INVASION OF THE LAWYERS
(How You Can Win the Battle Against Obscurity)
It’s obvious to anyone—your town or city is flooded with lawyers. From billboards on highways to radio and obnoxious TV advertisements, consumers are bombarded with a media assault by lawyers screaming “Call Me Now” or “I’ll Fight for You”. The bravado of lawyers has no limit with one lawyer advertisement after the next pushing the envelope of what is permissible. It’s a hard, cold world for lawyers.
And it’s not only the lawyer advertising—the number of new lawyers flooding your small corner of the world is far more than your town can support. Once the law schools graduate their next class of bright-eyed lawyers, you notice new shingles popping up around your town and young lawyers setting up shop right across from your office. Hell, it seems like the world is being invaded by lawyers!
Can You Compete in a World Filled with Lawyers?
First, the bad news: it’s impossible to compete with the “me-tooism” of lawyer advertising (and do you want to anyway?) The copycat advertising of lawyers is so pervasive in every corner of your world that it would take a small king’s ransom to compete in the world of obnoxious lawyer advertising. To get into the game of lawyer advertising will take a high six-figure budget and a healthy dose of chutzpah that you just don’t have.
“Most advertising is the tired art of puffery.”
Jack Trout, Differentiate or Die
But there is good news: lawyers SUCK at advertising and marketing! That’s right, lawyers are clueless when it comes to the best way to market their practice. Most lawyers don’t have an original thought in their head when it comes to marketing and growing their law practices and instead, they thump their chest and scream in their advertisements, “I’m the Greatest Lawyer in the World”. The advertising rep’s lick their chops at the willingness of injury lawyers to throw money at their next worthless lawyer advertisements that are loud, obnoxious and almost identical to every other advertisement.
Your Huge Competitive Advantage
In a world filled with lawyers, consumers have no idea who they should believe. There are no points of difference between injury lawyers—just conflicting claims of superiority. This is a HUGE competitive advantage that you must exploit.
You begin by showing consumers that you are completely different from every other lawyer in your town, county and maybe even your state. And no, this doesn’t include “Free Consultations” or “We fight for you”. Those worn-out lawyer colloquialisms will do nothing to differentiate you from other lawyers.
What is Your Unique Selling Proposition?
Okay, if you’re still reading, you know how important it is to differentiate yourself from every other lawyer, but how exactly do you do this? In a word: SPECIALIZATION (I know lawyers aren’t supposed to say we are “specialists” so sue me!). As a specialist, you’re not a jack-of-all trades lawyer; instead, you are an expert in a highly specific area of the law and you make sure the world knows precisely how different you from all the other lawyers.
“If you never establish your differentness, you will always be weak.”
Jack Trout, Differentiate or Die
In any trade, specialists garner respect from their peers and consumers as masters of their craft. And when searching for the right lawyer for their case, consumers are searching for the lawyer who is custom-made for their particular case, and that usually isn’t the lawyer who accepts every new client who happens to walk through his door. By being a specialist, you instantly differentiate your law practice from every other lawyer in your community.
How Do You Begin to Differentiate Yourself?
Begin by asking yourself this question: what is your most lucrative and favorite area of the law? What type of case makes the most money for you and if you had enough of these cases, you would reject all other cases? But it’s not just about money; just think for a moment: what area of law do you love and makes you happy to be a lawyer? Once you have this answer, you now know where you should specialize.
By way of example, we limit 95% of our practice to medical malpractice for injury victims. In our geographic region, there is no one like us; within a 142 mile stretch between New York City and Albany, our firm is the only one that limits 95% of its practice to medical malpractice. Yes, there are other lawyers who dabble in medical malpractice in our geographic region, but the bulk of their practice is garden-variety personal injury (e.g., soft-tissue car wrecks and slip and falls). These lawyers are far from specialists and in reality, they are not competition for us.
“[A] weapon of the specialist is the ability to be perceived as the expert or the best. If that’s all they do, they must do it very well.”
