Thursday, June 7, 2012
Of the 500 attorney websites we’ve developed over the past 5 years, the overwhelming majority have been for solo practitioners or firms with 5 or fewer lawyers. Not to tip our own caps, but we have become the experts in small firm marketing. When we ask most of these firms what the main message is that they’d like to convey with their new websites, the large majority say, “that we’re different.” Many have come from Am Law 100 backgrounds and want to shed the reputation that many firms carry with them—that they are expensive and largely inaccessible. And while this message of being different, with lower rates and more personalized service is appealing to some prospective clients, it is not different from many of the firm’s competitors. In fact, in small law firm marketing, it’s become the status quo.
So how can you show prospective clients that your firm is different without a generic tagline about your accessibility or cheaper rates? Well the answer is rather simple; demonstrate the tangible benefits that you offer to your clients that other competitors may not be able to provide.
Do you understand business owners better than other local firms because you owned a small business prior to your entrance to law school? Emphasize your diverse and beneficial background.
Are you an estate planning attorney who serves on the board of trustees for an elder law advocacy group? Highlight that you immerse yourself in your specialization even in your time away from the office.
Now this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t mention value or accessibility but you’re going to need something more to really make you stand out.
In determining how you’re really “different” take into account your experience in all of the work you’ve done to date, even if it was in a different practice area or with a much larger firm. And take time to look at the big picture of your expertise; it wasn’t just developed by drafting estate plans or arguing your case in the courtroom, it was developed throughout your lifetime through your education, personal experiences, volunteer work, great verdicts and not so great verdicts, former mentors who shaped you and by the diverse clients that you’ve served. By including these sorts of details, you’re not relying on superfluous adjectives in a catchy tagline to set you apart, you’re advertising the real value that you bring to the table — you.