11 Apr Your Best Bio: Three Essential Elements
When it comes to attorney biographies we often fall into the trap of thinking “more is more”, that an omitted detail about our practice will mean a lost client. As a result, some bios tend to read more like laundry lists of “can do’s” rather than a compelling story about why an attorney is a good fit for the reader’s needs.
As you know, all of the changes in the last 10 years or so have created *much* shorter attention spans. To meet the market where it is, your strategy should be to state your most essential credentials clearly and efficiently. My recommendation now is to keep the “narrative” – that is, the longer-form paragraph section of your bio – around 250-325 words.
But with so little real estate, how do you create real impact?
The following essential elements will help you to create an attorney biography that works for you…one that will actually help you get noticed for the difference you make for your clients.
- Be as detailed as possible. Representative matters and deals with details about the results, wins and dollar amounts at stake paint a vivid picture of your experiences. Yes, confidentiality is an important consideration, but can you describe matters or clients at a very high level? For example, instead of saying you represented “Verizon Communications”, can you say, “Represented one of the largest, publicly-traded, international telecommunications conglomerates…”? Clients tell us in feedback interviews that representative matters mean the most when doing an initial screen.
- Describe your approach to client service and to practicing law. While many other attorneys might practice in your area of the law, none of them serve their clients exactly as you do. Your personality, your responsiveness, the way you see things…it’s the juice that keeps your clients coming back. Your knowledge, results, and skill are obviously critical, but make sure you also provide some sense of what it is like to be a client of yours. For example, do you respond to clients within an hour or two whenever possible? Are you known for resonating exceptionally well with a jury? Are you known for holding a clients’ hand throughout complex matters? (Not that you would use those words exactly, but you know what I mean!) By the way, the use of video could make a huge difference for you here – it is so much more powerful than words. People love to do business with people they like and trust – and video quickly creates a sense of familiarity.
- Explain how your knowledge and experience can help. Almost every attorney I know would say that they know their clients’ industries, problems and issues cold. Your clients expect it, so don’t waste the space it takes to say it. The more important point to make in your bio is how this knowledge, these skills or your background of yours affects your client service. Does it make for more efficiency, a better ability to easily explain complex issues to a jury, or forward-thinking advice that reflects potential industry changes down the road? It’s a bit of a perspective shift that will make for a more client-centric read.
Keep in mind that what matters is how your services will benefit the reader, not what you think are your most important achievements. Why not do a complete data dump of all of your best results and deals over the years and ask a trusted colleague or friend to help you identify those that are most compelling? Put yourself in the shoes of your target market – that is your dream client – and ask yourself, “will this matter to them?”