Win the Hearts of Your Clients through Storytelling

137812140-300x192Savvy marketers know the secret to winning over customers: people make decisions emotionally and justify them intellectually. This scientific study confirms it and our own white paper has applied this to law firm marketing.

But what’s the best way to connect emotionally with consumers online? In a word: stories. Great stories are one of the most powerful brand-message delivery systems ever devised.

Facts, bullet points and credentials have their place, but their impact is limited because they reside in the land of logic. A well-crafted story, on the other hand, honors the first commandment of marketing: “Show, don’t tell.”

Here are some examples of short stories that if told well can pack an emotional wallop:

  • Don’t just say that you value your clients; share a story about a time your firm went the extra mile for a client in crisis.
  • Don’t just state that you do pro bono work; reveal how one of your attorneys helped someone who had lost everything get a second chance in life.
  • Don’t just claim to win cases; explain how a court victory restored a client’s dignity, or helped a mother feed and care for her children, or helped a corporate client avoid financial ruin.

As you draft these stories, remember that no matter how artfully they are written, consumers will be unmoved unless those stories contain two essential qualities:

  1. Authenticity
    Consumers won’t believe your stories unless they’re, well, believable. Their authenticity must resonate with your clients and that will only happen if your stories are truthful, sincere and come from the heart. Just be sure to keep things professional though. An overly emotional tale can be seen as unprofessional or manipulative.
  2. Empathy
    Deserved or not, attorneys have a reputation for caring more about facts and outcomes than their clients’ feelings. Perhaps that’s why President Obama cited empathy among the primary criteria in his nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court in 2009.For attorneys, empathy is important because it helps create an emotional bond that might not otherwise be present. Remember that most consumers view legal services as commodities. A great story that shows how your law firm connects with people, not cases, can give you an edge over the competition.

How many stories should you tell on your site? As many as you can think of and then some. If you have a wealth of truly compelling stories that are authentic and empathetic, don’t be afraid to spend whole pages on your site sharing them. It could become more valuable than that sterile page listing your awards and achievements.

Because while that list of accolades matters, it doesn’t speak to the heart – that’s where the connection is made. Despite our own intelligence, we’re really looking for an emotional bond. Something a great story does better than anything else. For as the saying goes: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

To look deeper into the minds of legal consumers, download our white paper, Why Most Law Firm Websites are Designed to Fail or subscribe to our blog for weekly legal marketing insights.

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