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Website Verbiage Ideas

I don't know if anyone else has struggled over this as well, but I am
working on re-working my website, and a big part of that is having it say
what I want it to say.

I put a lot of care into my writing (struggling with word choice, sentence
structure, how those affect the reader's perception, etc.), but I am
currently having a real problem coming up with the exact language to convey
the following ideas:

- Professionalism
- Empathy
- Understanding
- Knowledge and Experience
- How amazingly awesome I am (and why I'm a decent attorney as well)

And probably some other things. Every time I put something down as a draft
it reads back as though it is the script for an infomercial or The 700 Club.
It just gets all sappy or preachy, and makes me not sound professional.

As embarrassing as this is, I'm just going to go ahead and include my draft
of my new homepage (ignore for now the fact that my specialization isn't
really specialized), and you will see what I mean.

Here it is:

Welcome to Martin Legal Services, LLC, which specializes in civil litigation
and contracts (both drafting and reviewing).

As a solo practitioner, I understand how it feels to be on your own in the
legal system, and want to help you maneuver the system and keep your
situation as low-stress as possible in the process.

My goal is to serve you with the same respect as ((big law firms give their
most prized clients) OR (something else, but something that's not quite as
over-the-top as "as I would treat royalty)), and provide service as
friendly, helpful, and caring as you receive at your favorite restaurant.

Please explore the rest of the website for specifics, be they services,
testimonials, pricing, or just some free and helpful legal information.

And of course, if you think that you might be one of my ideal clients,
please contact me so I can help you with your legal needs.

Thank you for visiting.

Ick. Suggestions?



  • Graham-

    Have you considered hiring someone to help you with the copy? It
    is a lot of work and time that might be better spent focusing on other
    marketing that requires YOU or on serving your clients.

    I think part of what you are reacting to is that what you're
    writing about are the 'givens' - what everyone expects from their
    lawyer (professional, knowledgeable, caring).

    Your copy
    doesn't say anything about what makes you different. Who are you? What
    makes you unique and why does that matter to your clients?

    It also doesn't identify who your ideal clients are. How
    will they be able to identify themselves? What are their problems and
    concerns and how can you help them? How does your copy show them that
    you're the right lawyer for them?

    Everyone says they are professional, serve their clients
    well and are knowledgeable, but demonstrating that, telling stories that
    SHOW it goes a lot further. Make it more about your clients and their
    issues, rather than about you (although the stories you tell and your
    knowledge will obviously come through).


    Allison C. Shields, Esq.

    Legal Ease Consulting, Inc.




    http://www.LegalEaseConsulting.com (blog)
  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin
    Allison may disagree with me, but I think the only words that really matter are those in the first line. After that, 90% of visitors will stop reading. Focus that first line on what you do, and follow it with what you want visitors to your site to do (contact you). Make sure they can contact you without scrolling down or leaving the front page, as well.

    Also, minimize the text on your website. Few people will read it, anyway. Lots of text is just intimidating. Put the text on a blog, not your
  • I could not agree more with Allison on the idea of hiring a copywriter. It may sound like overkill initially, but copy is almost invariably the single issue that delays website projects I have worked on. It can save you time and stress and in the end you'll likely end up with higher quality copy than otherwise.

    Think about your hourly rate and how many hours you may struggle with this - it has suddenly become a pretty costly exercise. When you are as conscientious about grammar and message as you are, consider it an investment in ensuring you feel confident. I guarantee you can find a copywriter who charges a fraction of a typical lawyer's hourly rate. If budget is a concern, try finding an eager (cheap) student or recent grad who is trying to build their portfolio.

    I also agree with Sam that most people will not read much past the first line, but if the copy is compelling and tells a story you will
    have better chance of success.
  • I do disagree. Why would you think people would read text on a blog and
    not on a website? Most people who find your site won't know or care
    whether it's a blog or a regular website ( and the lines between the two
    are getting more and more blurred). People will only care whether the
    site tells them what they want to know.

    I do think you need to make it readable for the screen without
    long blocks of text. Use headings, bullets, short paragraphs so people
    can skim. But studies have shown that they will read long text if it
    speaks to them and what they want to know.

    Absolutely do make your contact info easily found and tell
    visitors where you want them to go next. Make the site appealing to
    those who are more visual or audial learners if you can too.


    Allison C. Shields, Esq.

    Legal Ease Consulting, Inc.




    http://www.LegalEaseConsulting.com (blog)
  • AaronStreetAaronStreet Minneapolis, MN Admin

    I'm going to agree with both Allison and Sam.

    I think all the content on your page matters; if it doesn't have a clear
    purpose in getting readers ready to hire you, get rid of it.

    You should err on the side of clean, simple, concise content.

    The purpose of your site is to give potential clients and referrals sources
    enough (and the right kind of) information to want to contact you and move
    your engagement to the next step.

    In fact, I wrote a Lawyerist post about this in November: The One Secret to
    Online Legal Marketing <http://lawyerist.com/online-le.....ng-secret/>


    Aaron Street, Publisher
    Lawyerist Media, LLC
    125 SE Main Street, Suite 250
    Minneapolis, MN 55414
    (612) 424-9855
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