiring process. In addition to the obvious problem of a potential buyer not being able to learn what you can do for them; a common issue is that they aren’t search-engine or human friendly. For search engines, focus on the first 140 characters in your overview (and, even better, write a separate meta description for your bio page). Make it keyword rich, timely and ensure it focuses on the subject areas that interest you most, are the most profitable and for which you can be hired.
“Keep your representative experience list 100% current or risk being not worthy of a second look,” Deborah warned listeners.
Be clear in your positioning – stake your claim
“According to the website analytics we track, between 50 and 75 percent of all visitors to a law firm website are viewing lawyer biographies,” Deborah noted. “The lawyer – and the marketer who’s working with the lawyer in creating their bio – has to be a mind reader. The lawyer must be crystal clear on the subject matter and solutions they are really selling.
“The more specific the lawyer can be in the bio, the better chance that there will be an expression of interest and conversion. The goal is for a visitor to reach out to the lawyer by email or pick up the phone,” Deborah continued. Then the relationship begins.
Demonstrate your expertise and show your humanity
Deborah has said time and time again that “buyers of legal services make their buying decision on two levels: When they are making their short list of lawyers and firms to consider, they are making an intellectual decision. But when they are choosing the one lawyer or firm to hire, they are making an emotional one.” According to Deborah, when prospects are evaluating expertise within a bio, they’re searching for the lawyer’s answer to three universal questions: “What have you done, for whom have you done it and what can you do for me?” And, she has added a fourth question that is increasingly on the minds of B2B buyers, especially legal departments: “How will you do it?”
If you find that your bio has a long-expired freshness date, take the time to update your experience (at least) and refocus your bio to what you want to be known and hired for TODAY.
As for the emotional side, buyers are asking themselves, “Do I trust this person? Do I like this person? What if I got stuck on the tarmac with this person? Would I be miserable, or could it be fun? A bio that shows your humanity helps to shortcut the pathway to trust.
“You get on the short list with your experience and expertise, but most often, you do not get hired for it,” Deborah said. “You get hired for that plus the human side – the how you do it.”
To read the original thought leadership piece that inspired the podcast, click here.
To listen to the full episode, click here.