Both seen and unseen, as they interact with both current and potential clients, “your people” become the face of your firm, the touchpoint for all current and future interactions. With that in mind, have you ever considered how you can utilize the intrinsic relationship-building power of your attorneys and staff to help boost awareness of your firm among potential clients?
One word: Storytelling.
In this digital era, it’s probably no stretch of the imagination to say that your firm is online. You have a website, maybe a Facebook page or a LinkedIn account, or you’re sending out regular emails to your mailing list. Whether you’re just dabbling in the online arena or doing all that and more, with each interaction you’re telling your firm’s story. But what story are you telling? And are you using the relationship-building power of your people to help weave that story?
BUILD YOUR STORY
Countless studies show that when potential clients are searching a law firm’s website, they are looking to learn about the firm’s attorneys. That being the case, one of the main focuses of telling your firm’s story should be sharing that of your attorneys. Typically, this starts with the bio pages on your website. If you were to visit your website right now, what would you, along with your potential clients, find there? Do the attorneys’ bios simply give a list of accomplishments and areas of practice or do they invite the visitor to engage and to build a connection with them?
As you craft the individual attorney’s story, start by identifying the true value your attorney brings to your clients. What knowledge does the attorney bring to the table? What experience does the attorney have in that area? Of all the attorneys in that field, why would an individual or company want to choose your attorney over another one? As you answer these questions, I would invite you to keep some words of wisdom my dad has shared with me many times over the years, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Attorney bios should capably communicate not only the attorney’s expertise, but also their passion for the area of practice. If not, your attorney’s story — and ultimately the firm’s story — is missing an invaluable element: heart.
ELEVATE YOUR STORY
According to a recent white paper released by Cisco, by 2021 video will make up 87 percent of all traffic on the internet. With its ability to not only disseminate information, but also engage multiple senses, that statistic is not horribly surprising. There’s definitely something to be said for being able to more personally interact without actually talking one-on-one with an individual. After all, though we live in a digital world, we still work with people. And it’s nice, perhaps even comforting, to know who those people are.
Enter digital storytelling — an effective way of taking your written attorney bios to the next level. Video lets your potential clients not only hear your attorneys’ passion for their area of expertise but also see who they are. What’s more, these videos can be used in multiple areas: bio pages, emails, social media sites. Indeed, if a picture is worth a thousand words, video is worth a million.
Video bios are just the tip of the iceberg though. Q&A videos are another way of elevating your story. Instead of having potential clients read Q&As on your website, consider setting up a series of videos answering the most common questions or even the hardest-to-find answers as it relates to a specific area of practice. Just like video bios, brief one-minute Q&A videos can be deployed strategically through many digital platforms with a planned purpose of communicating the attorney and the firm’s value propositions.
For instance, my company recently worked with a firm known and recognized in its market as the expert in elder care. The law firm community and even the state bar all knew of and had awarded this firm with accolades for years. Wanting to share their success with the community at large, the firm wondered how they might tell their story without coming across as arrogant.
The decision was made to produce a series of Q&A videos that answered the top 25 most asked questions on elder law and to focus on the elder law community for communicating the value of the attorney practice group as experts through visual education. The firm’s investment in video education provided a way to start conversations that provided the practice group with the ability to flex its award-winning muscles. Ultimately, this decision and deployment resulted in creating new clients that were looking for someone who cared about them and their family.
SHARE YOUR STORY
Spencer X. Smith, social media speaker and the author of ROTOMA: The ROI of Social Media ‘Top of Mind’ noted, “You can’t really succeed on any social media platform [and I add the digital arena in general] unless you bring real value to the community.” Video provides the vehicle to share your story and bring that necessary value to the online community.
In the words of Steven Spielberg: “We all have to tell our own stories, there are so many stories to tell.”
What story are you telling? #TellYourStory
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rich Wilson, Filmmaker, Photographer and Video Storyteller, is the Founder and Film Director of Visual Image Building Enterprises (VIBE). VIBE was founded in 2015 and immediately became an ALA VIP Business Partner. VIBE is contracted with ALA National and many chapters as the video and photography service partner of choice.