A recent article highlighted an increase in lawyer advertising among personal injury firms in major markets in response to “a slowdown in legal services and increasing competition”. The latest trend among some advertisers are ads where lawyers attack their rivals.
The thrust of these ads is to point out the shortcomings of other firms in an attempt to scare prospective clients away from them and into the loving arms of the advertiser.
A marketing consultant noted the reason for the growth of this type of ad: “The law-firm category here is just so cluttered,” she says. “They’re all saying the same thing.”
But that’s always been true. Whether it’s a big firm advertising on TV or a solo lawyer with a simple website, lawyers have always had messages that “said the same thing”. But is “going negative” a viable option for differentiating yourself?
I don’t know but since most lawyers probably won’t do it, I’d rather talk about something every lawyer can do.
In The Attorney Marketing Formula, I showed you many ways to differentiate yourself from other lawyers. It’s actually not that difficult to stand out from the crowd and show prospective clients why they should choose you instead of any other lawyer. With a little bit of thought, you can show them why you’re different or better, without saying a word about any other lawyer, negative or otherwise.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to make yourself a part of the marketing message.
You are unique. You have a personality, a background, a story that is uniquely you. When you are the face of your firm, you will get noticed. Clients will choose you because they “know” you, even if what you do is essentially the same as other lawyers.
Put your face and your voice in your TV and radio ads. Put your photo and your words in your print ads. Talk about yourself on your website, on your “About” page and throughout your content. Write in the first person. Make yourself a part of the story.
Let prospective clients see you and get to know you, because it is you that they hire.
If you have partners or work for a firm, it’s no different. Market yourself, not your firm. Remember, nobody hands out your business card to a referral and says, “Call my law firm”. They say, “Call my lawyer,” and then talk about you.
Don’t ignore the firm. The firm’s capabilities, reputation, and resources all help. But at the end of the day, it’s you the client will speak to and hire. So show them who you are before you show them what you do.
More ways to differentiate yourself here