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It’s Not You, It’s Me: Why Law Firm Advertising Fails

By Jared Correia

Six-Pack: Tips to Improve Your Marketing

Let’s talk about how lawyers can improve their advertising tactics, based on the foregoing.

What’s your problem? Rather than focusing on your war chest of accomplishments, focus on the potential client’s problem, and how you may alleviate it.

What do you do? Focus on the services provided, rather than on the person(s) providing the service. (By the way, this is one reason it’s so hard to sell a law firm: because the value is so obviously derived from individual partners’ influences. Creating a brand around the firm, rather than the individual lawyers, imparts broader value.)

Be (intentionally) funny. There is a line of thinking that goes like this: Lawyers aren’t funny. I don’t necessarily think that’s true; I think lawyers are afraid to be funny because that can be taken for a lack of seriousness, and perceived as weakness. Of course, as the middle example above shows, lawyers, in trying to be funny, just end up savagely parodying themselves better than Juvenal himself could have. Channel Horace, instead, if you’re going to that. Or, better yet: target the humor of situations, rather than calling out your own perceived inanity.

Be authentic.


Respect your (potential) clients. Some lawyers have a tendency to talk down to people, which is a terrifically bad habit. Instead, think of your potential clients as people, intelligent in their own right, who require a savvy guide through a process that can be time-consuming and confounding.

In your place. Think about where you broadcast your advertising. Lawyers too often obsess over wide dissemination, rather than targeted distribution. However, the latter is far more effective, especially in a niche practice.

You can do all that, or you can just keep kickin’ ass.

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Jared Correia Jared Correia

Jared D. Correia is CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law firm business management consulting services, and works with legal vendors to develop programming and content. Jared is also COO of Gideon Software, Inc., which offers intelligent messaging and predictive analytics software built exclusively for law firms. A former practicing attorney, Jared is the host of the Legal Toolkit podcast and speaks frequently at industry events. In addition to his Attorney at Work column, Managing, he writes an advice column for Lawyerist and on tech startups for Above the Law. Follow him @JaredCorreia.

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