Lawyers; let’s face it, it’s a given that prospective clients will look “online” as one of the primary ways to find professional services. Gone are the days of potential clients trawling through physical directory listings, finding classifieds at the back pages of magazines and even walking into law offices. While a significant proportion of new work for law firms still comes in through networks and referrals, sophisticated, modern-day clients are often carrying out their initial research online through their mobiles or computers using the very same social media platforms that they themselves use.
Studies that say “people buy from people they know” may be old, but there is something relevant still in the message for the modern consumer in the technological era. Even if potential clients have been given a referral, they will still want to see you, know your background, know the type of work you are currently doing and may even want to know more personal details like your political persuasion, university alumni affiliations, etc. In short, they want to feel comfortable about you.
Whilst it is nearly impossible to understand or pre-judge all possible search string permutations by any prospective client, one thing that I can say with confidence is that a “no show” or a “no face” search result is not going to help you win clients.
I cannot understate the importance of a good professional headshot photograph for use online. I continue to be amazed that in 2016, there are still so many lawyers without professional photographs in social media and even worse, law firm websites without individual lawyer introductions.
So, if you are still this on LinkedIn:
or this on Twitter:
or are hiding behind a logo for a face, it is time to step forward and introduce yourself (unless you have a reason not to do so).
Likewise, there are numerous law firm websites that still do not show any individual lawyer faces but have boilerplate paragraphs about how good and reputable they are under their “About Us / Who We Are” section.
The Day I Met Lawyer X
I have been working with lawyers and law firms for over 15 years now and have converted many to adopt a better online presence. Then a few months ago, I met Lawyer X. When I spoke to him about the importance of a headshot photo for a possible new social media presence, it took me by surprise why a simple task as headshot photo posting would be met with resistance.
Not everyone is confident and extrovert. It is a reality that many intellectual and creative professionals feel insecure about their physical appearance, and as result, find it harder to post images of themselves online. Talking to Lawyer X gave me a greater understanding and sympathy as to why some professionals choose not to have an online presence. In my enthusiasm to help my clients build their profiles and increase their visibility, I had lost sight of the fact that there are reasons other than apathy why people may choose not to have online visibility.
If the psychological hurdles can be overcome, it is always worth investing in finding a professional corporate photographer who can help bring out the best natural self in any photo subject. It may even be worth getting professional advice on wardrobe, colour selection, hair-make-up, lighting and camera angle.
At the End of the Day…
Prospective clients buy from people – people they can see and understand and be comfortable with. Photographs emit confidence, attitude and show personality – the very ingredients that your next client may be looking for.