Showing posts with label online marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label online marketing. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Lawyer Head Shot Everyone’s Talking About…

Some marketing topics are complex and require a lengthy discussion.  Other times, res ipsa loquitur applies. We think today’s discussion of lawyer website biography photos might be one of those. 
Over time, attorneys grew willing to soften the formal website photos we used in the early 2000′s.  For example, we like the friendlier “environmental” pictures we shot for litigation powerhouse Hedrick Gardner.  Increasingly, lawyers with a more casual style have eschewed suits and ties in favor of business-casual attire.  
And once in awhile we find lawyers whose approach to their photos is even less stiff.  Winston-Salem’s J. Clark Fischer, for example:

Photos can help provide information that text cannot.  And Mr. Fischer’s “head shot”?  I’ve never met Mr. Fischer, but suddenly I know a lot about him.  I mean, like, an AWFUL lot.

What do you think? Please feel free to comment below. 

Perhaps if he’s ever handling a case in Chicago, Mr. Fischer could grab a cup of coffee with one of our more [insert adjective here] matrimonial lawyers, Corri Fetman (below), who gained some national notoriety a few years ago with her “Life’s Short. Get a Divorce.” advertising campaign.

Below, from Ms. Fetman’s own website:

I have a feeling they’d get along just fine.
Looking for a powerful new website?  Oil yourself up and contact Fishman Marketing at moc.gnitekramnamhsif@ssor or +1.847.432.3546!

Photos (c) 2013 J. Clark Fischer and Corri Fetman.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The worst law firm website group photo ever?

At Fishman Marketing, we develop a lot of law firm websites, probably 20-30 legal sites per year.   We see our job as helping the law firms:
  1. Use websites, branding, and other marketing tools to develop business, and
  2. Avoid mistakes.
Neither one is easy, but both are important.

Here’s an especially egregious example of what can happen when a law firm lets its guard down, and there's no one looking out for the mistakes.  Perhaps their website developer was more interested in cashing the check than doing the right thing.  

Or maybe a strong-willed managing or marketing partner liked this photo and no one wanted to contradict him. Who knows?  There are many reasons bad marketing happens to good firms.

Maybe no one was thinking of the optics, of the subliminal message this conveyed to clients and prospects.

What’s wrong with this picture?

It’s obvious, isn’t it?

Yup, here she is -- a first-year associate...

What’s astonishing is that somehow, during all the inevitable rounds of approvals and revisions, no one:
  1. Noticed, or
  2. Had the guts to object.
Now this is a terrific firm.  They’re great litigators, who handle tough, complex cases for demanding clients.

But really, guys?

Clearly the firm has an internal issue.  In fact, many litigation boutiques have difficulty with recruiting.  Diversity is a challenge for many firms, even those who sincerely try.

So the answer is - if your firm doesn’t have as much diversity as you, or your clients, might like, there are ways to not call attention to that failing.   Here, for example, I wouldn’t have recommended a group shot, or any other collection of head shots.

Everyone makes mistakes.  Try to avoid this one.

Please call Fishman Marketing if you need a new marketing campaign or website.  +1.847.432.3546,

The photos are copyrighted and owned by the law firm (c) 2013.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Is your website a 24/7 cheap suit?

A lawyer I know is obsessive about his appearance. 

He wears $2,000 Italian suits, starched white shirts with French cuffs, and has a personal shoe-shine guy come to his office every few days.  He drives a highly polished 7-series Mercedes he'll only park indoors, and he hired a renowned interior decorator to ensure his office is perfectly appointed.  His mahogany desk could have small planets orbiting around it.

He clearly understands the power of appearing successful.

After meeting him, I looked him up online and found a seven-year-old, poorly designed, template website, with stock photos of columns, handshakes, and other typical marketing cliches.

The "Before" version of the home page.
Seriously, guys, it's not that complicated.  Your website is available 24/7/365.  It's the first place people will go after meeting you the first time.  It's how many of them will form or reinforce their impression regarding the quality of your practice.  They routinely admit that a bad website can remove a law firm from consideration.

If you wouldn't wear a leisure suit or sit on beat-up furniture, consider - are you still using a "flea market" website? 

Here's the website of ThompsonMcMullan - one of Richmond, Virginia's top law firms.  Outstanding lawyers with an incredible client-service orientation.  Their clients say they go the extra mile every time.  Trust me, I talked to a bunch of them.  They're Richmond's Meritas firm, so you know they've been thoroughly vetted, inside and out.  The Marketing Director, Amy Smith, is one of LMA's national leaders.  I could go on, but you see where I'm going here.

And when Amy called us to redo their branding and website, this green version is what their website looked like.  It was probably terrific when it was launched, but design changes fast online, and firms must ensure that their website validates the high-quality skills prospects suspect that you have when visiting your site to double check.

So we quickly identified outrageous client service as their brand message, designed an eye-catching visual platform supporting it, and developed a robust WordPress website that showcased all the good things about them.  A firm this good deserves to look like it. Below shows the "After" version, along with other elements from the marketing and branding campaign.

Now, with the branding materials supporting them, all of their lawyers' marketing efforts work just that much better.  Ahhh, doesn't a new suit make you feel better?  More confident?  Of course it does.

C'mon, isn't it time you gave Fishman Marketing a call?  

We'll fix your website right up.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Smoothing a litigation firm’s sharp edges.

When launching an aggressive marketing campaign and website for a top litigation firm, we wanted them to be perceived as tough and strong, but still approachable.  Here’s how we walked that fine line, without weakening the campaign:

Hedrick Gardner is one of North Carolina’s top litigation firms — 100 lawyers with hard-core trial skills. They resolve their clients’ business, worker’s comp, and insurance matters efficiently, but are quite happy to pick a jury when the case or situation merits it.

Many commercial litigators are terrified to go to trial (I worked with many of them back when I was a litigator myself).  Deep down, they’re more likely to settle on the courthouse steps, to avoid going to trial.  Their willingness to take a case to trial gives Hedrick Gardner clients a big advantage.  This led to the “We Don’t Blink” tag line, and a variety of analogous headlines, like “We never back down from a fight.”

Here’s the new home page:

I love this firm and the campaign.

With art photography and in-your-face headlines, we show that the Hedrick Gardner lawyers are strong, tough, skilled, and confident. Marketing Communications Coordinator Alyson WIllis (a wedding photographer herself) and Marketing Event Coordinator Sara Snavely supervised the chosen photographer to ensure the lawyers’ expressions walked a fine line – powerful, but not jerks. 

Fearless, but not mean. Direct, but not harsh. This is important because we want to show prospects that they’re also friendly and approachable.  
That is, you sure don’t want to oppose them at trial, but you’d be happy to grab a beer with them after work.

Here’s Tonya’s strong, confident, branding photo for the home page:

So, to reduce any possibility that the home page banners might convey to prospects that the lawyers are harsh, we asked them to smile in their biography photos, to show their genial personalities.  You know, just in case.

Here’s Tonya’s friendly headshot:

See the point?

Here are some juxtaposed comparisons, below: 

We think these materials are pretty powerful – dramatic and eye catching, but still appropriate for a law firm that had not done any previous marketing of this type.  This is a pretty big first step.
Nice job, guys.