Here is what 300-lawyer Winstead explains to website visitors, and it's why a buyer of legal services should take a look a them:
“Destination: Wherever you need to go” represents Winstead’s attitude, as well as the vastness of our experience and technical resources that clients rely on. Clients in virtually all industries bring their challenges to Winstead and they keep coming back deal after deal, case after case, year after year as their organizations grow and change.
Entrepreneurs love us, because we are fast, nimble and competitively priced. Corporate counsel depend on us because we have the sophistication, resourcefulness and deep know-how they need. From practice to practice, Winstead attorneys deliver a consistent client experience—the most responsive attorneys you’ll hire, attorneys who know how to get things done, and business-friendly rates and fee arrangements that are aligned with the goals of the engagement.
In Texas, coast to coast and around the globe, Winstead is with you.
I've known the firm a long time and have worked with them since 2007, and I know all this to be true.
The website strategy and theme (and really the underlying position of this law firm), "Destination: Wherever you need to go" is clear and elevating - for both the firm and its clients. It was the foundation for all decisions made for this new website - features and functionality, design and imagery.
The previous site launched quickly, less than six months after Chief Marketing Officer Allen Fuqua arrived at the firm in 2007. Content Pilot planned and developed that site, too, but the design was initially handled by another agency.
For the new website, Allen and his core website team, Rachel Guy, Marketing Communications Manager, and Skye Samples, Marketing Communications & Web Coordinator, spent months interviewing firm leaders and key lawyers, gathering data about desired goals, objectives, features and functionality, look and feel. Connecting with multiple decision-makers in advance of the formal planning process saved considerable time, and we had a strong foundation of the right kind of input that would ultimately inform strategy, our feature set and design.
The over-arching goal was to present Winstead as a successful super-regional firm, and, within that, support the firm's business development strategies. Fuqua says, "We identify targets, identify appropriate content for these targets and find the right distribution channels. But then you have to convert them. The website has to be a place where there are multiple relationship opportunities for a visitor. How can the website provide connections for more?
"The site has to provide both experience and comfort. Our home page accomplishes both."
We wanted the positioning to be evident from the get-go by featuring client stories/firm strengths from numerous vantage points: Houston and south Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth, central Texas (Austin/San Antonio), Charlotte, NC and Washington, DC. The home page rotating carousel features large format, saturated images and client case studies, some with video (both to humanize the visitor's experience and to tell more of the story).
Winstead wanted a visitor from North Carolina to feel as "at home" on the site as a visitor from Houston or Dallas. A first for a law firm website, we employed functionality called "localization," where visitors are presented with the following pop-up at the bottom of their screens:
Clicking "allow" will ensure that the image and client story that are delivered are geographically relevant to your location. Charlotte visitors first see this home page:
And Austin and San Antonio visitors see this:
The image ribbon below the gray bar enables visitors to view the other stories, and they will also rotate after a few seconds. This localization feature adds to the comfort quotient in a "Winstead knows where we live and work" way.
Allen questions, "What is the viewer looking for? – what is the next step for that individual? He or she could be wanting various levels of professional intimacy. That was our primary goal for this website... for it to become a relationship facilitator."
Sophisticated bio design is the best place to start. Allen continues, "Relationship facilitation is where we have the greatest internal opportunity – to present and package content in ways that will be consumed by these visitors. We have the same piece of content, and we have packaged it as a webinar, podcast, news article, video, headline and in social media." And they are all accessible on the lawyer bios.
Lawyer bios must answer the questions, "what have you done, for whom have you done it" and "why should I care?" That's a tall order and most of the thousands of lawyer bios on the Web fail to deliver. The buyer of legal services/lawyer relationship can begin right here. Then, providing multiple channels in which a visitor can explore and engage what's inside the lawyer's brain, is the next step.
Several lawyers have video bios like partner and Chair of the Turnaround & Workout Industry Group, Frasher Murphy. Allen's goal is for many more lawyers to jump in with video bios. There are currently ten on the site, but the number will soon grow.
To keep both the marketing/business development team and the lawyers focused, Allen created this Content Marketing continuum, showing the prominence of the website in the firm's business development strategy:
Winstead.com also features videos about clients, such as Southwest Airlines and the Love Field Modernization program, and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which visitors can access from the "noble cause" home page feature.
Many of the practice and industry descriptions were rewritten, with a focus on today's scanning reader and featuring client case studies. The energy law and energy litigation descriptions are excellent examples.
Getting buy-in from lawyers can be challenging - there is a launch deadline, the lawyers are busy and their review often signals a blizzard of requested alterations. In this case, the marketing team started with the Managing Shareholder and COO, then previewed it with the Board of Directors. The feedback was unanimously positive, so the team showed it to another 50 or so partners. The reviews were equally enthusiastic. By the time, Allen and his colleagues sent it to the rest of the firm for a two-week review, there was already a groundswell of support and excitement about launch. Allen said, "Showing it broadly to the firm was smart because lawyers uncovered typos and other tiny nitpicks that we wanted to fix. Lawyers weren't being critical - they were engaged and helpful."
Allen did roll-out presentations to staff, as well, ensuring that they understood the strategy behind it, and the team created an internal video alerting everyone it was "live." He states, "We didn't receive one negative comment about it. Not one."
He says, "At launch, the site is operating at 30-60% of its potential; meaning, the ability to be a relationship builder. We have barely scratched the surface of what this website can be for us. It has such great upside and capability. We know that most websites are static – content, etc. - none of it changes much. We can change the value we bring and the experience visitors will have with us in the lawyer bios, practice descriptions, and other pages of the site. We are fully committed to this."