keeping up with the Smiths

Studying how other industries promote their businesses can be a real quick win for legal practices.  Our advice is to forget what your competitors are doing, and think laterally.

The restrictions on advertising which our profession has previously been constrained by mean that in general, we are still very much playing a game of catch up with the rest of the commercial world.  Quality Solicitors are about to launch their TV advertising this week: still a relatively quirky approach to promoting legal services.  Amazing in this day and age!  Hats off to them and all their endeavours to save the brand of solicitors.

Most law firms fall under the bracket of SMEs and will cry that there is no way they could ever afford the cost of TV advertising. That may be the case, but its not an excuse for a lack of creativity when it comes to promoting brand.  And the secret here is simple.  Just look around at how others are doing it, but ignore the legal industry.  Consider all the companies you interact with on a daily basis as a consumer.  What works for you?  What “value-adds” have you bought into?

We’ll give you one example -vouchers and discount codes.  Have a look at VoucherCloud.com.  For those of you with smartphones you may already be using their app to get 25% off Cafe Rouge or  15% off Timpsons; whatever the latest offers are. Contrary to misgivings about discounts in the legal profession, this does not dilute the quality of your brand if handled correctly. But make sure you use an intelligent approach to such strategies.

Understanding the cost of acquisition of new clients is key here.  Vouchercloud advertise their registration fee at a base level of £199.  For many organisations this represents a couple of referral fees (or less).  If you are still anxious to pursue clients directly, this kind of tool has many attractions:

– its national coverage and significant opportunity to increase visibility of your firm (for a relatively low cost base)

-its exclusivity.  There are very few professional services using this at present, and in some areas no solicitors at all.  If you’re quick you could steal the lead

– the volume of potential new clients; and in particular the opportunity to expose the latent market

-the chance to innovate, for a relatively low cost

Its just one suggestion. There are literally thousands of others out there.  But you’ll get the point.  I’m afraid to say that a glossy brochure and sponsoring a roundabout just won’t cut it these days.

Oh, and one final point, don’t forget the code of conduct in all of your advertising strategies; the SRA have not quite achieved outcome focussed regulation just yet.

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