Legal Blog.

Some thoughts from our team regarding legal websites

A Profile Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Law firms today face a deeply competitive landscape making differentiation at once a priority, and a challenge.  Reputation, expertise, and client roster used to be enough to bring in new business, but clients are now looking for something more—approachability. Did you know that over 70 percent of what we communicate is through body language and tone? That means that profile photos are essential for influencing website visitors.

Profiles are a great way to show the human side of your firm’s most important asset, it’s attorneys and partners.  And yet, many firms are resisting change.  A simple head shot of a serious looking attorney in a conservative suit makes attorneys appear rigid and intimidating and does not appeal at all to would-be clients that want to do business with approachable law firms that they can relate to and trust. A picture as they say is worth a thousand words. A little less suit and a lot more personality conveys friendliness and approachability.

So here’s a formula for attorney profile photos that’s sure to appeal. The key is to make each profile photo unique while sticking to a general look that is on brand.

  1. Invest in a great photographer instead of one that specializes in head and shoulders shots with grey backgrounds. The difference in quality is enormous.
  2. Take photos in a more casual setting such as outdoors, in a room with other people in the background, in front of a bright window, or in an informal office. It gives a more casual, approachable vibe.
  3. Pose attorneys in different ways, such as standing, leaning against walls, or sitting relaxed in a chair.  It’s hard to capture someone candidly when posed on an uncomfortable stool.
  4. Give them something to do with their hands that makes them appear more at ease, or have them place hands in different positions such as on their hip. Again, it makes for a more natural photo.
  5. Allow attorneys to look in different directions if they like, glancing towards the camera instead of looking directly into it.  
  6. Have some fun with it! You want your attorney’s personalities to be the star in their profile photos.  Clients will be drawn to their good energy.

Lastly, how you present photos on profile pages matters too.  Don’t bury the lead as we marketers say.  Put profile photos right up front, and style them consistently from profile page to profile page for brand consistency.  A good CMS will give you the options to present profile photos in a number of ways. Pick what works for your firm, and go with that.