Be Image Conscious

A picture is worth a thousand words. Yes, I know, this is a hideously overused cliché that just made you groan out loud, however, there’s a reason it is used so often. It’s true. Sadly lawyers – more than most professionals – tend to forget about the importance of images. Personally, I blame this tendency on the practice of law, which is focused almost entirely on the use of non-visual communication (no litigator has  tendered an infographic as their closing submission).

Although it’s a general rule that lawyers aren’t very image-focused, the specific area where this tendency manifests most is lawyer bio-photos. In this post, we outline some best practices for bio photos and explain why they are probably the most important images on your firm’s website.

Why Do Your Bio Photos Matter

After the home page, the most visited pages for a law firm is always – without exception – the individual bio pages of the lawyers working for the firm. Having reviewed dozens of law firm analytics, I have yet to find an exception to this rule. This is why it is so tragic that law firms – even those willing to spend money on a new and visually appealing website – often decide to penny pinch when it comes to lawyer bio photos.

Don’t believe me? Spend the next twenty minutes perusing law firm websites and I guarantee you will find at least one or two featuring beautiful panoramic photography set off against lawyer bio photos that look like they were taken with a smartphone during a lunch break. It’s a mindboggling phenomenon and is almost certainly costing law firms money.

Consider, for instance, that a four-year study focused on the trustworthiness of journalists found that a columnist’s bio photo subconsciously influenced how digital users would judge the news they reported and was the single most influential factor in determining the trust and credibility readers attributed to a news source.

Regardless of the depth of your representative work, the pedigree of your education, and the strength of your references, a poorly shot bio photo can certainly make you look less trustworthy and possibly incapable. Is this the image you want to present to potential clients? I doubt it.

Best Practices for Bio Photos

  • Hire a professional photographer
  • Update your headshot once every two to three years
  • Keep the background of the image clean and simple
  • Don’t be afraid to smile
  • Dress professionally

For more information on bio photos, please contact someone at Skunkworks Creative Group.

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