Who wouldn’t want to hear these words? "You had me at hello!"

Did I get your attention? OK, what does this have to do with business development? I’ll tell you.

When it comes to producing content, lawyers are pretty good at it… but aesthetics and design is a different story. Remember that the first impression is the hook… How seductive is your content? Will it pull your reader in at first glance? Is it visually intriguing as well as verbally intriguing? We are in an era of information overload, so what can make yours standout?  And shouting (everything in large bold type) isn’t usually the answer. Here are five things to keep in mind so you can have them at hello!

1. Become skillful at using bold and italics. Use them to guide the reader through your article, blog or proposal.

2. I know it may be hard for you to believe, but EVERY word of your content may not be important to your reader. So, try to figure out what might be and pull it out as a "pull quote" or a larger font.

3. Most people skim articles, blogs, proposals, etc. So, provide a few jewels that will slow them down… photos, a graphic element, colored type or large type.

4. A sea of type is just that… a sea of type, and lacks enticement. Find ways to break it up into quickly digestible chunks.

5. Make sure the length is appropriate. A quick read is always the best option! Who has time to read War and Peace? If you have a lot to say, divide it into several blog posts, articles or even books. Remember that it’s always better to keep them coming back for more!

Aesthetics and design is the hook, it creates the first impression. Make it so enticing that they want to read every word you have written. And they tell their friends… and their friends, tell their friends.

Black Pearls: Here are three books that can help you develop a sharp aesthetic eye. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo and Typography for Lawyers by Matthew Butterick. Have fun!