As lawyers, when it comes to marketing, it is far too easy to make it all about ourselves: our credentials, our experience, and our biggest wins. But potential clients ultimately only care about how you can help them. Find out how you can make your brand all about them and improve your call-through rate.
This weekend, I had the privilege to hear published horror and comic book writer, Kasey Pierce, of Source Point Press, present her panel discussion “Good Luck with That” at the Cherry Capital Comic Convention in Traverse City. The presentation was all about how independent writers could overcome the passive disinterest of people who attend cons. Her answer: make it all about them.
Making Readers Know They Need Your Help
As Kasey explained, potential customers often come into the convention vendor hall (or their online search) not wanting to spend money. They may just be browsing to see if anything stands out to them, or trying to get ideas for how they can do it themselves. When you hold up your brand these potential customers take a glance, decide it’s not for them, tell you “good luck with that” and move on.
But Kasey takes a different approach. She talks to the people walking by their booth, asking them what they like to read. Identifying their needs. And then, once she knows why they are there, she directs them to titles by herself or her coworkers that may suit their interests. By making the sale all about them, Kasey breaks down the initial resistance and improves the chances they’ll walk away with a book or two (like I did).
Lawyers Can Take a Lesson from Comic Convention Sales
Marketing in Pierce’s industry is only slightly different from small-firm lawyer life. While Kasey is selling books at a comic convention, lawyers relying on their online marketing efforts to recruit clients face many of the same challenges:
- Crowded competitive field
- Big players who can out-spend any indie press or small firm’s marketing budget
- Potential customers balancing quality with cost
- Brands built on people, not just services or products
- Initial resistance to wanting to make the sale at all
With those similarities in mind, how can small-firm lawyers adapt Kasey’s message to their own marketing goals? Here are some thoughts.
Practice Area Pages Should Address Pain Points
When your customers are trying to find a lawyer for their bankruptcy or slip-and-fall industry, they are coming to your website with their own problems right at the front of their minds. When they land on your practice area page, they should know right away that you understand what they are going through.
But lawyers often lose track of those needs in trying to explain what makes a good case, or describe how the law works. There are places for that on your website, but it is not on your practice area page. Instead, these pages should focus on the feelings, needs, and desires of potential clients. By making those pages all about them you show empathy and make it more likely they’ll contact you for a consultation.
Blog Articles Should Give Potential Clients a Taste
When Kasey is out selling her books, she puts the comic in the hands of the customer. That way they get a taste of what she and her artist have to offer. When it comes to your legal website, that taste can show up in your blog articles. By writing articles that answer common questions and even give advice of how (and when) to do it yourself, you can give viewers a taste of your legal expertise. That way they know what they will get when the walk in the door.
Talking to Readers on Their Level
Kasey’s big seller is a comic book with sci-fi, horror, and military themes. She changes the pitch for her book depending on what the reader says he or she is interested in. That means she talks to them on their level, in a language they recognize.
For lawyers, that means addressing potential clients’ legal challenges in a way they can understand. It means organizing and maximizing content based on their language and common understanding, rather than digging in your heals on legalese or technical details. This could include:
- Calling a practice area page “lawsuits” rather than “civil litigation”
- Redirecting reader from pages on Custody to Paternity based on a father’s status
- Avoiding getting into the weeds about technicalities
- Only discussing procedure in ways that will affect clients’ rights and interests
When lawyers make their websites all about themselves, it can turn off potential clients and reduce the return on their marketing investment. By making their web content all about their readers, and their needs, lawyers can improve the chances that readers will schedule consultations, rather than just saying “good luck with that”.
Lisa Schmidt is a writer for Legal Linguist in Ferndale, Michigan. She writes blogs and websites for law firms and small businesses. If you need help writing content that keeps the focus on your readers, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.