As more and more lawyers move much of their focus to online advertising, a great opportunity has opened up in the realm of print advertising for attorneys who are smart enough to get involved. Newspapers can present some great opportunities for lawyers and law firms who are interested in finding new potential clients.

However, before you go and spend money on a newspaper print advertisement, you want to consider the following questions:

  1. Who am I trying to reach with this advertisement?

    Think carefully about which newspaper is right for you. Look into advertising in local community papers that are mailed or dropped off specifically in areas that contain the kind of people you want. For example, an estate-planning attorney who is interested in higher net worth individuals may want to locate a community newspaper that focuses on neighborhoods with those people in them. There are still neighborhood "tabloids" out there that reach these specific demographics.

    Check your local supermarket for publications that they carry on their racks. You might not have noticed the local papers before, but they are there. You can often negotiate good deals with local papers if you are interested in advertising more often with them.
  2. What message am I delivering to this audience?

    If you are advertising in a niched newspaper, you should craft a message that speaks directly to them. This could be as simple as having a headline that reads "What the Residents of Colonial Heights and Glenn Forest Need to Know About Creating a Trust Account" and just swapping the neighborhood/town/city names as needed.Newspaper advertising for attorneys

    You should investigate what matters to the people in these communities as well. Are they concerned about keeping up with the Joneses? Or are they the type of folks who want to make sure they don't screw up their kids' opportunity to go to college? Or are they likely cash-strapped and need to settle a car accident claim sooner rather than later?
  3. Am I prepared to track this ad and give it a chance to give me real results?

    Always, always, always get a tracking phone number in place on your advertisements. Never just toss up your normal phone and website address. Make sure it is all trackable. We use to track our calls and gather data. Infusionsoft helps us track web contacts.

    Buying one ad one time isn't going to cut it in terms of getting real results for you, good or bad. Also, understand that while getting bad results isn't favorable, you will have learned something valuable - what doesn't work. This is the kind of data you need to hone your message to find the ad that starts churning out new clients for your practice. Of course, you can't get to this place if you never start trying in the first place.

    If you start getting good results, you can move from making larger changes to your ad to fine-tuning it. You'll also start building a portfolio of ads you can use in other newspapers as well just by tweaking some of the details to accommodate for the new audience.
Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.