Should you smile on your firm’s website?

A professional photographer is taking business headshots of a male lawyer. The attorney is smiling while getting their photo taken.

Today, websites are a primary source for new clients for most firms. Traditional marketing tactics, like yellow pages and billboards, aren't as profitable as they used to be, at least not on their own. More and more people are using the internet every year, and it is essential that your website puts you in the best position to get new clients.

Having the right imagery on your website is crucial to appeal to potential clients online. Images are processed faster than words, so they are your first impression to those visiting your site.

Check out our website design guide for other ways to attract legal clients online.

Although adding imagery to your firm's website may seem easy, pictures must have the right strategy behind them to be effective. When deciding to smile in your professional photos, it's important to understand why you should use this tactic, and how to successfully incorporate it into your law firm's website.

Why should you smile on your law firm website?

Clients are often intimidated by lawyers. Therefore, having only serious pictures on your website may turn away some clients. Legal clients are often in a difficult situation, and it may be that a serious photo keeps them from reaching out to you. A photo of a smiling attorney, however, may help them see that lawyer as friendly, approachable, and helpful. It could be the difference between a client picking up the phone or hitting the back button.

Additionally, photos make users more more likely to read your written content since they're engaging. To make sure potential clients are reading other important information on your law firm's website, include photos. Smiling within these pictures also carries over a welcoming tone to more serious areas of your site and can help clients feel reassured during a difficult time.

How to incorporate smiling in your website design

Smiling on your law firm's website is effective, but you need to do it right. Incorporating smiling tastefully will help online users know you're still reputable and trustworthy. Things to keep in mind when including these pictures of yourself are:

  • What are your firm values? Knowing your firm's values can help you connect them to the pose, background, and setting of the photo. For example, a nature background is fitting for an environmental lawyer.
  • Where are you including these pictures? With some topics and practice area pages, it may not be appropriate to smile. Instead, consider putting the smiling photo on your attorney bio page and use different images throughout the rest of your site.
  • Are you able to take professional photos without help? You may need to hire a photographer to get good-quality pictures. Additionally, providing details of the above points could help the photographer set the right tone for the photos.

Considering these factors when putting personal photos on your website will help prospective clients view your firm as approachable and professional. Smiling on your website the right way will also help your firm's website stand out from competitors. For other ways to improve your website design and attract online users, check out our guide for more information.

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