Through the Looking Glass – Putting Our New Website Through the Mirror Test

It was at our June 2012 Drink ‘n Think that Rob MacDonald soured me on our website. Up to that point, I had received nothing but compliments. We had devoted a good bit of effort to it and it was much more than your standard law firm brochure-ware. It was robust, featured videos, and was integrated with our blog and social media. Rob told me it was wrong.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Rob didn’t set out to criticize our web site. He didn’t even mention it in his presentation. But when I listened to him, I knew two things for sure: He was right, and I was wrong.

Rob’s point was that a company’s website should be “like a mirror” in that your best clients and prospects should be able to look at it and see themselves. Too many sites, he said, start with the word “I” or “we” when the focus should really be on them – the customer.

As people tend to do with good, but tough to implement advice, I put it in the back of my mind and turned my attention to more immediate concerns.

The problem was that I couldn’t get Rob’s advice out of my head. I found myself thinking about it on the ride home or while walking the dog. “How,” I wondered “can you create a site without first highlighting who we are or what we do?” His advice made sense, but I could not figure out how to implement it – until now

We had two goals:

  1. Pass Rob MacDonald’s mirror test; and,
  2. Attract more of our best kind of clients – those for whom we do our best work and with whom we really enjoy working.

We wanted to make the site self-filtering, so when someone calls us after seeing it, we’re more likely to be a fit.

We know that people visit our site (or frankly any other) to find the answer to one question: Are they the right firm for me? Everything else – where our lawyers went to school, what we think about X, whether we have a blog, and what we say about ourselves – is secondary at best. If we pass Rob MacDonald’s mirror test, even first-time visitors to our site will either see themselves immediately or they won’t. Either way, the site would have done its job.

A few days ago, we launched our new website (the site you are on now). It was the product of Rob MacDonald’s inspiration, Joe Natoli’s (I think inspired) design, and the help of quite a few clients who took their time to help us make it work. Like any new site, it still needs a few fixes and tweaks, but those will come with time. For now, I’d like to know what you think.

How’d we do?

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