When you think of personal injury lawyer marketing, what comes to mind?
Explosions? Ambulances? Pictures of car accidents? Angry lawyers screaming about how hard they fight?
Saul Goodman's website?
Look familiar? Statistically speaking, if you're a personal injury lawyer, your website probably bears some resemblance.
And while there is a laundry list reasons that you might not want to market your practice like this, I'd like to hone in on the primary reason that this approach tends to fail.
It puts the lawyer at the center of the marketing universe.
These lawyers' billboards, commercials, websites, profiles, emails, videos, etc, tend to be all about them.
How long they've been practicing. How many awards they've won. How hard they fight. How passionate they are. How successful they are.
To strangers, they come across as angry, arrogant and tasteless. To their friends, they are dismissed as "the cost of doing business" and even worthy of a chuckle.
In the mouths of most people, a bad taste is left. The audience is eager to filter, block, unfollow, fast-forward, bounce, etc.
Unless it's intentionally outrageous, no one really "likes" this approach.
Instead, most personal injury lawyers would do well to take a page from inbound marketers.
For the uninitiated, you can read about inbound marketing here, here and here.
Simplified, inbound marketing is really about creating "stuff" that people actually like.
Much of the inbound discussion revolves around content creation. And there's not doubt that content plays a significant role in attracting people.
However, in this post, I'd like to focus on some other "stuff" that plays a huge role in inbound:
You see, impressing your clients is the most powerful form of marketing there is.
I'm not talking about merely providing competent representation. Yes, competent representation is not only critically important to client development, it is also your professional duty. But competent representation should be viewed as the floor, not the ceiling.
I'm talking about tangible client experiences.
What do clients care about? What makes a client feel good? Sure, achieving a "successful" outcome based on their circumstances matters to them. But what's successful from their point of view?
In the context of injury victims, most people don't really have any clue of what a successful outcome really looks like. In fact, they primarily rely on their lawyer to set that expectation very early on.
But they will come to you with all sorts of other expectations. They will usually expect:
- To be treated with respect and dignity.
- To feel empathy from you.
- To feel that they can trust you.
- To feel informed about their situation.
- To feel that they are "in good hands."
Good lawyers know this stuff and work hard to provide these experiences to their clients.
And the ones that do it very well reap the rewards of having clients and former clients who sing their praises both offline and online. Which in turn leads to earning more meaningful attention and new client relationships. Their clients:
- Refer their friends to them.
- Write positively about them online.
- Keep in touch with them over time.
But even some of these same lawyers who excel at creating excellent client experiences, fail to apply this same thinking to their marketing. They don't realize that strangers who might eventually become potential clients have similar expectations. They will usually expect to be able to determine whether:
- They are likely to be treated with respect and dignity by you and your firm.
- They are likely to be empathized with by you and your firm.
- You are a person worthy of their trust.
- That, if they hire you, you will keep them informed about their legal situation.
- That you are knowledgeable, skilled and experienced in handling their situation.
Notice that none of these have to do with ambulances, gavels, scales of justice, explosions or sledgehammers.
So why would you use these things in your marketing materials?
Instead, you should try to:
Incorporating this client-focused approach into your marketing materials will turn them from liabilities into assets.