Recently one of the readers of this blog posted a comment about Grant Griffiths, a lawyer in Kansas who has abandoned advertising altogether in favor of writing his blog (thanks Whitney). See the article at Kansas Family & Divorce Lawyer. This is a great article for anyone who sells their knowledge, skill or expertise, because this attorney credits his blog for giving him a number one Google ranking under the keyword, "Kansas family law."
One of the reasons I tend to harp on the flaws I see in law firm advertising in this blog is because I used to practice law. As both a former private practice attorney and a copywriter, I can say that law firms have the worst marketing of any industry or profession I know of.
Whether you are looking at ads placed in the Wall Street Journal by 700 lawyer "blue chip" firms or the Yellow Page ads placed by small main street firms, the ads are almost always dismal. I swear these people wouldn't know a benefit if it came up and bit them on the nose.
And they all follow the same format: "we are a trusted name in admiralty law," "we can get you money if you are hurt in an automobile accident," "we handle cases in elder law, personal injury, corporate law, mergers and aquisitions, DUI defense, etc."
The ads are either empty boasts or laundry lists of the areas of law they practice. (And by the way, you probably won't find the same firm practicing admiralty law, mergers and aquisitions and DUI defense).
So how CAN a law firm market itself effectively without diminishing its professionalism? Easy, write and give out free information pieces.
If you are a lawyer start saving all the memos and briefs you write. Also save your research notes and cases you find interesting as you prepare for court. With few exceptions, these materials can be rewritten for lay audiences and turned into white papers, tip sheets, brochures, articles for your website, or articles you can submit to trade magazines, etc.
You can also start a blog like our friend in Kansas. Write two to three paragraphs a day on your field of practice and in not too many months your site will have a very high number of visitors every day.
Frankly, I would like to see the day when I do at least two-thirds of my copywriting work for law firms. I know from personal experience that it is a wonderful profession when you are working with clients you like and doing the kind of work you believe in. But it is an extremely stressful way to make a living if you have to accept unpleasant clients or take on unpleasant cases just to keep the doors open.
COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown