After years of college, law school, apprenticeships, and associate jobs, it is highly likely that your experience as an attorney has had a significant impact on who you are. As a result, your friends and family may have grown accustomed to some of the situations you encounter in your daily responsibilities, and may have even caught on to the vernacular of your job. Whether you recognize it or not, your experience influences the way you interact with others around you.
However, when you are creating and editing content for your law firm’s website, the influence of your professional perspective can become a problem. Many attorneys have such a deep knowledge base and are so comfortable in their positions that the most vital information can seem obvious. However, it is important to remember that the legal world is often not well understood or accessible to the general public. The users who are visiting your website are seeking your services because they do not have the knowledge necessary to provide answers themselves.
Are You Alienating Potential Clients?
Unfortunately, many law firms forget this and engage in practices that end up alienating their client base. This can turn away potential clients and may cause a loss of business if you are not careful. To help, we’ve compiled some ways you may be alienating your client base and how you can address each:
1 Problem: Using Too Much Industry Language
It is important to remember that your clients did not go to law school, and many have never encountered a legal case or trial before. As a result, many common legal terms you use in your website’s content may be second nature to you, but may not make sense to those browsing your page. Of course, potential clients expect you to communicate professionally, and some legal jargon is impossible to avoid, but it is important to consider how consistent use of legal terms may alienate your readers.
Solution: Alter Your Language
In many fields of law, clients are revealing vulnerable information and personal experiences. It is important to be approachable as well as professional. Consider using easily understandable terms instead of official legal jargon where possible. If you must use an industry term, add a short description or link internally to a page that summarizes or defines the meaning to readers. This small effort will show clients that you will meet them where they are and help them better understand the process as you go.
2 Problem: Failing to Give Examples
Of course, most legal topics are complex no matter your efforts to use easily understandable language to describe them. Again, this can be attributed to the general public’s lack of experience with court proceedings and legal procedures. If you do not provide easy-to-understand examples, readers can easily misunderstand your message or leave your page still feeling confused about the situation that led them to your website.
Solution: Give Real-Life Examples, Statistics, and Testimonials
Providing facts and figures creates a concrete image of what elements are important to a particular case and why. Real-life examples allow potential clients to put themselves in the situation you are describing and develop a better understanding of the process. Testimonials show your client base that you have encountered cases like theirs before and have been successful. They will have a better idea of what to expect and will experience reassurance that they are not alone in their case.
3 Problem: Providing Too Much Information
Creating informational content and web copy can be a delicate balance. Providing a large amount of information can be just as detrimental to your website as providing too little. Too much information on a single page can become overwhelming, and lead to increased stress regarding the client’s legal situation.
Solution: Be Clear and Concise
Edit your information so that it is concise and easy to read. Is there a simpler way to say the same thing? Are you supplying unnecessary information your clients don‘t need? Can you restructure sentences to include fewer words? Asking these questions before publishing will keep you from overwhelming your reader.
4 Problem: Talking Down to Your Reader
As mentioned previously, legal content requires a delicate balance. Though it is important to simplify your language in order to ensure that your readers understand, going too far can make your clients feel talked down to or patronized. Over-explaining can feel insulting, even if your intention was to provide resources.
Solution: Pretend You Are Writing to Your Mother
While this sounds silly, it often proves effective—pretend your reader is someone you respect who isn’t an attorney, like a parent, teacher, or trusted advisor. You will be much more likely to choose language that informs them but does not insult their intelligence, which meets your goal of developing understanding without making them feel disrespected. If you write for your clients like this, you can hit the sweet spot between unapproachable and condescending.
5 Problem: Incorporating Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation Errors.
It can be easy to miss grammar and spelling errors, especially with your busy schedule. However, as a legal professional, these types of mistakes are unacceptable on your website. Though the general public does not have extensive legal knowledge, many individuals are able to spot spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors with relative ease. These types of mistakes make your law firm appear unprofessional, and they can have a significant impact on a user’s confidence in your legal abilities.
Solution: Hire a Digital Marketer or Copywriter/Copy Editor
One of the best ways to ensure that your website is free of errors is to hire a professional to create and edit your content for you. These professionals create informative, mistake-free content for a living and are able to ensure that your website is free of errors. The investment you make in hiring a professional is a small price to pay to avoid losing clients due to simple mistakes.
Hire An Expert Team
At RizeUp Media, we pride ourselves on being the industry leader in digital marketing services for law firms. We work with law firms around the world to create approachable, high-quality websites that drive business and help to generate new leads. Because we primarily focus on law firms, we understand the intricacies of the legal system. However, since we are not attorneys ourselves, we are able to assess your current content and create new content that appeals to clients. This blend of traits makes us perfectly poised to create law websites that are professional, accurate, and approachable to the clients you seek. Together, our team of copywriters, designers, and social media marketing specialists will create digital marketing campaigns that really work for your firm.
For more information, or to inquire about our services, contact us via our website today.
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