Articles Posted in Attorney Advertising

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At Rainmaker Lawyer Consulting we work with attorneys all over the world. The most restrictive place of any we have ever seen, in terms of law firm marketing, is Florida. The Florida Bar has very stringent Attorney Advertising rules and they enforce them. Many of our Florida clients despise these rules. They believe they restrict their ability to build their firm. Many of them feel that the rules affect their right to free speech.

Regardless of what you think of these ethics rules, they exist for the protection of the client. They may be a bit out of hand but their intent is not to restrict business.

Working within these rules is no problem for a smart legal marketing expert. Most of our clients are highly effective at marketing not matter what the rules are.

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I went to lunch with a group of smart lawyers today. One of the topics of conversation was advertising and how lawyers get business. This group of lawyers was particularly sensitive to law firm advertising rules (they are in Florida and this state is one of the most restrictive in the country for attorney advertising).

The topic of attorney advertising came up because of a story told by one of the members of the group. This particular lawyer was lamenting about how several of his friends/colleagues/former clients didn’t know that he worked on a specific area of law. He told the group that he was frustrated by his inability to better communicate this information.

The lawyer then proposed a solution: He said he was going to take out an ad in one of the local publications that focused on his target market. Not a bad idea. Just a bit premature.

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Somehow law firm marketing gets sucked into the debate about whether or not the practice of law is a business or a profession.

The other day I overheard a couple of lawyers rehashing this debate (the discussion began with the viewing of a television commercial).

Ultimately, as a lawyer you are a professional. This means you have standards you must uphold. It means you have ethical guidelines you must follow. When you open your own law firm you also have a business. When you are a partner in a business you have a responsibility to the other owners of the business to make as much money as possible.

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If you are searching for clients in a desperate frenzy your legal marketing may resemble an Easter Egg Hunt. That’s the last thing you want. If you do it right, legal marketing should be a way for you to target the ideal client who will pay your ideal fee. This video explains.
 
 

Don’t let your legal marketing become an Easter Egg Hunt! Match your message to your market and your Easter Eggs will come to you.

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Your law firm marketing can contain testimonials and references if the client asks to see them. In most states, the law firm regulating bodies prohibit the use of testimonials in law firm advertising. But clients should always choose a lawyer based on thorough research. References and testimonial letters are part of that research process. This video explains:

 

Once a client asks you for references or requests information on your services, in most jurisdictions, you may provide him with reference letters. Here are four ways to use these reference letters to help your client make a good decision when selecting a lawyer:

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Many attorneys advertise where all of their competitors advertise. The use the telephone book, television, billboards, etc. They do this because they don’t know any better. Selecting media for your attorney advertising is critical. If done right it can be a competitive advantage. This video explains why.

 

Here are some guidelines for selecting media for attorney advertising:

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Most advertising is terrible. Attorney advertising is notoriously bad. It is so bad, in fact, that every state has a regulatory body that oversees its implementation. This video provides us with a couple of examples of advertising that makes attorneys look bad and is probably not very effective.

 

As an alternative to this kind of ridiculous, ethically questionable advertising, I recommend attorneys take a proactive approach toward marketing. Here are a few ideas, specifically related to traffic infractions (as described in the video):