If you're a practicing lawyer, you're probably under the impression that the best you can do with your marketing efforts is to attract the interest of people who are actively looking for an attorney. The fact is, though, that the best lawyer marketing plants your name—and your firm’s name—in the minds of people who are in no particular need of legal representation, but who will call your number immediately after they've been hit by a car or sued by a neighbor.
There Are Right Ways—and Wrong Ways—to Improve Your Law Firm's Profile
How does one go about attracting the attention of people who are not actively looking for a lawyer? It's not an easy task, and some big national law firms have hit upon a few—mostly ineffective—strategies:
- Associating themselves with a cute mascot (an animated dog, a kangaroo, etc.) in the hope of building an indelible brand image
- Producing wacky TV commercials or YouTube videos that make virtually no reference to the law firm's areas of specialty
- Coming up with a catchy slogan (“We Sue So You Don't Have To!”), and affixing it to every lamppost, coffee mug, and T-shirt in sight
- Making sure their lawyers have wide exposure, i.e., as talking heads on evening news broadcasts or regular columnists for the local Pennysaver
- Aggressively moving into new territories and buying up existing firms, with the aim of making themselves the only game in town
It would be much too severe to say that these strategies never work; in fact, there are some national firms that have achieved major brand presence (though whether this translates into new clients is a matter of dispute). But the fact remains that they're impractical, or out of reach, or simply ineffective for most law firms, which have to find a better solution to the problem of attracting new clients before those individuals even realize they need a lawyer.