Lawyer Advertising Gone Horribly Wrong (Part A)

It's still a problem that lawyers have a bad reputation in popular culture. One of the biggest negative stereotypes comes from poking fun at really bad lawyer advertising. Why does this happen? Because there's SO MUCH of it out there!

If our profession is ever going to regain its position of authority and trust in the community, we've got to break free of some of these horrible legal marketing stereotypes. It seems that the respect of lawyers dropped once lawyer advertising really took off, but that doesn't mean that legal marketing is the enemy.

We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

Whoever decided to start some of the horrible lawyer advertising out there certainly didn't do any of us a favor. It took a law firm somewhere going, "hey, it would be a great idea to just slap our phone number on a bunch of ads in The Yellow Pages and tell people to call us" to start one of the biggest travesties in the world of legal marketing.

The problem is, many other law firms had to have seen this, think, "wow, that's easy, they must be getting tons of response because it's so simple for a client to just call!" and start the trend. As lawyers, we have so much else on our plate that many attorneys try to skimp on their legal marketing duties and just copy what their peers are doing for their lawyer advertising.

Being lazy about your legal marketing isn't going to get you anywhere. How many of these copycat lawyer ads were really looked at to see if they were effective? Probably none. It's the same as just saying "buy this shampoo!" - why? What makes one brand of shampoo better than any other; they're all going to get your hair clean. You need to tell your client what makes your "brand" of legal services better for them than your competition.

Your Bad Lawyer Advertising Can Ruin a Case

If you watch your local TV channels you're sure to see a commercial for a lawyer or law firm eventually. These commercials can range from straight-laced and boring to crazy raving ads (sadly, these are usually personal injury attorneys). I'm not going to discourage you on TV commercials, I talk about my opinion on those in my article on if TV commercials are effective lawyer advertising. I'm concerned with the damage your commercial could do to your reputation.

Imagine you're a juror on a trial, and you suddenly realize that the lawyer sitting in the courtroom is "that crazy guy from the TV commercials." While we like to think jurors are unbiased, it's very easy for someone to be distracted by simple things like the connection from lawyer to TV commercial. Do you really want your potential jurors looking at your side of the courtroom and thinking about your bad lawyer advertising?

The damage may have been done, but that doesn't mean there's nothing we can do about it. Continue reading to see how you can help put an end to bad lawyer advertising with your own legal marketing strategy.

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