Professional services marketers often opt to go for a quick win when they are new to a firm. It’s understandable, since a good first impression can grab the attention of your internal clients and establish your credibility. But eventually marketers have to set aside their desire for instant gratification and focus on more long-term projects.
One such task that marketers often delay, or outright avoid, is redoing a firm’s professional bio pages. Yet, even though the job requires a lot of legwork, the payoff is immediate. That’s because professional bios are often where, when and how clients make their decisions about which professionals (and firms) will make their shortlists.
Need proof? Here are some statistics about the importance of service professional biographies:
- 90% of in-house counsel rely on attorney bios when researching and hiring outside counsel.
- Attorney bios rank as the second-most important resource when researching lawyers and law firms. (The first is recommendations from trusted sources.)
- Attorney bios are the largest driver of traffic to law firm websites — 83% of in-house counsel rank attorney bios as important when researching outside lawyers and law firms for a potential hire.
Where to Begin
With such a daunting job, marketers invariably ask themselves where to begin and what is the best way to manage the rewrite process.
Some firms will devote time and resources to rewriting bios for every individual. Of course, the number of professionals in your firm typically dictates the practicality of this approach. Managing 50 bio rewrites for professionals in a few offices is a very different project from updating bios for a firm with 700 professionals worldwide. Yes, some large firms have managed to rewrite 700-plus bios before their new sites launched!
One approach we’ve seen is to focus on only the service providers whose bios are most-often included in pitch packets or in response to RFPs. Another approach is to schedule the bio updates so far in advance of a website redesign that the launch is not delayed while you’re still waiting for rewrites. Still, another is to manage the rewrites on a practice-by-practice schedule to keep from overwhelming the firm’s marketing staff and contracted writers.
It always helps to see examples of great bios and read helpful tips. Here are some excellent resources, written by Jaffe folks and others:
A Brand within a Brand
In addition to managing the bio-rewriting process, one of the top challenges of professional service bio rewrites is ensuring that each bio is congruent with the firm’s overarching brand identity. In other words, while showcasing each professional’s unique attributes is essential, you still have to make sure that the bio does not conflict with the firm’s established image. In fact, a branding best practice is to make sure that each individual bio has some detail that ties into the firm’s brand identity.
There are many ways to adeptly weave professional bios into the firm’s brand, although it does require some creativity. One example that some firms have used is to have each professional identify a firm value that they really connect with. This serves to not only provide information about the professional, but to reiterate the firm’s brand.
Do you need help with developing a bio-rewrite project management plan or connecting the firm’s brand to your professional bios? Maybe you’re looking to redesign your professional bio template? If so, reach out to Terry M. Isner, CEO/Owner, Marketing & Branding, at firstname.lastname@example.org.