For years now, the law firm down the street has been advertising that it's a “Top 100” practice, based on an annual supplement in our regional magazine, and I'm getting tired of it. Should I bite the bullet and buy a display ad so I can be listed too?

That depends on how seriously the people in your town take that “Top 100” designation—and you may be surprised to learn that most potential clients aren't fooled by this transparent marketing tactic.

A generation ago, to be sure, a “Top 100” ranking carried more weight—but a generation ago, magazine editors were more likely to fill out this list on the basis of merit alone, not the willingness of those listed to cough up money for display ads.

If being listed as a “Top 100” lawyer is really a do-or-die proposition, you may have no choice but to participate. But if it's not, consider the alternative: the next time a client balks at signing up with your firm, saying he'd rather go with a “Top 100” practice, you can patiently explain to him that those “top” lists are purely a marketing exercise and have absolutely nothing to do with your qualifications or the results you achieve for clients.

There's another fact to consider: the vast majority of magazine readers never even look at those “Top 100” supplements, and if they do notice them, it's only because they're annoyed that they take up so much space. The fact is that very few people hire a lawyer by scouring the back issues of their regional magazines and deciding to call the #5 attorney because he's “five times better” than the guy listed in the #25 slot.

At Great Legal Marketing, we can tell you that there are better ways of advertising your law practice than buying space in magazine supplements. Questions? Call our lawyer marketing mavens at 888-791-2150 to learn what we can do for you!

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