Web copy for international law firms

The number of foreigners of western origin living in The Netherlands, for work or personal life choices has multiplied in recent years reaching more than 1.3M people.

We all know that many of these Expats don’t speak fluent Dutch due to the fact that Nederlanders speak very good English and due to the, in most cases, temporary nature of their stay in Holland.

At some point in their lives all these people are going to need a lawyer and that’s where your firm has to stand out from the rest.

Today, law firms that offer services to foreign clients have multiplied exponentially because there is obviously a great market opportunity.

However, I was surprised by the conversation I had the other day with Paolo, an Italian friend who has been living in The Hague for 5 years.

He told me that it had been very difficult for him to find a lawyer to ensure that the purchase of the premises for his business was carried out in a satisfactory manner.

He had reviewed some law firm’s websites recommended by acquaintances but didn’t trust any of them.

The texts were badly translated into English, some of them had even used automatic translators so the text often didn’t make any sense.

Paolo told me, if the texts on their site are not well written in English, how can I trust that the communication with them will be fluent?

When he finally came across some websites that were well written in English, he found himself with the same problem. This time he understood the language in which they were written but not the message.

They used a language used in jurisprudence that Paolo didn’t understand and spent a lot of time trying to find the meaning of some concepts.

He finally decided on a firm that had many testimonials from foreign clients and in the end, was quite happy with the service.

Have you drawn a conclusion from this story?

Exactly.

If you want to get foreign clients, and not just rely on word-of-mouth, you have to work a lot on the texts on your website.

And this is where Copywriting comes in.

Copywriting is a marketing technique used to write texts in order to persuade the reader to perform an action, whether that is buying a product or contacting a company.

How can you apply Copywriting to the texts of your law firm website?

Let’s imagine that Paolo lands on your website looking for a lawyer to help him with the purchase of a commercial property.

If your website would have had these elements, Paolo would have most likely contacted you right away and wouldn’t have wasted so much time searching.

Let’s take it one step at a time.

The text is in English

This first element is obvious, if Paolo speaks very little Dutch, he will need a lawyer who speaks English. And he’ll only trust that lawyer to speak English if the page is well written in English.

And when I say well written I mean that it isn’t translated by Google, but by a qualified translator.

Or even better, that the text is not a literal translation from Dutch, but has been written directly in English by someone who obviously speaks the language.

How_write_sales_copy

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The text speaks straight to the client

Paolo lands on your site and is very happy because it is written in correct English.

Then he reads on and feels that you’re talking to him because you use expressions like “Do you need help buying a business?” “Your Dutch isn’t very good and you need a reliable person to act as an intermediary and who knows the Dutch laws?”

Paolo will continue reading carefully because the text is speaking directly to him and it’s talking about his situation.

Paolo feels that you understand him and that you empathize with his problem by using expressions like “reliable person” because that’s what he’s worried about right now.

He doesn’t trust the seller because he doesn’t understand him well, because he is in a country that is not his own where it’s difficult for him to understand the language and even more so the laws and customs.

He wants to trust someone who can help him in this process so that he can sleep peacefully at night.

And that person is you. So, you have to tell him so clearly.

But you don’t know Paolo, so before writing your texts you have to research your clients’ profile.

What kind of services do you offer? Commercial contracts, inheritances, unpaid bills, divorces.

Each service has a different client profile so you have to adapt your message to that profile and their needs.

If Paolo instead of looking for a lawyer to buy a property was looking to divorce his wife the type of message would be very different.

divorce-lawyer

You would say things like:

“Going through a divorce is hard enough without also worrying about your future financial situation and the terms of your relationship with your children.

You don’t have to worry anymore. In X abogados we will work hard to get the best possible settlement so that you can dedicate time to your children, who are the ones who really need you.

Let us take care of your happiness.”

With this message you are empathizing with Paolo and the problems he has right now and why he needs the help of a lawyer.

Let’s see another example to illustrate this point.

This is a real text from a law firm website:

This text is meaningless.

