May 24, 2022

Volume XII, Number 144

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May 23, 2022

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Lessons From The Yellow Pages: What NOT To Do In Your Ads

Just the other day my Marketing Director brought in a new Yellow Pages book that he received in the mail.  Of course, we went straight to the Lawyer section to look at the ads put up by some of the local lawyers. We like to critique these ads and use them as examples for what not to do. Here are some of the things that we constantly see lawyers doing wrong in their advertisements:

No differentiation. All of the ads we saw looked almost identical. We saw lots of gavels, scales of justice, offers for a “Free Consultation”, and bulleted lists of practice areas. If you don’t appear to be different, or stand out in any way, why would a potential client hire you, or even call you for that matter? If you want to be successful, you can’t accept blending in with the rest of them.

Ben’s Advice:You’re an individual, so act like it.  Find what makes you stand out from the 100s of other attorneys in your area and use it to your advantage. If you’ve ever seen one of my ads, you may know that I’m a father to nine kids, four of whom are adopted from China, I run marathons, and I’m on the Board of Directors for a national charity. Information like that about yourself may seem irrelevant to your work as an attorney, but it does two really important things for your business. It differentiates you from other lawyers and it makes you relatable to potential clients. Make yourself the obvious choice.

No Call-To-Action. Another problem with the ads we saw was that there was no Call-To-Action, or there was a CTA, but it was weak. If you don’t know what a Call-To-Action is, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It is language that pushes the consumer to do something, to take action. All of the ads we saw had at least a phone number or website on them, but that was it. So, unless the potential client wanted to set up a free consultation or appointment right then, there was no reason that they would pick up the phone.

Ben’s Advice:Make an offer. Everyone loves free stuff and consumers seek out instant gratification. If you can offer a free information packet, audio CD, book, or all three, potential clients will want that. They will pick up the phone or visit your website and give you their information so they can get their free offer. Now, they’ll be in your system and you’ll be on their minds.

No Real Information. The ads we saw also did not provide any “real” information for the potential client. Sure, they listed their practice areas and how many years of combined experience they have and their firm’s street address, but none of those things really speak to the potential client. The information provided in these ads did not reassure the potential clients that they were the right attorneys for their case.

Ben’s Advice:Put yourself in the mindset of a potential client and think about what they would want see when looking for a lawyer. Think about the questions they want answered and answer them! One of the better Yellow Page ad headlines we saw said: “Has Your Claim for Veterans Benefits Been Denied?” This headline identified a specific problem the potential client would have and let them know that this attorney could solve it.

©2022 Great Legal Marketing, Inc.National Law Review, Volume IV, Number 218
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About this Author

Benjamin W. Glass, Great Legal Marketing, Attorney
Attorney

Benjamin W. Glass, III is a nationally recognized board certified personal injury, medical malpractice and disability insurance attorney in Fairfax, Virginia.  He graduated from George Mason University School of Law in 1983 and has devoted his career to representing individuals against insurance companies.

703.591.9829
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