Five Elements of a Lawyer’s Marketing Message
There are many misconceptions out there about a lawyer’s marketing message. The websites and literature I see from lawyers constantly touts the experience of the attorney and his credentials. These things are important but a prospective client will not invest much time or attention in consuming this information if he doesn’t believe you understand his problem.
That’s the real issue. The old adage: First seek to understand then seek to be understood, holds true for lawyer marketing.
This is the thing that most people mess up when it comes to really good marketing. Your message has to be centered in the mind of your client. It has to be all about them. When you create a marketing message it has to absolutely resonate with the people who are listening to you.
What should be included in a good marketing message? There are five elements.
The first element is personal identification. Who are you and why should he listen to you? He must know who you are and why you are communicating with him, before he will open his mind to anything else. Demonstrate empathy for his situation. Use language that resonates. Enter the conversation taking place around his dinner table. Speak to him (metaphorically if you are communicating in writing) in the language going through his mind as he lies awake thinking about his situation.
The second element included in your marketing message is what you do. What is the end result that you’re going to achieve for your client? Demonstrate past success by pointing to actual results. Your prospective client is not interested in academic theory. Show him what is possible based upon what has been done by you for others.
The third element is the reason why people need you. A need is something rational. People need food. They need clothing. But nobody needs truffles, nobody needs designer clothing.
Although people should focus on their needs, they make decisions based upon what they want. Your role is to help them want what they need. This is the difference between emotion and rational thought.
Think about a patient visiting a doctor. When the patient comes to the doctor with a stomachache it could be one of two things, let’s say. It could be a virus or it could be appendicitis. They have to want to go to the doctor to find out which it is. So you have to educate them to want what they need.
People want to address their symptoms because the symptoms are causing them pain. They don’t necessarily care about the underlying disease. They just want the pain to go away. Address the pain.
The fourth element has two aspects to it. When and where they can engage you.
Aspect one: When can/should they hire you? Can they call you at 4:00 in the morning? What type of matter makes sense for you to review? Don’t just make this instructive; make it a call to action. Tell them what the next step is in the process.
Aspect two: Where should they engage you? Do they have to come to your office? Can they come and see you on a street corner? Should they call you to get a copy of a free report (used in the early stages of lawyers marketing as a lead generation tool)?
The fifth element of the message is your difference or your competitive advantage. Your prospective client or referral source must understand how you are different from everyone else who does what you do. This is the thing that most people leave out when it comes to a really powerful marketing message.
They way to think about creating a powerful competitive advantage is to imagine all your competitors lined up with you in a perfectly straight line. Now imagine all of them in grey pants and a grey shirt. Now you enter the line in bright red pants and a bright red shirt. Where is the client’s eye naturally drawn?
The professional way to demonstrate this type of stark competitive advantage is to find something about your service offering that is truly unique. Have you written a book on a specific topic in your area of law? Do you have experience in an area that only five people in the world have ever addressed? Do you have a proprietary system that everyone else envies?
Your competitive advantage is critical to the success of your marketing message.
The elements of a really powerful marketing message, again, who you are, what you do, why people need you, you’ve got get them to want what they need when and where they can engage you, and how you are different. Each of these elements is critically important and you have to include them all.
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