Increasingly, many lawyers and prominent legal bloggers have noted that law firm websites rarely bring lawyers new business and don’t significantly increase a lawyer’s professional reputation. Kevin O’Keefe of the well respected site, Real Lawyers Have Blogs, stated: “The future of the net is not websites and traditional SEO. It’s networking through the various mediums now at a lawyers disposal. Mediums uniquely suited for business development because they focus on networking to build relationships and a strong word of mouth reputation.” Instead, tech savvy lawyers like O’Keefe argue (as I’ve also suggested here) that smart lawyers are wise to invest their money and time managing blogs, networking through LinkedIn, and otherwise using the many social media tools available to them including Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Nonetheless, few attorneys would argue that you shouldn’t have a website at all. In fact, eventually, you’ll probably want a nice website and you’ll likely want one designed by a professional developer. But in the short term you may find that your time and resources are better spent on other projects. If you are a new practice or newly solo attorney, you may want to consider building your site on a shoestring budget and with as little investment of your time as possible. Thankfully sites like http://flavors.me and https://about.me make that process simple, quick, and cost-effective.
Personally, I use Flavors.Me as the landing page for my site. I use that page in tandem with my About.Me page. Instead of a traditional “bio” page I link directly to my About.Me profile. If you work in an office with multiple attorneys, you could follow this same setup by linking from the office’s Flavors.Me landing page to a unique About.Me profile for every attorney in your practice. Without a doubt this won’t be the slickest law firm website on the web, but it will offer a more intuitive user interface and a more attractive design than many other law firms’ websites.
Setting up your site through Flavors.Me is very easy. Start by signing up for an account. The best law firm websites are simple, clean, and easy to navigate. They deliver the firm’s slogan or central message immediately. This is very easy to do with a Flavors.Me page. On the right you’ll find the dashboard for creating your site with five major headings: About, Content, Design, Mobile and Promote. Let’s start with writing out the basics on our About page. Under “Name” put the name of your practice: “The Awesome Law Office of John Doe.” Under “About” draft the central message you want to present to potential clients. Next you can create a link on the page to your About.Me page if you have one.
Under the heading for Content you can manage which services you’d like to appear as links to in your header/footer such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and any blogs you are affiliated with. Under the heading for Design you’ll find options that allow you to manage the look of your site by selecting a layout, uploading a background image, selecting a font for text on your page, and choosing a color palette. Under the heading for Mobile you can setup the view of your site on mobile devices such as iPads, Droids, iPhones, etc. Meanwhile, the Promote heading provides tools for sharing your page online.
In the upper right corner you’ll see a button that says “Account” which provides a drop-down button to “Settings.” Clicking that button will take you to your settings page where, amongst other things, you can purchase for $20 a custom domain through Flavors.Me for your page (so that your url appears as “www.theawesomelawofficeofjohndoe.com” instead of as “flavors.me/theawesomelawofficeofjohndoe”). There are cheaper options (I purchased mine through Google for example), but they remove the hassle usually associated with the process of setting up and associating the domain.
Similarly, creating an account on About.Me is simple. Sign up and then immediately start building you site. Creating a page is extremely straightforward. You can start by uploading a background image/profile picture for your page. The image can be centered, tiled or scaled. Then you fill-in your profile with your name, a bio, and up to 10 relevant tags such as “entertainment lawyer” and “attorney”. Next you can add buttons to your page for the services and websites you use such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. It’s that easy.
Now that you’ve set up your website in probably only about one hour, you can focus on the more important aspects of your practice such as networking, reputation building, oh, and actually practicing law.