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Courtroom or boardroom, most lawyers know that when confronted with a wall of words an audience is more likely to nod off than to receive and retain information. Online, it’s no different — and that’s one reason infographics have become so popular. Kerstin Firmin has lots of good ideas for turning your packs of facts into infographics that engage, educate and (oh, yes!) entertain.
1. Infographics to introduce yourself. Attorney bios are among the most frequently visited pages on law firm websites. Unfortunately, many are stuffy and text-heavy, full of jargon and lists of accomplishments dating back to the last millennium. An easy way to spruce up your online image and make that bio more engaging is to turn your resume into an infographic. VizualizeMe is a free online tool that will do it in minutes. Simply log on to Vizualize.me with your LinkedIn credentials and the site does the rest. You can then edit, share and even export your visual resume to dress up your online bio. Examples:
2. Infographics for branding and business development. Make your practice stand out. Traditional marketing messages easily get lost in the information stream. Infographics, on the other hand, are high-fructose eye candy: engaging, accessible and sharable. An infographic is a great advocate for your brand when used to show off your practice areas or firm statistics. There are many free and low-cost tools online to help you create infographics, including Piktochart, Easelly and Visually. HubSpot also offers free templates that can be customized in PowerPoint. Examples:
3. Infographics to educate clients and prospects. Infographics can help people quickly grasp complex concepts and processes. Visuals are less intimidating than pages of dense text and even help increase information retention. In the legal context, infographics can help explain processes, dispel myths, prepare clients for consultations or simply entertain.
You don’t have to be a designer to use your own collection of infographics. With countless legal infographics on the Web, lawyers are embracing Pinterest to curate interesting law-related infographics. And since Pinterest is one of the top sources of referred traffic on the Web, combining your own infographics with Pinterest is a great way to get people to your website and boost your search engine rankings. Examples:
4. Infographics to share your knowledge. You’ve learned to upload your presentation slides to Slideshare and add published articles to your LinkedIn profile. Now, take the next step and share your expertise with infographics. Examples:
5. Infographics to promote your pro bono work. Build goodwill and promote your volunteer and pro bono efforts in the community. It’s a win-win for the causes you support and your practice. Examples:
If online tools and resources for creating infographics are not for you, consider hiring a designer to do some for you. Since infographics can boost your Web traffic and amplify your reach, the cost may well be worth it. Two studies on the ROI of infographics show incredible results. One demonstrated a website traffic increase of over 400 percent, the other showed an eight-fold increase in retweets, just to highlight two findings. A good place to start looking for a designer is AIGA, the professional association for designers.
Kerstin Firmin is Creative Manager for The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF). As part of BASF’s communication team, her responsibilities include design of San Francisco Attorney magazine and the recently launched blog Legal by the Bay. With a background in fine arts and communication technology, her strengths include visual and data-driven communication.
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