"I think our profiles on the SBM Directory and our website need updating," said Lance walking into the conference room of L & L Law where sister Linda was drinking her afternoon cappuccino and enjoying a brief break from her busy practice.
Looking up at Lance, Linda asked, "What's wrong with our profiles? We just put them up."
"Not so," said Lance, sitting across from Linda and setting his cup of espresso on a yellow legal pad. "It's been over a year. Things have changed. And I've been doing some research on how to create a more effective profile."
Linda smiled at her fraternal twin, younger by three minutes. "What did you find?" she asked.
A profile, Lance found, is "a description of someone containing all the most important or interesting facts about the person." (Cambridge English Dictionary.)
The important facts are education, experience, any current publications, new board memberships, or recent awards. If you participated in a community event, add it to your page. And, if you have a new professional picture, upload it.
Added a new area of practice? Explain what it is, why you added it, and how it will benefit your clients. Lance and Linda have added an attorney focusing on stockbroker fraud and misconduct to help their elder law clients with concerns about their investments. They will include an explanation of stockbroker misconduct and how adding the new service can benefit new and potential clients.
Be sure the links to your social media accounts—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram—are current. Clients then have another way to get in touch with you. If you want to step up to 2016 where video is surging in importance, add a short video talking enthusiastically about the law you practice.
Clients and prospective clients need those informative facts to help make their decision on which lawyer to contact, but are they the facts that cinch the deal? The ones that make the prospective client click on the "contact us" button?
Generally, clients hire attorneys based on their character—lawyers they like and trust—so they turn to the interesting facts to help with that part of the decision. Let's face it, clients and prospective clients assume all lawyers have law degrees and know the law, so the interesting facts may be the most important in the decision-making process.
What are interesting facts for clients? These questions might help you find them:
- What makes you good at lawyering? It could be a skill in your field or perhaps you are good at explaining law to clients or helping them reach a solution to their problems.
- What do you like most about your area of practice?
- What is your favorite law-related quote? Why?
- What types of community-based events do you participate in?
- What are your hobbies?
With the New Year, it's time for you to review your profile. An updated profile better reflects your current knowledge, experience, and skills.
Updating your profile in the SBM Directory is simple. Start by signing in to your account. Your name will appear in the upper right-hand corner, click on it. A drop-down menu will pop up, click on "edit profile." Make the changes you need, click "Save," and you're done. Your profile is up-to-date and ready to bring in new clients for the New Year.
Roberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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