Chasing Clients, Not Ambulances: How Personal Injury Firms Can Attract Attention that Leads to New Business
Ask 10 nonlawyers about the legal profession, and nine will probably refer to mid-morning commercials for personal injury (PI) firms. Marketing is paramount for firms that work on contingency and seek to attract clients who might lack personal referrals for this type of legal work. Dramatic images and content are effective with all sorts of marketing, and PI firms are known for pushing the envelope with striking messages.
However, it's easy to go too far and present an image that many would-be clients find unprofessional and unappealing. So, many firms seek a subtler approach that attracts attention without turning off prospects or damaging their prestige. Here are a few tips for PI attorneys and firms that want to position themselves as client chasers, not ambulance chasers:
• Use imagery that involves the viewer personally.
If you have a brutal accident or injury picture next to a standard attorney portrait, the viewer's eyes will automatically leap to the dramatic image (unless the person in the portrait resembles the viewer or someone close to him or her, such as a family member). If you don't want to use stock photos of vicious dogs or mangled cars, find an image that people can connect with and imagine themselves as the victims in that type of situation — a situation that your firm can help make right.
• Showcase your expertise and experience through short, factual messages.
In Freakonomics, Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt wrote how real estate agents value factual words like granite and maple more than superlatives like fantastic and great. Present yourself not with adjectives, but with short descriptions of honors, experience and successful cases.
Personalize your marketing materials with local details. If you won a substantial settlement based on an accident that occurred at a major local intersection, highlight that. Prospects will feel more comfortable knowing that you have helped someone who was hurt somewhere that they have driven by dozens or hundreds of times.
• Put your outstanding verdicts and settlements in context.
Prospects will naturally be interested in the verdict and settlement amounts you have won for other clients. Those should certainly be part of your messaging, but not the entire message. A serious injury encompasses much more than a financial loss. Let prospects know that you understand this. Stress that the work you have done for satisfied clients serves as part of their overall recovery, rather than just another number for your website. Of course, you must still ensure that everything you do also complies with ethical rules and considerations that impact you.
To learn more about attracting clients, not turning them off, contact a LexisNexis Law Firm Marketing Specialist.
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