A few months ago, I arranged a lunch meeting with another attorney whose office was close to mine and whose practice area complemented mine. I had researched her on the Internet and was impressed with her resume and her “look.” When we met at lunch, I thought I had researched the wrong person. The woman sitting in front of me was not who I remembered on the website at all. Once we finished our lunch, I immediately went back to the office and checked the website. It was definitely her, about 15 years before.
That made me think: “What perception are we giving to the public that is not accurate about our law firms?” What image are we projecting that is not an accurate reflection of us? Is the client sitting in a meeting distracted about how different I look from my website instead of listening to all the legal wisdom I have to share? Are clients wondering why I haven’t taken the time or spent the money to update my materials? If I haven’t updated my own picture, what other archaic processes or forms am I using to draft their estate plans? Do I keep current on the latest veterans benefits and Medicaid laws?
We teach our estate planning clients that they should review and update their documents and plan every three to five years to keep them fresh. Life events warrant changes. Why would we be any different from our clients?
This realization upset me greatly, because I absolutely love the professional picture I have on my website, brochures, and video streaming in my office lobby. However, I must admit that I have begun hearing prospective clients say that I “look much better in person.” From what I gather, they like my longer hair. It softens my hard lines (and hides my big ears). When I look in the mirror, all I see is an aging advocate. I no longer get the comments “you look much younger than I expected.”
Although my eyes do not look as “fresh” as I’d like them to, I am looking through a different lens with a fresh perspective of the image we are giving to our clients. It is my renewed goal to update our presence, starting with getting all new professional pictures. What can you do to spruce up your image or bring your current self into congruency?
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Victoria L. Collier, Co-Founder, Lawyers with Purpose, LLC, Certified Elder Law Attorney through the National Elder Law Foundation; Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; Founder and Managing Attorney of The Elder & Disability Law Firm of Victoria L. Collier, PC, www.ElderLawGeorgia.com; Co-Founder of Veterans Advocates Group of America; Entrepreneur; Author; and nationally renowned Presenter.