Best of the Rest: Marketing Lessons from Other Industries

Lawyer marketing lessons from the hospitality industry and more

As you develop a marketing plan for your law firm, it makes sense to look to good examples from other corners of the legal world. It also makes sense to turn to other fields and professions. Taking a moment now and then to appreciate solid marketing – even when it has little to do with attorneys or law firms – is a good way to cross-pollinate your imagination, stimulate new thoughts and bolster your creativity.

Here are three key tips successful professionals in other industries swear by and a suggestion or two for how you can apply it to your law firm.

Real Estate: Flash those pearly whites

Have you ever seen a piece of marketing collateral for a real estate agent that didn’t include a picture of him or her smiling? Real estate agents seem to understand two things: prospective clients want to see who they’re dealing with, and flashing a smile is an excellent way to create a warm and friendly reaction. This is not any different in the legal realm. A photo of you is one of the little things clients appreciate. (A surprising number of attorneys are a little camera-shy; if you’re one of them, read “What Makes A Good Headshot for a Lawyer?” and “Even More Tips for Your Best Attorney Headshot”?)

Hospitality: Presentation matters

You’re an attorney. Clients hire you for your skill, training and experience, not your looks, polish or finesse, right? Yes and no. A potential client needs a lawyer, but he or she doesn’t necessarily need you. Many lawyers think clients want to hear all about law school accomplishments and law review articles, but that does not hit home with clients, who take it for granted that you’re qualified. This is where the finer points of impression-making can create a difference. Everything from the color scheme of your office to the tone of the content on your website creates a perception – is it the right perception?

Fashion: Tell a story

Think about how hard it must be to sell perfume. You’re trying to convince someone she wants to smell a certain way through a medium that, in most cases, can’t transmit scents. That’s why many perfumes and colognes sell a lifestyle or image rather than a literal sense of what they smell like. That’s the story of the fashion industry as a whole. Designers are excellent at creating a story around their clothing so you have a reason to buy this particular pair of shoes rather than that one. Now, you don’t have to go quite this far with your law firm, but you should have a solid, identifiable brand and ways to distinguish yourself from competitor firms. Human beings love stories; the better story you can tell, the more compelling you will be.

Are you wondering what other efforts you should be making to ensure you have an effective marketing plan? FindLaw is pleased to offer free consultations with our in-house experts.

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