The National Law Forum

The Blog of the The National Law Review

Common Social Media Profile Picture Mistakes

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How you present yourself on social media can either draw clients to you, or send them packing.

What’s the first thing you notice about someone’s social media account? Their profile picture. There are over 645 million active Twitter users, 829 active daily users on Facebook, and over 200 million users on Instagram. Profile pictures are the first thing any of these users will see when your account is searched or suggested on social platforms, so it is vital that your picture send the right message.

Do’s and Don’ts of social media profile pictures:

DON’T make yourself so far away that the person has to play a strategic game of “Where’s Waldo” just to identify you.

Where's Waldo

DON’T filter your picture so heavily so that the viewer can’t even imagine what the original looked like.

Filter 2

DON’T pose like you’re on the cover of a magazine. There is a time and a place for glamour shots, but your professional profile is not it.

Model

DON’T set your profile image as a picture of you and your spouse. Marriage is a beautiful thing, but this is your profile, not yours and your significant other’s.

Spouse

DON’T make your profile picture your firm’s logo. While it is important to gain exposure for your firm, your profile picture isn’t the ideal place to do so. A profile picture should personalize you as an attorney. You can, however, put something like a logo as your cover photo so that it is the background to your profile image.

Logo

DON’T leave your image as the default, such as the signature Twitter egg. Doing this will not only look impersonal, but also come off like you didn’t care enough to put in the effort to change the photo.

Twitter egg

DO follow these guidelines for profile pictures:

Profile Picture

  • Crop the picture so it is an up-close, professional shot of your face.

  • Make sure it is well-lit and that you’re looking directly at the camera.
  • Smile! This can showcase how personable you are and also be inviting to the people who see it.
  • Don’t have anything directly behind you; it is ideal to have professional head shots in front of a green screen.
  • Your profile picture needs to be large enough that it can be recognized without actually having to click on the image. Be mindful of general size requirements across social media networks.

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A 10-Point Health Check for Your Law Firm Marketing

The Rainmaker Institute

A legal news aggregation website called LawFuel.com recently ran a post with a 10-point checklist of how law firms can gauge the health (and effectiveness) of their legal marketing programs.

Here’s the list — how are you performing?

1.  Does your firm encourage cross-selling among attorneys?  If you have multiple practice areas and lawyers who specialize in each area, then those lawyers should be cross-selling your services.  Make sure all your attorneys understand your total offerings.

2.  Is your staff involved in marketing?  Your legal marketing efforts should touch every member of your staff, who are your ambassadors to pass along your expertise to their contacts.

3.  Do you have a program for keeping in touch with former clients?  This is a no-brainer.  Add them all to your monthly e-newsletter list and establish a system for sending out keep-in-touch emails that doesn’t require any babysitting from busy lawyers.

4.  Are all your lawyers engaged in business development?  If not, implement a training program on your marketing messaging and encourage them to get out and network.

5.  Is your website current?  An out-of-date website tells prospects that your firm is out of date.

6.  Is anyone managing your online reputation?  Reputation management is critical for law firms.  You should have this task assigned to someone (internal or external) who regularly conducts online searches for your firm name and attorney names. If something bad pops up, you should have a process for dealing with it effectively.

7.  Are all your attorney bios up to date online?  Every attorney should have a complete and current bio with a professional photos on LinkedIn, Avvo, Martindale, etc.

8.  Do you have a blog?  A blog is one of the best ways for you to market to your niche, highlighting your practice areas and pumping out fresh content that showcases your expertise in each.

9.  Are you providing added value to clients?  Providing clients with value above and beyond what they are paying for will keep them coming back.

10. Are you micro-managing the client experience?  Do clients have to wait when they show up for an appointment?  Are you offering them something to drink and making them feel at home?  If not, you need to take another look at how your firm treats clients because they are measuring you not just against other law firms but against every service provider they know.  And if they don’t like the fit, they won’t be back.

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