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Bio Photos: Should You Smile?
RICHARD JACOBS ATTORNEY MARKETING SPECIALIST
in the first place) is because they feel intimidated by you.
As you probably know, your bio photo is an important part of the marketing puzzle. It’s what makes potentials feel safe about calling you. However, there’s a debate right now among legal marketers. Should an attorney smile and look friendly, or should you have a neutral expression that conveys professional competence? It’s a good question, and there are merits to both sides. We all know that professionals who smile are perceived as being warmer, friendlier, and more available than professionals who don’t. On the other hand, it’s also well-known that professionals who do not smile are generally perceived as being more trustworthy and more competent.
They are literally afraid to pick up the phone.
We’ve found, time and time again, that if you replace your bio photo with one where you look open and friendly, you’ll get more phone calls and fewer cancellations. The effect is even more pronounced if you put up a video. Why is that? I found some interesting science that offers an explanation. According to research by the University of Colorado, if we first meet someone and judge them as being competent, we unconsciously judge them as being cold and unavailable. This makes it hard for us to trust them. When making a first impression, you need to establish trust before you convey your competence. Trust must come first. Counterintuitively, the best way to inspire trust is to first appear friendly. Show your competence only after you’ve built some rapport.
Both of these rules apply to lawyers, too. So, here’s the key question.
Is it better (from the point of view of getting potentials to pick up the phone and talk to you about working together) for you to look trustworthy and competent?
By the way, this insight I’ve shared with you today is powerful, but it’s just one of several that I shared in a podcast I published a while back called “What Goes Through the Mind of Potential Clients.”
Use this information wisely.
Or, is it better to look warm, friendly, and available?
I recommend you take eight minutes to listen to the other insights here:
It can dramatically decrease the percentage of new potentials who get cold feet or go ghost on you.
Well, here’s what our marketing tests have proven:
It can get more potentials into your office.
The No. 1 reason why potentials go cold (and either don’t show for an appointment or don’t schedule one
– Richard Jacobs
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