I was convinced by a Yellow Pages rep to buy a “cookie-cutter” box ad to promote my law firm. I got absolutely no inquiries, and now he says I should have bought a bigger ad. Is he right?

There's an old joke that may shed some light on this situation. Two guys are selling watermelons out of a truck. They buy the watermelons for one dollar, and they sell them for one dollar. After a while, they notice that they're not making any money. They mull over this problem for days, and finally one of them slaps his hand on his knee and says, “I've got it!”

“What?” asks the other watermelon vendor.

“Let's get a bigger truck!”

That, in a nutshell, is what your Yellow Pages rep is telling you. The reason your ad was completely ineffective is that you were snookered into buying a display that was completely indistinguishable from the hundreds of other lawyer advertisements in the phone book; basically, the rep just slapped your name on a preexisting template, collected your money, and went on to the next client. A bigger display ad will cost more, and bolster the salesman's bank account, but it won't solve your essential problem: how to differentiate yourself from other lawyers and attract paying clients.

The Yellow Pages can be a good medium to advertise your law firm, but in order to be successful, you have to “think outside the box” and be willing to take risks. A small, innovative, cheaper Yellow Pages ad can be every bit as successful as a bigger, more generic one; it all depends on how much creativity you apply to the headline and copy.

Questions? Call the attorney marketing gurus at Great Legal Marketing (888-791-2150) to find out what we can do for you!

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