Now that you’ve dabbled in gathering and sharing content, it’s time to make a few web sites that are focused on you and your law firm. Let’s explore some services that let you create professional profiles. These services do tend to limit you in terms of how you can lay out the pages, as they are designed to simply present a quick briefing on your biography. If you feel limited by what you can make with these sites, the next lesson will show you sites with more freedom to design. However, you may feel that all you want from your web site is a nice brochure-type description of yourself and your services. There’s no shame in being satisfied with a clean and minimal calling card.
LinkedIn is an established site for creating a comprehensive online resume, and a few sites like Avvo cater to being a LinkedIn for the legal community. You certainly should explore their offerings, and in particular LinkedIn has great discussion groups geared for the legal community. But there are also many alternatives that will potentially give you an even nicer-looking presentation.
Let’s take the attorney Venkat Balasubramani as an example. His LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/in/vbalasubramani thoroughly documents his background but in a rather plain way. Now check out https://about.me/balasubramani to see the profile he created at https://about.me. Here he has a big slick portrait in a brighter looking internet business card. And they actually let you pick a web site address that isn’t all random numbers and letters. Yay!
At http://zerply.com/sarah-saull/ there is plenty of white space, as the Zerply service doesn’t cramp the profile with lots of ads, so the focus stays on the lawyer. The beauty of these alternate sites is that they let you add in your personal style in different ways. You can make several of these sites with several different services and give out different web site addresses as you see fit.
In our first lesson, we played around with websites that were essentially notes you created and dragged around on virtual boards. Now you can see how this concept can be utilized to make a law student’s resume that’s a breeze to browse at the service http://tyba.com. Check out Bianca DiBella’s page at http://tyba.com/biancadibella/ and you’ll find all sorts of little factoid modules giving you an easy-to-digest glimpse of who she is. Like the other services, Tyba.com has its own neat visual effects. If you click on any of the navigation buttons on Bianca’s page, watch how the modules move around so that only the modules you are interested in remain on the page.
As you’ve now seen, these profile-building sites all have unique features you can utilize to your personal preferences. Maybe it’s more important to you to be able to add an e-mail form as you can on a Strikingly site, or maybe you want to upload videos or Powerpoint presentations to your profile as you can with Tyba modules. You’ll soon learn whether you want your side-sites to be more of a business card, a mini-biography, an infographic, a resume, or a note board. Or again, if you can’t decide, make one of each and use them as you please!
Now that you’ve given the World Wide Web a little tease into who you are as a professional, it’s time to unleash more of your creative and literary longings. In the next section, we will take advantage of site builders that bring you even closer to being ready to make your main web site. These services will grant you more license to make your own designs and add meatier text, while still keeping you in a framework that doesn’t let your site crash with error messages.