It doesn’t explain how your firm is going to help Paolo with his problem.

He really doesn’t care if “your group works independently as opposed to being a support function to the firm’s other practice groups”

What does that mean anyways!

Paolo wants to know how you will help him with the problem that is causing him a permanent stomach-ache.

He wants to read things like:

“You want good, watertight contracts.

You want to know what director’s liability entails and what to do in cases of commercial or corporate legal disputes.

X lawyers would be pleased to help you in these. We represent your interests before any jurisdiction or administrative or arbitral instance over any type of contractual litigation.

For example, in the case of disagreements related to the scope, interpretation, integration or ineffectiveness of a civil or commercial contract”.

Don’t write to inflate your law firm reputation but as if you were speaking straight to the client who doesn’t understand much about regulations and law practices.

The text conveys trust

Trust is very important when hiring a lawyer.

After all, the client is leaving his financial and personal peace of mind in your hands.

So it’s very important that your texts convey that confidence.

For this you have to very clearly explain how you can help Paolo to solve his problem.

For example in the case above, the purchase of a commercial premises, you can explain the procedure step by step.

The first thing we do is to verify the property in the register, review the purchase contract, check the size and commercial use of the premises, etc..

You have to explain how you are going to help him with words that everyone understands.

I know that if your office offers a lot of services, you can’t go into all of them in too much detail, but it is advisable to cite examples of those procedures that are more common.

Don’t think about your reputation, but about the client’s problem and how you are going to solve it.

Instead of using hackneyed expressions like “More than 20 years of experience” talk about success stories.

And this brings us to the next element.

Testimonials

There is no better way to inspire trust than to read real testimonials from other people who have been in the same situation and have obtained a satisfactory result thanks to your services.

Testimonials are always recommended but in the case of law firms they are even more so for obvious reasons.

Remember, Paolo needs to trust you.

I strongly recommend having a page dedicated to success stories.

You can of course keep the anonymity of the clients but always be honest in what you say.

Explain the problem of that client and how you solved it in simple terms.

Don’t exaggerate the achievements, just explain what happened in the process and why it’s a success case.

Sometimes talking about how hard it was to win a trial also helps the client believe in your words and therefore trust you even more.

The text is clear and does not use complex terminology

Many law firms make the mistake of quoting every two sentences complicated regulations and laws that the average person doesn’t understand.

Paolo presupposes that if you practice law you know the codes and you don’t need to quote them because they don’t help him understand but they confuse him even more.

In the end, the work of the lawyer is to resolve conflicts between people or entities, the client has a problem, usually is very worried and needs someone to say “Do not worry, I will help you in this way to solve that problem that stops you from sleeping at night.

If the message is clear and inspires peace of mind you will have more opportunities for a client to trust you and contact you.

There is a clear call to action

Whenever you write a text, whether it’s an article or the text on your service page, add a clear, non-invasive call to action.

Make it easy for the client, if you’ve done a good job connecting emotionally with your client and clearly explaining how you’re going to help them solve their problem, you have to tell them how they can contact you.

Add a phone number or a form at the end of your text and encourage them to contact you without any obligation.

The most logical thing is that the client wants to talk to you first and know your rates, etc.

But if he contacts you, you’ll have a much better chance of convincing him that you’re the solution to his problems than if he doesn’t, won’t you?

So give him a way to contact you with a clear and direct message.

“Call us and we will listen to you. If you don’t like the solution we propose, you can say no without any hesitation.”

I personally don’t like web pages that have the so-called popup windows that reappear continuously with a phone number or with a chat to talk. They seem invasive to me, very often they are the cause of me leaving a page.

I recommend non-invasive calls to action.

If you’ve done a good job with your texts you don’t have to be tiresome.

Clients will come to you.

I hope these tips will help you to improve your website texts and start receiving more calls from clients.

If you think that putting these elements into practice will cost you a lot of time and you don’t think you can get good results you can contact me to help you.

Together we will turn your website into a clients’ attraction machine.

 

Featured photo : Michelle Davis CC BY 4.0

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