putting the FAN in evangelism – spreading your messages by daring to share what you are a FAN of
Why the Marque Lawyers website is brilliant – and how it can be even better
If you want to see the future of legal marketing and legal websites – check out the website of Marque Lawyers.
I’m a real legal website nerd – I carefully analyse every little detail.
If you are interested in the rapidly changing legal business – I think you’ll enjoy and learn from my nerdiness!
In tapping into the latest trends in the US, I found one of he world’s most progressive (and different) legal websites was here in Australia – Marque Lawyers in Sydney.
I’ve been digging deeply into the site – even how they write disclaimers – and here’s my analysis.
Now, I know many lawyers may find the Marque website “confronting” – but I think the approach strategically positions the firm for building relationships with the corporate decision makers of tomorrow.
See what you think.
The firm already has an impressive range of “young” and “modern” business brands and I am confident this will only expand as more organisations want modern, human lawyers who “get it”!
Plus (in my learned opinion – IMLO as opposed to IMHO In My humble opinion) I think the website also will keep its lawyers and support people happy and fulfilled.
Many legal types (especially younger lawyers) are aching to express themselves and show their more creative sides – beyond their legal work.
I encourage you to check out the Marque website experience – after you’ve perused my analysis of course!
1.Visually stunning– the site if so different from your typical legal website – reflecting the firms tag line:
law, done differently
The site is full of exotic, colourful travel images. It’s a refreshing visual feast!
2.The lawyer profile pics are so refreshingly different from your typical lawyer shots. Usually, lawyer photos looked forced – lawyers in business suits and often in front of a shelf of legal books – to help make the lawyers look smart. Look at all our law books!
In the Marque Lawyer photos – its people look casual and casually dressed in a variety of settings. Not a suit in sight! – Well some jackets – but they still look relaxed!
But it’s more than just NO SUITS. The photo composition style is relaxed and more casual and not all the same.
The photos look like Polaroids and in the overview of all the staff – it looks like overlapping Polaroids casually pinned on a noticeboard – not all at perfect right angles.
In a 3-part interview with Beyond the Pinstripe (link at the end of this post) the Managing Partner Michael Bradley shares how the firm wants to present its people.
Lawyers often like to present themselves as more intelligent, better educated, better dressed and more knowledgeable. Traditional lawyers like to project the professional side and hide the personal and more human side.
According to Michael at Marque:
“…we refuse to take ourselves terribly seriously, and we’re entirely comfortable with the idea of our clients discovering that we’re normal people just like they are.”
3. The lawyer bios are a joy to read. This very different style of the lawyer bios has won praise from other legal website “nerds” in the US (who also carefully study and comment on this stuff).
I read one bio then I want to read more.
After reading the short, engaging and humorous bios you can click through to the “straighter” CVs. Even the CVs have (IMLO) a dash of humour at the end after you’ve read the “serious parts”.
Personally, I love the CV headings:
Other Impressive Stuff
Claim to Fame
Useless Niche Expertise
There are so many other things I love about the site – but this post is already getting too long. Maybe more in a future post!
O.K. – How can Marque make the site even better?
As a business communication consultant I am always looking for ways to help clients improve. Not that Marque is a client! I have no connection with them.They are, however, an excellent example of a brilliant modern legal website.
It’s a natural reflex to look for ways to improve – and as impressed as I am with the Marque site, I can see little tweaks that can make the site even better.
1. I love the travel photos. They are so good – I thought they must have been professional stock images.
It was only by digging further into the site (Soapbox – Photos) and cross-referencing names that I discovered that many of these amazing photos were actually taken by Partners Amanda Sharp and Enjel Phoon and even Christina’s boyfriend’s cousin Drew. Well done! Very talented!
Now maybe this is a deliberate ploy so that a visitor will joyfully discover that the creative and talented staff (or their boyfriend’s cousin) also took these photos.
Suggested improvement 1 – add just a few words to make the law firm- travel photo connection clearer to a busy reader
For example, in unobtrusive text – friendly and modest all lower case – upper right corner of photo
Photo by Enjel (Partner)
Or even better
Photo by our Enjel
This helps make the connection clearer between the travel photos and the firm.
Otherwise busy readers may go (as I initially did)
“What’s Marque got to do with these colourful Marrakesh shoes?”
Website photos can even make insurance “sexy”!
I recently worked with an organisation that sold insurance – but they made insurance “sexy” and colourful with very similar beautiful and exciting travel photos. I don’t know if their photos were taken by their creative staff – but the photos were beautiful.
My point is – there was a clearer connection between insurance and these beautiful photos through the fact that they offered “Insurance solutions” to travellers.
The photos made me want to go travelling to exotic places. The photos helped me think – This insurance seller is passionate about travel and understands travel – and they’ll be easier to deal with than some other “straight” insurance provider.
I only discovered the Marque connection with the beautiful travel photos because I was such a website nerd – digging deeper and cross-referencing names. Then again – as I mentioned making readers have to discover it themselves may be all part of their master plan!
2. The Marque Lawyers content (Soapbox section – bold opinions, legal writings, other random stuff) is SO good, I’m surprised they don’t make it easy for people to easily share (at least some of it) through social media.
Suggested Improvement 2: Make the great content (or at least some of it) more shareable with sharing buttons.
US Social media/Business Development expert Chris Brogan has so many great lines and thoughts and he makes his quotes share-able.
And what about that disclaimer?
Oh and earlier I mentioned how I even analysed their Disclaimer and found it amusing. Disclaimers do not usually make a reader chuckle!
“Plagiarism is a crime and a sin. If you do it to us, we will find out where you live and set fire to your shrubbery.”
“Shrubbery” reminds me of Monty Python – many members of the Monty Python team were Oxford University creative types who were also lawyers and doctors. They liked something completely different too.
Here are the links to the Marque website and that Beyond the Pinstripe interview:
More on why the Marque lawyer bios are so engaging and effective!
So who is the opinionated little legal website nerd writing this?
Hi, I’m Tony Biancotti and I’m a lawyer turned journalist and business communication consultant.
Sure, I can be an over-enthusiastic “nerd” when it comes to business communication – but I get lots of feedback that people like my enthusiastic knowledge of and passion for the power of words and images and techniques of engaging people.
I will share with you practical and easy-to-apply tips I’ve gathered over many years working as a:
I’m also a very busy dad and husband juggling my work and travel with family life and our two wonderful kids – Orlando and Cleo.
I’m based in Brisbane, Australia – and regularly travel for work throughout Australia and Asia-Pacific.