Legal marketing, in the minds of many of us who either market to
attorneys or help attorney's promote their services via marketing, is
one of the great oxymoron's. It is exceptionally poor marketing and much of what goes on is barely legal.
passes as trying to market to lawyers for the vast majority of
financial, technical and service oriented firms that attempt it, is
generally confined to purchasing insanely priced advertisements in bar
or trial lawyer publications, making absurdly expensive contributions
to these same organizations to get a speaking or writing slot at a
national or large state convention, or doing the convention road show
circuit where you are reduced to standing in the exhibitor ghetto to
pitch your wares to lawyers who are more interested in the free stuff
you give away in order to entice them into standing in front of you
long enough to shove a card in their hands.
wasteful, demeaning process has evolved into "the industry standard" of
how you reach lawyers. Let me ask you, if you are a company that wants
to market your services or talents to lawyers, a few questions.
1. How much are you spending to purchase advertising in trade and association magazines and what do you really get out of it?
The average budget for the average firm marketing to just trial
lawyers, to buy space in the three national magazines, Trial, National
Law Journal and American Lawyer, is approximately $5000 for a VERY
modest campaign. If you want premium position or full page ad's be
prepared to double or triple that number.
2. How much are you spending on State or regional publications?
Again, if we break the markets into regions and assume you want to do
at least a 5 state buy, a realistic budget for those state publications
or to buy space in Lawyers Weekly or a regional paper, you are again at
$5000 minimum with the ability to easily double it, particularly in the
Northeast or Mid-Atlantic region.
3. How much do you budget to attend trade shows and staff your booth?
If you wish to have a consistent presence you need to target Mass Torts
Made Perfect, AAJ, ABA conventions at a minimum, which means 6
commitments just with those 3 organizations. If you also want to do a
regional purchase, again with 5 states, you will have at least 10
events you need to attend. Lets assume you do at minimum one event per
month then. You can not possibly do any event, with travel, booth
space, entertainment, lodging and materials for less then $5500 per
event and thats low.
So, for a very basic national
advertising purchase in media, along with a solid regional media buy,
coupled with the required trade show circuit, what is your monthly
budget? Approximately $15,000 per month or $180,000 per year!
then throw in the additional "contributions" that most organizations
also are required to give to state and national associations to get
preferred speaking slots, opportunities to present at meetings, writing
in the publications or the coveted preferred vendor designation, and if
you can get away from that for less then $50,000 per year you are a
better man then I am.
Finally lets toss in the occasional
golf tournament, where sponsoring a hole costs you $5000, or annual
gala ball or fund raising event and you are probably topping out for
everything somewhere around $250,000!
Could someone tell me where
this cycle ends and at what point the people marketing to trial lawyers
and the bar in general throw up their hands and say " I surrender"? I
mean really, how much return can any legal marketer say they are
getting for their money when you are pouring in that sort of investment
year after year before you have opened up one file, handled one case or
sold one item. I realize more then most that you must advertise and
that you must support your local and national bar and trial lawyer
organizations and I'm not advocating that you stop it all together.
However, there is a better way then just pouring money into the black
Lets face it, most people in legal marketing spend
with these magazines and organizations out of abject fear that if they
don't, their competitors will, and the trial lawyers will black ball
them because they stopped spending money with them. Never mind that
most people get almost no calls or business off of their ad's in
publications or that their contributions amount to nothing once some
other competitor offers one dollar more to the association to buy
preferred vendor status. No, they have to do it, they have to suffer
the indignity of the vendor ghetto because to not do it means you have
turned your back on your customers.
I am here to tell you that there is a better way and a better answer and that's The Legal Broadcast Network.
if you will, taking some of the money, say about 20% of that $250,000
figure I listed, and allocating to fund a full broadcast channel for
the trial lawyers in your state. Or, imagine taking 15% of that number
and sponsoring for your best legal clients a channel to market their
legal services, with your firms name displayed on all of their audio, video or written commentary.
Or better yet, imagine that all of this content actually got READ,
VIEWED or LISTENED too, instead of tossed in the garbage or on a coffee
table. Or, imagine that this content you helped them create and
broadcast was available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year forever!
fact is you can get out of the ghetto of sponsor hell and you can begin
to brand yourself and your best clients on the media where 90% of all
new customers are found now, and that's the internet. The only thing
holding back most legal marketing firms and lawyers is fear and a sense
they are leaving behind the known for the unknown.
Step out of the darkness, leave the ghetto behind and come join the
fastest growing, most dynamic means of promoting your firm, your
clients and future customers. The Legal Broadcast Network. Part 1 in a 6 part series on Legal Marketing on the Internet, what in the world do you have to lose?