What story are you telling the world about who you are and what you do?
Because make no mistake, you’re telling a story – whether you know it or not – through the words that appear on your website, in your social media posts and even on your letterhead.
For example, your “About Me” page could begin with a list of your academic degrees and professional achievements. This tells the story, “Look at me. Look how accomplished I am.”
On the other hand, it could open with, “I help people get through difficult times in their marriage.” This says, “Look at you. You’re stressed and scared. Maybe I can help.”
Or it could say, “I help people with financial problems find solutions they might not even know about.” This tells a story of hope and encouragement.
My business is giving lawyers the right words to tell a story that attracts new business and keeps it coming. To do this I draw on 30-plus years as a journalist, legal editor and fiction writer.
It never ceases to amaze me how many otherwise excellent lawyers are telling dull, boilerplate – and sometimes ungrammatical – stories about themselves.
I get why it happens. Most lawyers are too busy doing what they do best – handling cases, dealing with clients, running their firm – to dwell on the words they are putting out to the public. Others lack the necessary writing skills.
But if you don’t tell a powerful story about your practice, you’re sabotaging your own success.
3 Ways to Improve Your Messaging
Here are three simple ways a wordsmith can boost your bottom line:
- Website cleanup. Lawyer websites are often busy, loud and cluttered. Simpler and cleaner is better. I worked with one attorney who had a 3,000 word letter from himself on the landing page. Reading it was a painful slog. My guess is nobody ever made it all the way through to the end – including the attorney himself, considering the typos and split infinitives. We changed it to a clickable photo of himself with the caption, “Find out how I can help you today.”
- Attorney bios. Sure, your credentials are important. But don’t lead with them. Start instead by speaking directly to the prospective client. Include a button or link to your CV. Give the reader some credit. They know how to learn more about you if they’re so inclined.
- Social media ads and posts. Say you’ve written a scholarly article or handled a significant case that might interest other lawyers. A brief ad or three-sentence post on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media – linking to the article or case review - could generate valuable B2B referrals.
What story are you telling with your messaging? Is it a comedy, drama or tragedy? How would you like it to end?