The Most Common Mistake Made With Legal Marketing

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Legal Marketing MistakeThis week I gave a legal marketing talk to a group of lawyers in Miami, Florida.  At the end of that talk I was asked a familiar question.  A young attorney stood up and asked:

“What is the most common mistake made with legal marketing?”

My answer surprised many of the attorneys in attendance.

The biggest mistake made in legal marketing today is talking/writing about things that are important to you, the lawyer rather than talking/writing about things that are important to the client.

To find examples of this, you need only look at the websites of the lawyers you know.

Just about every law firm website talks about how the “aggressive” lawyers handle “complex” issues and have a “combined hundreds of years of experience.”

Why is this bad?

It’s bad because clients searching for legal help have one thing on their mind:  Their problem.

Clients want to know you understand their situation.  They want to know how bad their situation is.  They want to know there is a potential solution. And they want to know how to take the first step toward resolving the problem.

Think about that.

If you went to the doctor with a bone protruding from your leg and the doctor said:

“My nurse and I have a combined 60 years of experience handling these issues.  We know how to set broken legs.  We know how to stop bleeding and we’ve done it successfully 99% of the time.  We set legs more aggressively than any of the other doctors in town.  I went to Harvard medical school and graduated at the top of my class in leg setting.  Here is a photo of me standing in front of a big building where I have set dozens of legs.”

That’s crazy.  When you break your leg, you go to the doctor and he assesses your situation and prescribes a remedy immediately.  His entire focus is on you and your issue.

When looking for a lawyer, the client wants to be understood and then he will invest his time in learning about you. This is a delicate balance but great legal marketing strikes that balance.

Here are the three things you must include when you are crafting your marketing message.

Education

The client first seeks to understand the depth of his situation.  Your marketing material should help the client gather information about his problem and possible solutions.  Next, you should help the client understand the criteria for selecting an expert who can help.  Finally, you should help him outline a step-by-step process for getting help.

Motivation

Moving the client to action is sometimes difficult.  You marketing message must convey the serious nature of the issue and yet provide some hope for a positive resolution.  This is a delicate balance since you can never promise a positive outcome.

The best way to address this aspect of your legal marketing is to present case studies from actual client situations. Real life scenarios and real life solutions bring things into focus for everyone.

Differentiation

The final aspect of your legal marketing message is differentiating you from everyone else who does what you do.  This is the section of the message where you can include everything about you and your firm.  However you must be judicious in your inclusion of information.  You should only include relevant information that helps the client make his decision.

This is a simple formula to follow but the key component is thinking like the client.  You must construct your legal marketing with that in mind.  Clients focus on their needs first and messages that resonate with them are developed with substance and language that takes their perspective into account.

Stand in the shoes of the client, walk his path, then create your marketing message.