Check Your Ego and Design Your Firm’s Website for the Consumer

March 4, 2014

Law & technologyLike most consumers, legal clients are focused on their own needs. The only thing a potential client cares about is, “Will this firm work for me?”

This probably doesn’t strike you as stop-the-presses news. As an attorney, you’ve learned a lot about human nature. You know a great deal about what motivates people and how those drives can sometimes be unclear or conflict with each other.  But, as we’ve found in our latest white paper, Why Most Law Firm Websites are Designed to Fail: Logic, Emotion and Today’s Legal Consumer, many attorneys forget those lessons when it comes to their websites.

In this digital age, a firm’s website is becoming its most powerful marketing tool. Yet many firms treat their sites as venues to toot their own horns and appear impressive. They don’t put enough time and consideration into what actual gets a website visitor to actually contact you.

And what entices them to take that action is less about you and more about them.

With that in mind, here are three considerations for making a virtue of your potential client’s “selfishness”:

  • Be There for Them – Potential clients are often dealing with a stressful situation – injuries, divorce, bankruptcy, etc. Your site should convey a sense that you’re aware of that they might be going through, and that you can help.
  • Avoid “Legalese” – You should present legal information and marketing messages in a way that is understandable to a layperson and addresses real, immediate (and often emotional) needs. Don’t emphasize your firm’s erudition and fluency in “legalese.” People won’t be impressed. Instead, they’ll be driven away. They’ll think you won’t understand.
  • Check the Ego – Your firm’s credentials are an important selling tool. But you need to describe them in a way that demonstrates how they may benefit a potential client. Address your website visitors directly. Tell them “we can help you,” instead of the common, firm-focused copy, “our firm has a track record of success in obtaining positive results for our clients.”

Again, your potential client is focused on his or her own immediate needs, and studies indicate we are much more likely to act on messages we feel are personally directed at us. Providing a positive customer-focused experience on your site will help set you apart from the competition.

So this isn’t really about selfishness — it’s about service. And you can serve your practice best by serving others. And that depends on knowing what makes those others tick.

If you’re interested in learning about the other seven motivators we explored in our recent white paper, click here.