Experts estimate Americans are exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 advertisements in a given day. This is how advertising gets its grip. By constantly putting images and catchphrases under your nose, truly successful advertisements stick with you over the course of time. Maybe you’ve found yourself humming a jingle from a good commercial. Or perhaps you have boldly referenced the motto for a local auto repair shop in a conversation with friends. Whether or not you like it, advertising is here to stay. But it’s not bad by any means. Advertising is the way companies, brands, and organizations can get the word out about what they do. It is the way to build up a fan or customer base. It is central to a business’s financial success. As a lawyer, you need to advertise your firm. Without advertisement, you rely only on word-of-mouth and personal referrals to get more clients. Without advertisement, you risk no one knowing your practice exists. By advertising your firm, you make it much easier for your business to grow.
The Controversy Over Lawyer Advertising
It is worth noting the controversy surrounding lawyers advertising their practice. It all began with a Supreme Court ruling in 1977 that said states could not prohibit lawyers from advertising their services. This ruling overturned a sixty-nine-year-old prohibition of legal marketing. In this past decade, the courts have decided that “lawyer advertising which is not false or misleading is commercial speech entitled to protection under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.” That being said, however, there has been speculation that some advertisements by law firms can be detrimental to both the justice system and legal practices alike. In this opinion, the American Bar Association has set up a series of aspirational goals for what legal practice marketing should look like. These goals surround the idea of maintaining the “dignity” of the system, and states that advertisements (while subjective and analyzed through personal opinion) “should be suitable to the profession.” The ABA is clear about the fact that these goals are by no means hard and fast rules, but rather wishes for how legal advertising should be conducted. So, until there are hard and fast rules, it is up to you to choose a method of marketing that is classy, representative of the services your firm offers, and honest. In these respects, your advertising will no doubt be effective because it will inform and excite. Still not sold? Here is how advertising could change your business for the better.
The Benefits of Advertising for Law Firms
Advertising is a law firm’s investment. And like any investment, you should expect it to produce returns for your firm. It is not a naked persuasion but a call to eventual action. This means that by advertising your law firm, people will begin to recognize what you do and how you do it. Then, when the day inevitably comes that they need a lawyer with your services, they know who they will call first. Then the returns will begin to flow. Here’s how:
- More people will hear about your services that they, perhaps, didn’t know existed. They will call and request those services.
- Your client base will grow, producing more word-of-mouth referrals.
- Your firm’s cash flow will increase due to the growth of your client base.
It’s a positive cycle that can give your firm tremendous benefits–if you do it right.
How to Market Your Law Firm
An advertisement needs to leave an impression on the viewer. The more impressive the advertisement is, the more effective your investment of time, energy, and money will be. When competing with multiple brands that seem exactly like yours, this can be a difficult task. Here are a few tips for creating a successful advertisement:
- Create a consistent, unique and specific “brand” to represent your firm. This brand can be an image, feeling, or action that regularly resonates with the viewer.
- Be as specific as possible. Ambiguity leaves viewers confused and causes them to move on to the next, more specific advertisement. Without specificity, your ad has a lower chance of making that all-too-important impression on the viewer within a matter of seconds.
- Include facts about the client’s legal rights and the judicial process. This educates the client so they know exactly what they need from your firm. They are more likely to purchase what they know they lack.
- List a careful description of fees and services so as not to confuse or mislead a potential client. If your prices are competitive, this could be a selling point to call your firm more affordable than others.
- Keep up with the kids. Advertisements come in many forms, some of which you may not realize you have been exposed to. A number of these forms are at your disposal, including digital marketing for your firm. Gone are the days when TV ads were all you needed. Expand your advertising mediums to include social media, website, search engine, and other forms of digital marketing.
Finally, you may want to consider enlisting the help of an advertising professional. Get up-to-date marketing strategies and professional digital marketing advice from JustLegal. Their legal industry experience will help you optimize your client and revenue growth. With the help of these advertising experts, it’s only a matter of time before you watch your firm’s success rate skyrocket.