Jack Trout, Differentiate or Die
But just being a specialist is not enough—the world must know you’re a specialist. Consumers know our practice is night-and-day different from the other lawyers in our geographic region as soon as they visit our website. By way of example, the practice areas listed on our website include: birth injury; suicide prevention, delay in cancer diagnosis, etc. A consumer with a potential medical malpractice case will instantly know they’ve found the right lawyer just by visiting our website. Hell, our domain name (ProtectingPatientRights.com) even tells the consumer they’ve found a specialist.
As a “specialist” (oops, sorry there’s that bad word again), we don’t have to pitch consumers to get their case with tired, worn-out claims like, “24 hour availability” or “We Go the Extra Mile for You”. Instead, consumers find us and make their best pitch to get us to accept their case. In most cases, consumers are presold on us (even when they weren’t referred and don’t know us), and we have the luxury of picking and choosing only the best cases with strong liability and substantial damages.
How to Stop the Consumer Dead in Their Tracks
Let’s say you’re in general practice and you never want to be a specialist. You’re damn happy doing what you do, you make a good living doing it and you have no intention of focusing on a specific practice area. No problem, my friend. There are still plenty of ways for you to differentiate your practice in a world flooded with lawyers.
Start by taking a look at the lawyer advertisements in the yellow pages. The lawyer advertisements are copy-cat ads that look almost identical. What if, instead of the same ole’ lawyer advertisement, you put a small quarter page ad in the yellow pages that reads:
Your choice of an injury lawyer may be the most important decision you ever make.
Before you hire a lawyer, call our toll-free 800 phone number for our free pre-recorded message, “The 3 Biggest Mistakes Consumers Make When Hiring an Injury Lawyer”.
That’s all—your advertisement is simple, right to the point and makes no grandiose sales pitches about your greatness. The toll-free recorded message only costs $37 per month and the message can be tracked by the number of persons who called, the town or city where they called from, how long they listened and whether they called your office to speak with you. Now, you’re tracking the effectiveness of your lawyer advertisement and you know if you’re getting a bang for your marketing dollar.
But you don’t stop there. When callers listen to your pre-recorded toll-free voice message, you give them the option of getting a free book (e.g., a book, The 7 Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims) or audio CD (e.g., “How to Win Your Lawsuit Against a Doctor”) or article that provides even more information. You want to entice the consumer with a free offer that is irresistible and requires nothing more than providing their first name and email address.
The free guide is the irresistible offer that you can make that will get consumers to call you, but what you’re really doing is getting the consumer to stop their search for a lawyer. By the time the consumer calls you, they’ll feel they know you and are grateful to have the chance to speak with you. That’s a helluva lot better than pitching them about the wonderful lawyer you are!
A Marketing Message that is Totally Unique
Instead of pitching yourself, you’re providing valuable, content-rich information that consumers crave. But more importantly, you’re instantly differentiating yourself from every other lawyer in your town, county and maybe your state.
I know what you’re thinking: “This guy, Fisher, is nuts. No one else does this stuff.” And you’re right—no one is doing this stuff and that’s precisely why you should. Being 180-degrees different from every other lawyer is the secret to your success.
“Anything that others could claim just as well as you can, eliminate.”
Jack Trout, Differentiate or Die
Remember, if you can’t differentiate yourself by your specialty or practice area, you can still separate yourself from the sea of lawyers with a unique marketing message that consumers have not seen anywhere else.
Your Formula for Success
Your formula for your success as a lawyer has little to do with your ability to cross-examine a witness or give a great closing argument; your future as a lawyer is far more dependent on your ability to get great cases with strong liability and big damages. Let’s face it, even the crappiest lawyers (usually) can’t screw up a great case.
And what have you got to lose by differentiating your practice from everyone else? If a unique marketing message doesn’t work, you can always go back to doing the same thing all of your lawyer friends are doing and just sit by the phone waiting for your next case to come in. But you can’t expect better results without a dramatic shift in the way you differentiate your practice or marketing message…and there’s no better time to start than today.