Consumer behaviour research has found that trust plays a significant role in the buying decision process. People are more likely to engage in business with someone they feel they can trust.
We all know the importance of your law firm website in attracting work and representing your law firm brand online.
In the offline business world, trust evolves as people interact in person. But in the online context, a prospective customer generally relies on the online experience as presented by the company’s website. A deeper emotional connection is formed when trusting relationships are forged before meeting in person, hence the importance of including staff photos on you law firm website as they play an instrumental role in laying the foundation for trusting relationships.
This is further supported by research conducted by Bright Local on the importance of staff images for small business websites. They concluded that more trust (46%) is inspired in customers by local businesses who display staff photos on their websites.
The Importance of Staff Photos on Your Law Firm Website
- Developing a trusting relationship with your customers online increases engagement, which leads to increased business
- Photos ‘humanise’ your website and allows the personality of your law practice to shine through
- Being able to connect a face to a name in advance of meeting in person strengthens a business relationship and sets the foundation for a more personal connection
Tips for Portraying Professional Staff Photos
- Staff photos shouldn’t be considered a beauty contest but rather a ‘splash of personality’ that brings your website to life. It’s not about how you look, but rather about who you are – having a face to a name
- Pay attention to the photos you select. Whilst it’s important to portray character, it’s just as important to remember that each staff member represents your law firm’s brand and thus each photo reflects your image. So, err on the side of professionalism rather than photos of a leisurely nature
- That said, stay away from the typical background of a bookcase full of law books or your law firm's name. Opt for a plain background that isn’t reflective
- Ensure a consistency in the style of each photo – if you choose to have a casual yet professional approach e.g. no tie and jacket, then every photo should adopt this style. Likewise, if you decide upon a corporate style, everyone should look professional. We highly recommend that the style you choose matches the tone of your law firm website. Also decide in advance if everyone will have a head and shoulder photo or a full-length photo
- If you have elected for professional photos to be taken, appoint a confident person who has an eye for detail, to check everyone’s neatness beforehand e.g. straight tie, neat hair, makeup etc. A valuable tip is to remind the team the day before the photo shoot, to prevent some arriving unprepared
- Try to avoid group photos as they can become dated very quickly, particularly as people come and go. However, if you do go ahead with a group photo it’s recommended to have everyone seated if there is a large variance in people’s heights
- It’s also a good idea to have both portrait and landscape shots taken, as portrait shots are good for your website, whilst a landscape orientation lends itself well to newsletters as they can be cropped if necessary
- Also consider getting multiple photos taken of each person so the ‘best of breed’ ones can be used
- And last but by no means least, smile! Everyone loves the warmth of a smile
Pictures speak a thousand words and add an emotional dimension to your law firm’s website. As a business that involves face to face customer interaction, the people behind your legal practice are the people your customers are ‘buying’. So, including staff photos on your website is of paramount importance in portraying your practices’ personality and in building trust and a professional relationship ahead of meeting your clients in person.
About the author
Peter Heazlewood is a management and marketing consultant, he specialises in helping law firms develop their practices using business planning marketing and performance reporting techniques refined in his own successful law firm. Peter lives in Sydney with his wife and is the father of five adult children.