Marketing legal services: And now, for something completely different

Differentiating yourself from other lawyers in your niche market or community is an ongoing challenge. How are you different or better? Why should anyone hire you instead?

I provided many ways to address this in The Attorney Marketing Formula, but today, I want to give you an idea that very few attorneys have ever used. As used to be said on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, “And now, for something completely different. . .”:

Gift certificates.

And why not? They work in retail. I’m sitting here looking at an Amazon gift card I got for Christmas that’s I’m itching to use. Why not utilize the same concept for marketing legal services?

You’re an estate planner. You create a gift certificate or card for the preparation of A/B Living Trusts, or a gift card for a $2500 estate planning package, or a $500 gift card that can be used towards any of your services.

You’re an immigration attorney. You create a gift card so family members can help their loved ones get here, or get legal.

You’re a family law attorney. You create a pre-paid divorce card fathers can give to their daughters as a wedding gift. (Don’t laugh. You’d sell a boatload of these in Hollywood.)

Anyway, you get the idea.

If you’re the only lawyer (or the first lawyer) to offer gift certificates or gift cards, people will notice. And write about you. And pay you money.

But it almost doesn’t matter if anyone buys one. You’ll get some great publicity and have something to promote in your newsletter, blog, speaking, or advertising.

Yes, I know there are some thorny ethical issues to contend with. But you’re a lawyer. You’ll figure it out.

Put on your thinking cap transactional attorneys. Small business attorneys, IP attorneys, this is a natural for you.

If you aren’t able to do something like this, there is something you can do instead. Find an attorney who can do this and promote his or her gift cards to your clients and contacts. What do you get out of it? No, not a piece of the action, although that’s not necessarily out of the question. You get a very happy fellow lawyer who will undoubtedly be inclined to reciprocate by recommending your services to their clients. Even though you don’t offer gift certificates.

For more traditional ways to differentiate yourself, get “The Formula”