Among the many challenges that law firms have to deal with is, of course, growth. Lawyers spend millions of dollars on marketing every year in an effort to get new clients. From billboards, to television, radio, and the Internet, law firms are spending money to accomplish one thing – to build a bigger law firm.
Unfortunately, many firms spend their law firm marketing dollars on ad campaigns that look the same as every other attorney’s advertisements in their region. To quickly catch the eye of a new client you have to look different.
Think for a moment about products and services you buy. Think about the advertisements that you watch and read. If Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Infiniti said the same thing in their advertisements but simply had a different logo, what sort of impression would that make? This is the same impression prospective clients get when seeing the same words next to five different lawyer advertisements on the interstate.
Here are a few tips that should be applied to your online legal marketing as well as offline advertising efforts.
1) Develop a slogan – Since most law firms are named after a founder or group of partners, a slogan can be easier to remember than the law firm’s name. Avoid generic terms that “We only get paid when you win” or “Put a lawyer in your corner”. These are easily forgettable. Keep it short and make it memorable.
2) Connect your firm with the ultimate goal – Too often, law firms talk about the immediate goal and not the ultimate one. Personal injury lawyers talk about compensation. Family lawyers talk about a finalized divorce. Bankruptcy lawyers talk about getting out of debt. But this is the process, not the goal. After an injury or tragedy, the client wants to move on in their life with a solid financial foundation. An unhappy marriage needs to be dissolved so that the spouses can find happiness elsewhere without this draining relationship bringing them down. Debtors want to rebuild their credit, make new investments, learn from their failures, and start writing the next chapter of their lives. Sell your clients the life they want to have after you win their case.
3) Do not implement the successful campaigns of others – In our November issue of the Bigger Law Firm magazine, one of our columns talked about how law firms are often too eager to copy successful campaigns of other lawyers. This does not work. Imagine if Apple copied Microsoft’s software and Dell’s hardware? Or if Google designed their home page after the cluttered Yahoo! home page? Success does not come by copying a competitor, it comes by creating your own images and brand. You not only have to stand out from your competing lawyers, you have to stand above them with a memorable image that connects to client needs.
The last quarter of the year is the best time to start planning next year’s success story. In 2012, let us not only build a bigger law firm but a firm that dominates in your market.