8 Ways to Write an Attorney Bio That Rocks
The vast majority of Americans can’t tell the difference between one attorney and another, according to a public study by the ABA Journal of Illinois. The study further revealed that most people are frustrated with how lawyers communicate with them. This brings me to the central theme of this article: How to write an effective attorney bio.
Browse the bios of some other attorneys. You’ll find that most are cookie-cutter templates which include: How long they’ve been practicing, where they attended law school, whether they were on law review, etc. Put another way, most attorney bios lack personality, life, vibrancy and interest. Since your attorney bio page is statistically responsible for garnering the most views on your site (by about 50%), why not put a little more thought into crafting a well written bio? One that stands out from the crowd and allows prospects to make an emotional connection.
So How Do You Write an Effective Attorney Bio?
Forget Academics - OK, don’t forget them altogether, but they shouldn’t be the central theme of your bio. Your prospects are looking to connect with a real person, so you should answer the following questions.
- Do you have experience doing exactly what I need?
- What area of law are you really good at?
- What do your clients think of you? Think testimonials or short stories here.
Avoid Legalese - Law school taught you how to write like an attorney so that you can prepare legal documents. Your bio is not the place. Keep it professional yet conversational so that you make a personal connection. Prospects need to feel like you’re a real person. Read your bio out loud. If any part of it sounds like it belongs in a legal document, change it or leave it out.
Make It Personal - Studies show that people buy from those they know, like, and trust so don’t sound like a robot. Inject some personality. Tell a story so that you create a connection. A short paragraph in your own words highlighting your legal victories is a great way to make it personal.
Get The Right Photo - Pictures are extremely important on attorney bios. They should project confidence, friendliness, and the attorney should be smiling. Often times people feel like attorneys aren’t approachable. A great photo will negate those feelings.
Avoid Passive Voice - It’s hard to engage a reader when you’re writing in passive voice. Let’s examine the two. Passive voice: The case was won by me. Active Voice: I won the case. Which one makes the reader feel like they’re in a conversation? If you guessed active voice, you’re correct. While you might think passive voice is more formal, it’s bad writing, hard to read and less engaging.
Practice Areas - List the practice areas you specialize in within the first paragraph. Someone looking for a criminal defense attorney doesn’t want to read your entire bio only to find out at the end that you specialize in wills and estates. Avoid wasting their time.
Make it Easy To Contact You - Make sure you include either a form to fill out or your Outlook v-card. Outlook v-cards are difficult for spammers and robots to decipher if you include a form. Keep it short -- four fields or less. Include your direct phone number on your bio, too.
Ask for Help if You Need It - Your technical writing skills might be the envy of your colleagues, but remember -- your bio’s audience isn’t other attorneys. If casual prose isn’t your strong suit, don’t be too proud to seek help writing your bio.
Start by jotting a bullet list of topics to cover in your bio. Heed the advice in #1 above, though, and minimize the self back-patting. You can include relevant accomplishments, but don’t make them the center of attention. Instead, focus on fun facts, interests, and items that demonstrate personality. These things will resonate better with visitors.
Talk through these bullet points with your friends, colleagues, and family members, making notes about what you say as you review the list. In your writing, try to mimic that conversational tone. Casual yet professional. Concise yet informative. Factual yet persuasive.
By following these eight tips, you are practically guaranteed an engaging bio that sets you apart from other attorneys. This will allow for better business development, improved lead generation, and enhanced relationships with your prospects and clients.
FREE: 5 Website Blunders 99% of Attorneys Make that Cost Them Clients
…and how to get your phone ringing by avoid these mistakes.