Craig Penney, a Toronto criminal lawyer, has a very enviable website presence. “I actually had another criminal lawyer once tell me in an email: I really like his site and you should see how effectively he pops up in Google searches without sponsorship. He is my web hero.
Strong words from a colleague hoping to mimic his online presence.
I had an opportunity to chat with Mr. Penney the other day and I asked him a few questions about his website, his approach, and why he thinks it has been so successful. This is what he shared with me:
I realized very quickly that, for potential clients, hiring a criminal lawyer is a very personal decision. Potential clients needed to know not only how I could help, but “who” I was. Before the web, that information had to be conveyed either on the phone or in person.The web changed all that.
Mr. Penney’s website does not specifically educate people about the law. It was purposely designed to introduce himself to his potential client and allow them to get a feel for who he is as a person and as a lawyer. Clients can spend as much time as they want reading about Mr. Penney and his cases, in order to assist them in making an informed decision about whether to hire him or not.
He attributes his website’s success to the site’s ability to allow potential clients to get a real feel for who he is as a person and lawyer.
His advice to lawyers who ask him about creating a website Start, he says, by realizing that clients want to know who you are, and then ask yourself the following:
- What kind of person are you?
- What kind of lawyer are you?
- How can I best convey that information in a website?
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