Getting Personal: Why Your About Page Shouldn’t Look Like a Resume

Have you ever browsed a competitor’s website and realized their About page was just a copy of their resume? Or maybe that bullet list is on your own site. Find out why your Attorney Bio should be more than just a list of your credentials.

Resumes Aren’t for Readers

Traditional attorney bio pages look like a resume. They focus on where the attorney went to law school, how long they have been in practice, and maybe where they have spoken or been published. Sometimes, they are even written like a resume, with bulleted lists in place of complete sentences.

But have you ever taken the time to read one of those pages? A bulleted resume-style About page serves one kind of potential client: the kind who skims. These are people who don’t care who is doing the work as long as they are qualified. What matters most is the stats on the page.

If you make all your money from big corporate clients, that may be enough to land you the job, especially when the website is a second point of contact after you have made the initial connection face-to-face.

But most small firm lawyers aren’t landing those big corporate clients. Even those who focus on business law may have one or two whales that they supplement with lots of minnows. And minnows need more than credentials to convince them you should be their lawyer.

An About Page Should be About You

Here’s the thing, in most practice areas, lawyers are not fungible. We can’t be fully defined by our years of practice or the awards we have received. (Been a SuperLawyer for the last 10 years? Potential clients probably don’t actually care.) Potential clients in personal areas like estate planning, family law, or even small business law care may care more about who you are than where you went to school.

That’s why the best About pages tell a story. They make it easy for potential clients to understand you, even before they meet you face to face. You may even want to give them a peak behind the curtain by including candid shots (we don’t always wear suits, you know), or describing personal hobbies. You may even consider a short embedded video, where the lawyer answers a common question or says why they do what they do.

A narrative About page, that features quotes from the lawyer and tells the story of their experience helps potential clients connect with you. It will make them feel confident they won’t just become a statistic or a case number if they decide to hire you.

Finding the Balance Between Resume and Rhetoric

The truth is there are 2 types of potential clients checking out your site: scanners and readers. If you want to bring in the most sales, you need to have something for everyone. That’s why, when Legal Linguist writes attorney biography pages, I build in both. I start with a narrative, including a quote if I can. Then I follow it up with an “At a Glance” section that gives that resume-style bulleted list for those who don’t have the time or inclination to pull the information from your story. This way no matter who is viewing your about page, I have provided the content in a way that gives them what they want.

Your About page shouldn’t just look like a resume. It needs to cater to potential clients who want to meet you before they step in your door. By building in both lists and narrative, you will reach a broader audience and recruit even more clients to build your business.

Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. She writes blogs and web content for lawyers and small businesses. If you want help crafting high-quality about pages for your firm’s attorneys, contact the Legal Linguist to schedule a meeting.

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