Avoiding The Crises That Can Trap Your Legal Marketing

superhero-450419_640Lawyers have to tackle some pretty sensitive topics.  It’s in the nature of the job that people only have a run-in with a lawyer when they’re going through some of the toughest situations of their lives.  They’ve sustained a life-altering injury, they’ve lost a loved one, they’re going through a contentious divorce, they’ve been accused of a serious crime, they’re declaring bankruptcy, etc.

Perhaps a better description of a lawyer would be crisis manager.  You’re brought in a when a person is at their lowest because you have perhaps the only expertise they can rely on to get them through this tough stretch.  It’s an honorable job, to be sure.

What becomes tricky is reflecting this duty to clients via marketing.  Some people snicker when they see the standard law firm commercial on daytime television.  They’ve become so cliche that it’s almost a joke at this point:  an attorney describes a legal dilemma and then urges the injured person to call them for help.

While those types of commercials can be successful, they fail to take into account all the great work that you do as a lawyer.  When a baritone voiceover simply asks if somebody was injured by, say, a defective drug, the full totality of what an individual has gone through gets bypassed.  The commercial only scratches the surface of the plight an injured individual may find himself or herself in, and it doesn’t even come close to encompassing everything that you can do as an attorney to help that person.

Enter the internet.  Your marketing efforts online aren’t hindered by the constraints placed upon something like a television commercial or a billboard.  You’re afforded the space to really delve into what it means to hire a lawyer and what kind of work you’re willing to do on behalf of clients.

That said, it’s easy to run into a few pitfalls that could actually harm your ability to impress clients with your legal abilities.  It’s okay to showcase your skills as a legal crisis manager so long as you don’t create another crisis in the process.  Keep reading, as we’re going to show you some traps to avoid when you use online marketing to provide an in-depth look at your abilities.

cat-408778_640Scaring Clients Off With The Legal Process

The legal process can be a tricky thing.  A lot of people might be daunted by all the work that goes into the typical court case.  You realize that something as seemingly straightforward as a claim for personal injury can take months to see through to completion, and if it ends up going to trial, it could take even longer than that.

Don’t scare a prospective client off right off the bat by saying something like, “It may take you upwards of a year to gain compensation for all the bills you currently face, and that time will be filled with a litany of inquiries, meetings, and negotiations that will leave you drained.”

Instead, be honest with your clients without scaring them off.  Take a viewpoint that’s caring yet not afraid to point out some of the struggles to come.  Instead of emphasizing how difficult those struggles may be, emphasize how qualified you are to handle them.

Let’s say that you want to make a point about how an investigation of an accident scene would work.  Don’t just say how this will be a long, drawn-out process in which the scene must be revisited again and again to compile evidence and how it will take months to track down and speak with witnesses and credible experts who can vouch for your claim. 

Instead, take an approach where you talk about how great your staff is at engaging in this work.  Say you’ll do everything you can to bolster the claims of your clients, including all the legwork mentioned above.  These are essentially the same points, but you’re changing the dialogue from “look how much work has to be done” to “look how much work our attorneys will do for you.”  Similarly, a sentence like “It could take months or years for your case to be completed” doesn’t sound as good as “We’ll take your case all the way to trial if we don’t feel you’re being treated fairly by the negligent party.”

When you take this approach to your marketing, you’ll hopefully begin to see an increase in your conversion rates due to the simple fact that a person isn’t suddenly hesitating to contact you.  They won’t see the difficulty of the situation; they’ll see the one lawyer in the world who can get them through that difficult situation.  That’s a big difference, and a slight shift in marketing is all it takes to alter a client prospect’s perception of your practice.

chains-19176_1280The Tragedy Trap

We understand that you want to use your previous cases as a feather in your cap for marketing.  After all, if you’ve helped somebody gain hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars from a negligent company, you want to tell the world about that, as this could influence others to contact you with similar legal problems.

But you have to be careful.  Not every client whose case you’ve successfully put forth will want to be used as a marketing tool for your practice.  A lot of people may just want to get on with their lives and put the whole thing in the rearview mirror.  Maybe they lost a loved one and they’re not comfortable seeing their story plastered on your website.

You have to be willing to respect their wishes.  Ask permission before using any client’s story as a means of marketing, and if they say no, be okay with that.  You might just have to keep names and details out of the story entirely and simply have that case be a small line item on your Case History page.

Also be careful when blogging about legal issues.  If you’re a car accident lawyer, content marketing isn’t as simple as writing about car accidents in your area.  Each of those incidents represents a person who may have been injured or even killed, and by making reference to that, you could be crossing some sort of line.  Keep the specifics of tragic circumstances, even those of public record, out of your content output.

Crisis Averted

You’re used to handling crises as a lawyer.  The next step is avoiding them in marketing.  Follow the above steps to attain that goal.


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Posted In: law firm marketing