March 3, 2017 Joanna Foo

Lawyer Bios – 2-D or 3-D?

Perhaps it’s because I deal so much with creating and curating content that I have become – like so many of us – a little weary of subjecting my eyes to further strain.  Little wonder that so much has been written about how video is about to dominate (if it hasn’t already) how content is delivered. And why not? It’s so much more interesting to watch information (or a story) unfold like a little movie clip, than to read it in words.

Which got me to thinking about how video could (should?) replace the written bio.

My musing brought to mind a client who had created a series of informational videos when he updated his website, the first of which was an introduction to his practice.  My immediate reaction to viewing of his introductory video was how his personality (warm, friendly and calm) and his professional style (open, engaging, helpful) came through. More than his written bio (he had left that intact on his website), this video did a lot to “humanize” the experience for first-time visitors to his website. Admittedly, I know my client to be precisely as he presents: a caring, consummate professional.

My marketer’s eye, however, watched him talk and move in his videos and my overall impression came down to this: here was a lawyer I could probably trust. Somehow the video conveyed the impression of confidence and straightforwardness. I’m not here to debate the merits of body language (in any case, when seen on the screen, it carries much less weight, compared to in-person interactions). My point is simply this: if you’re the sort of professional whose clients comment “he’s so nice in person” or “he’s very warm yet professional”, then it’s likely that a video would be a better bet for you than just a PDF when it comes to talking about what you do.

If you’re going to invest in producing an introductory video, know that it’s going to cost some money and it requires proper planning. Work with someone who has done this before, and if budget is tight, consider using a film or videography student. They may lack the “slickness” of professionals and agencies, but if yours is a small firm who focuses on lay clients, you actually may want to convey a less “packaged” persona; accessibility is key, after all. And remember: make your script conversational and practice.

And just be yourself!

 

 

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