We’ve all seen it.
The attorneys using fear-based messaging to market their practices- screaming at the public to call them right now… or else!
Why do so many attorneys use it? In their defense, and to a degree, fear-based messaging has its place. It can be effective in one-to-many ads and initial outreach. But, it has its limitations - especially in referral marketing.
When trying to get referrals from clients during in-person meetings, fear-based messaging won’t work.
Let’s say you’ve consulted with your client and started working towards a solution to their problem. To reintroduce the fear they had before they came to you for a solution would be pointless for two reasons:
- The client is no longer experiencing the fear.
- Clients can’t communicate their fears to others in a way that will send you more business.
Positioning Trumps Fear
There’s a better strategy to get referrals, and it begins with positioning.
If you position yourself as an expert to your clients, they’ll be much more likely refer you business than fear-based tactics ever could.
The reality is, there are many things that can be done without an attorney. There’s self-service options to smaller legal problems. There’s also information that can help people avoid any legal action at all.
You can position yourself as a thought leader by making this information available. This information tells people (1) what they can do on their own, (2) when they don’t need an attorney, and (3) when they do need an attorney.
By communicating this information in a marketing piece, you position yourself in three key ways.
1. Position Yourself As A Premium Provider
If you follow my blog, you’ve heard me say that time is your most valuable asset. Every lawyer takes meetings with prospects that don’t result in a sale because it’s either not the right fit or legal services aren’t required. This is one of the most common time-drains lawyers experience.
By telling people when they don’t need a lawyer, you can pre-screen your clients. This positions you as a premium legal services provider. You’re letting everyone know that your time is valuable - that you’re selective about the clients you choose to work with.
2. Position Yourself In Opposition
Most lawyers don’t give people a list of scenarios when they’re not needed. This goes against conventional marketing tactics, like the fear-based messaging we discussed earlier. Most of the time, lawyers are trying to communicate every possible reason someone should hire them.
By saying, “Guess what? You can do some of this stuff yourself,” you’re positioning yourself in opposition to the norm. You’re showing people that you’re different from the average attorney.
3. Position Yourself As An Advocate
When you give people the information they need to self-service or avoid professional help, there’s a chance they’ll follow your advice and not hire you. That’s okay! This shows that you are on their side - that you want what’s best for them.
Even though nearly every lawyer wants what’s best for their clients, this kind of marketing piece shows it in a way that is both transparent and tangible. You are positioning yourself as advocate, not just for your clients, but for the entire market.
Positioning yourself as an expert is great, but it doesn’t accomplish the same thing. Communicating that you’re highly skilled in your field doesn’t communicate that you have the best interest of clients and prospects are heart.
A New View Of You
Think about your clients that already know, like, and trust you. You can equip them with this marketing piece and say, “Hey, pass this along to people you know that think they may need a lawyer. It’ll help them determine if that’s really necessary for them. Don’t let them get bamboozled into thinking they need a lawyer when they don’t.”
It may look like you’re just passing along a marketing piece, but you’re ultimately giving peace of mind. You’re associating yourself with good deeds - with advocacy. When people view you in this light, you stand out from crowd of average attorneys.
To the prospects, you’re no longer positioned as a lawyer who’s pushing people to sign up for their services. You’ll be viewed as a real thought-leader in your area of practice.
Your current clients will also view you differently. You won’t have to ask them bluntly for referrals so they won’t see you as a salesman. You remain an advocate for them which is more comfortable for you both. Most importantly, this results in more referrals!