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Even if you could guarantee that every single person in your city saw your ad ten times a day, it wouldn’t mean a thing if those people didn’t connect to the ad.
When legal ads fail to produce a response, the content itself is usually to blame. Unfortunately, most attorney TV commercials fall into that category today, as television viewers grow increasingly sophisticated, cynical, and frustrated by the constant barrage of legal marketing.
You might think the answer is to avoid the TV market altogether, but the numbers are still overwhelmingly on television’s side. In fact, TV advertising for attorneys has increased by 68% in the last eight years alone. Why? Because it works!
Television remains the single most effective medium for law firms looking to get bigger and better cases. No other media channel rivals the reach and power of TV. Attorneys who advertise on television are able to influence through sight, sound, motion and emotion. It’s a strong brand impression that can solidify your firm’s place in victims – or future victims – consideration phase. For more on modern consumer habits, read this blog.
With all this in mind, the key to you firm’s success isn’t to shun TV; it’s to master it instead.
Law firm branding that (A) stands out and (B) puts clients first will resonate with viewers. And it will grow the firm.
Of course, creating attorney branding that resonates with injured victims is easier said than done. So how can you connect with injured victims through the small screen in their living rooms?
After more than 35 years in this business, we’re sharing some of our most valuable insights below.
Your Perspective Isn’t Your Client’s Perspective.
Perhaps the hardest thing for attorneys to understand is that even though you and your prospective clients are looking at the same case, they have a completely different view of the situation.
Your view: “I am an experienced and talented professional who is ready and able to fight for the justice you truly deserve.”
Their view: “I’ve gone through something terrible, and now I have to deal with this mess… and find a lawyer to help make it right.”
Most law firms’ messaging comes strictly from the first point of view. That’s why legal ads tend to emphasize the attorney’s education, years of experience, personal background, accolades and success record.
But, as impressive as all that might be to your peers, injured people care more about their injuries than your résumé.
Here’s a different kind of ad. We produced this for one of our clients, and it effectively resonated with its target demographic. You’ll notice that it’s all about the victim, not the lawyer:
Who Is Your Law Firm’s Ambassador?
Think about some of the law firm commercials you’ve recently seen on TV (maybe even some of your own). Who was talking to you from the screen?
Nine times out of ten, it was one of the lawyers in the firm — probably a senior partner, or whoever’s last name is on the shingle. For some firms, that works. But it isn’t the only way.
The question isn’t “Who best represents your firm?”
Rather, it’s “Who best connects with your audience?”
We tell clients to stop thinking of advertisements as sales pitches and to imagine them as stories instead. Viewers don’t care about sales pitches, but they do invest in stories.
The right person to tell your firm’s story should be credible, believable, natural, and client-oriented. That’s what law firm branding strategy is all about.
Do People Believe You?
Imagine that you’ve been invited to appear as the keynote speaker at a major conference. It’s quite an honor, and you’re very excited. But as you approach the podium, an advisor tells you, “Everyone in the room thinks you’re a liar. Good luck.” How might that change what you say (or the way you say it)?
The scenario’s an extreme one, but it’s helpful for understanding the relationship that most TV viewers have with attorney TV commercials.
Did you know, for instance, that many viewers assume that on-screen client testimonials are actually actors who’ve been paid to pretend they won big money in a settlement?
Even if your testimonials are entirely ethical and honest, if the injured victims at home view them cynically, what good are the ads doing you?
That’s why the goal in branding a law firm should always be to speak directly to viewers in a way they will not only notice but also trust.
Take the Jury Approach.
We give our legal marketing clients simple advice: speak to the public like you’d speak to a jury.
That might sound strange. After all, a TV ad is surely doing something different than an opening argument. Then again, isn’t making an argument what it’s all about?
Much like juries, TV viewers want to be convinced by a compelling argument. And as with juries, the most effective arguments come in the form of real stories, told with real human connection.
Think about all the mistakes most attorney advertisers make… would you ever do these things with a jury?
- Talking about yourself or your law firm’s credentials instead of your client’s pain and suffering
- Using a lot of generalizations and promises about how your side is better without getting into why
- Talking at your audience instead of connecting with them
- Skimping on evidence
- Leaving your critical visual aids at home and choosing to simply stand there and talk instead
You wouldn’t rush into a jury presentation, and you shouldn’t rush into a TV campaign either. Take time to carefully craft an effective message built on empathy and believability.
Turn to Network Affiliates for Creative Law Firm Branding Strategies
The team at Network Affiliates knows a thing or two about attorney TV advertising. We produced one of the country’s very first lawyer television commercials, and we’ve kept our fingers on the pulse of lawyer branding ever since – continuing a storied history of putting creative new spins on the tried-and-true fundamentals of law firm branding.
The market has never been more crowded, but it’s also never been more lucrative. Now is the time to harness the power of television and take your firm to a higher level of success – and, we can help you do that!