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How lawyers (and other professionals) can use e-Fan-gelism to win more business and make more money

How lawyers can use e-Fan-gelism to win more business

If you are a lawyer (or other professional) look at your organisation’s website.

What image does your website project?

Usually, these websites are professional and conform to what is expected of lawyers (and other professionals) – lots of bulleted text – in the “Our People” part – lots of photos of people in serious suits looking “professional” (law books in the background) – but all looking the same! Same staged shots. Same, Same, Same!

Now, look at what your competitors are doing. Are your competitors doing something extra that may give them “the edge” when they are competing with you for business.

Yes  – you need to portray professionalism – but once professionalism is established, can you add something extra to create further connections with clients?

I work with a lot of lawyers to help them spread their messages and win more business.

From my experience working with lawyers (as a communication trainer and consultant), and as a lawyer (in my early years – a Solicitor of the Supreme Court), lawyers want to be taken seriously. I understand that – but the clever lawyers who are “ahead of the game” in Australia in terms of legal marketing and brand enhancement are  daring to try different techniques to connect with their clients on deeper levels.

Young Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland before winning scholarship to study in the US

Many lawyers are using subtle but very effective techniques to connect with people. Yes, your clients are people – on their files you have the names of organisations but you deal with people.

Here are 3 simple techniques for creating greater engagement with your clients –  to help you win new clients and keep old ones!

1. Use the power of the image.

Sure, you need the standard staged “in the office in a serious suit” type photo, but also add shots of your people being out “on location” with your clients. What really helps is where your “prospective clients” see people just like themselves in photos of your people helping your clients.

Have your people in the shot but have them with their clients on location at the business. Don’t just shoot in another office – they all look too similar. Show what the business or industry is. Also, what works well is photos taken “from the side” where your people are not looking at the camera in a staged shot. It can be staged but doesn’t have to look too staged. No shaking hands and both looking at the camera! Too staged. Be doing something and get photographer to capture that.

2. Dare to share what your people are fans of.

This is where the E-Fan-gelism part comes in.  A very successful Queensland firm had a prominent position in Queensland city with lots of “window” space that people would pass by. They organised a display where key people would reveal things they were passionate about – photography, sport, cooking etc. It was simple yet textbook-perfect E-fan-gelism.

Passers-by were able to see an extra side of these leading lawyers. Also, because it seemed an unusual gesture from lawyers – I think the firm also got positive media coverage to an even larger “potential audience”.

I suggest law firms even take this approach a step further and insert come “passions or interests” into the OUR PEOPLE part – after establishing the professional side of course. Some sites do mention interests in words, but  photos are more powerful (e.g. of a partner playing rugby union in their youth or in Africa pursuing a love of photography).

As leading Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki discusses in his book “Enchantment” (a great read!) people who dare to share what they are passionate about are more enchanting – more engaging and memorable. Of course, you need to have the professional side covered too and you should establish that first – but don’t be afraid to reveal an appropriate amount of an appropriate (socially acceptable) passion. I’m sounding like a lawyer with so many caveats!

3. Pay attention to the “little things” – the words you use and how you present your e-mail addresses

To further the “human” factor – look at minor things like your e-mail addresses. When I study legal websites I look at the “approachability” some firms achieve (especially smaller ones) by using first names. This sounds more approachable and less detached – for example   tony@lawfirmname compared to TBiancotti@lawfirmname

Smaller firms have the advantage where less staff can mean you can have just first names.

This is my serious side!

I also look for engaging human-sounding text (copy)  – lots of second person (you) and the use of conversational contractions (e.g. You would – you’d).  Many professionals (including lawyers) are getting professional writers to make sure the words convey the “brand” they want to convey.

Verbs are action words and I was impressed by one legal website with an action-packed homepage that focused on letting the audience quickly know how to DO certain actions – Find     Meet  etc. I reckon this site would have appealed to the action-oriented, get-to-it type audience.

Anyway, take a good, hard look at your own website and the website of competitors. Can you use better photography or a strategic sharing of passions or interests to establish a deeper connection with your clients?


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