Over the last few years, the print media—including newspapers, books, and magazines—have been in a downward spiral, as people become accustomed to reading on their computers, tablets, and smartphones. Magazines have been especially hard-hit, either reducing their frequency of publication, switching to cheaper paper stock, or going out of business entirely.

However, there's one surefire way that at least some magazines can pull themselves out of the financial sinkhole. This is by putting together—or commissioning from a third party—paid “advertorials” that purport to list the best professionals in any given area. You can often see this with doctors, and it's increasingly common among lawyers, too. Practically every major city in America has two or three magazines that run features like “The Best 100 Lawyers” in the area, which are then used by the honorees to promote their legal practices.

Is this legitimate? Well, you may be surprised to learn that your inclusion in a “Best 100” feature often depends on your willingness to cough up the money for a paid advertisement (and magazines don't exactly lower their rates when they're dealing with attorneys).

If outright extortion isn't involved, the choice of lawyers included on the list may come down to who owes whom a big favor. The punchline is that, by and large, the public is dimly aware of these behind-the-scene machinations, and doesn't pay much attention to these lists in the first place when choosing a lawyer!

If you don't choose to participate in the “Top 100” scam, how do you differentiate yourself from other lawyers in your area? That's where the advertising experts at Great Legal Marketing come in.

Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.
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