A few years after my husband passed away, I decided to try some dating apps. Thanks to phone cameras, editing tools, and filters, getting some flattering pictures to add to my bio wasn’t much of a challenge – but it was nearly impossible to create a dating profile. To start off, I hadn’t dated since my twenties, so I had no idea what 50-year-olds would even appeal to. So most of my early efforts failed at either reading like my law firm’s website, which was never intended for recreational use, or looking snarky or sad.
Despite my clumsy first attempts, I managed to attract some interested parties and to entertain myself. When he texted a man about my work in the fight against pipelines, he exclaimed, aha – so you’re a crusader by day, a press by night. “Bingo!
I never had a chance to use my new tagline – COVID Hit – and I had met someone else. But the experience amazed me at how a stranger could tailor my essence more precisely than I could articulate it for myself. And I was wondering if lawyers could use the same technique that we are presenting to the world. For example, if you’re stuck on your about page, mission statement for your website, or can’t create a 280-character Twitter bio, why not crowdsource feedback on how others see your persona?
There are several ways that attorneys can seek feedback from third parties. You can do a quick survey and ask a mix of colleagues, both those you know best and more casual acquaintances, to describe you in one sentence or suggest three words that come to mind when they come up You think. If you interview several people and keep coming up with the same descriptive terms, you will get a good idea of where your strengths lie.
Alternatively, you can share your website copy or social media page with other lawyers and friends and ask them what kind of tone and mood it is conveying. These types of questions can help you figure out if your copy hit the mark.
Asking third-party feedback can also help diagnose major problems with your marketing efforts, as you may find a gap between trying to represent yourself and what is actually being perceived. For example, let’s say you take pride in providing affordable, no frills, but high quality legal service to today’s professionals. However, a colleague may view your website and find that it looks cheap and is too focused on low fees, making your practice look more like a Walmart for legal services than a high-end operation. Your coworker’s diagnosis could explain why you attract tire-kickers looking for free advice instead of converting prospects into customers.
It can be scary asking outsiders to provide feedback on yourself or your profile. But you may also find that the world sees you in a way that is even more impressive than you thought. So why not double that?