If you have ever advertised in the Yellow Pages or even opened up the book, you will see pages and pages of lawyer advertising.  Many of these lawyers make a big mistake when it comes to their ad and perhaps you are guilty of this too –trying to say too much.  When a business tries to make the complete sale in just one ad, it is similar to meeting someone for the first time and saying, “you don’t know me, but let’s get married.”  You might get some takers, but most people are not going to be ready to take that step, at least not yet.

Below are two common mistakes made by law firms when it comes to advertising.

Listing Too Many Practice Areas
You will commonly see ads that list up to thirty specialty practice areas or more.  What is happening here?  Basically, out of paranoia, a law firm will list every possible area of law to try to attract new cases.  Big law firms have been known to make this error, because there are several attorneys with different specialties.  One attorney might be in personal injury, while another is in estate planning.  Both lawyers will want to have their practice areas listed, because after all, the firm is spending up to $10,000 a month on the Yellow Pages ad and they want to get their money’s worth.

Using the Same Offers & Statements As Everyone Else
Attorneys who don’t know what to say in their ads will just make statements, such as “We Care For You,” or “We Will Fight For You.”  These statements will not make your law firm stand out from the other hundreds of attorney advertisements.  Most people looking for a lawyer will assume that you will care about them or fight for their rights.  You need to give them a reason to call you instead of the lawyer in the next advertisement.  It is a major blunder to tell them the same thing that they are going to hear from every other law firm in town.

All you really need to do with your ad is get the conversation started.  Your ad should reflect that you are ready to have the conversation and it should prompt people to raise their hands and respond that they are interested in what you have to say.  How do you accomplish this task?  Motivate them to contact you by making an irresistible offer and create a deadline. Your irresistible offer could be a report, booklet or CD.  It just needs to be something that is going to get people to initiate the dialogue. 

Remember, when it comes to creating your advertisements, you do not need to close the sale right then and there.  Start building the relationship, so that you can eventually turn these prospects into clients.
Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.