3 Ways to Avoid Burning Money on Bad Lawyer Ads

4–5 minutes to read

bad lawyer ads

You’ve probably seen the who’s who of cheesy lawyer videos over the years, but they don’t all have to be that way.

Not many attorneys are video experts. You don’t need to be Spielberg. But, there are several simple video best practices to help you create video content that drives results for your law firm.

So why are there so many bad lawyer ads that land in the laughable category?

Most law firm ads ignore marketing fundamentals: understand your audience, meet them on their level, and share an authentic message.

You have to understand potential clients’ needs and speak to how you can alleviate them. View everything through the lens of your target client by using terminology they relate to and speaking to the problems they have.

Here are 3 easy tips you can immediately implement to drive a higher ROI from your video content:

  • Reflect and connect with your audience
  • Leave the script at home
  • Testimonials are king

In this post, we will compare good and bad lawyer ads to show how you can overcome these obstacles and create legal videos that drive new clients and cases for your firm.

1. Reflect and Connect With Your Audience

bad lawyer ads

Attorneys help people through low points in their lives. Whether it’s an injury, criminal charge, divorce, or other event, people generally don’t choose lawyers because they want to. They choose lawyers because they need help.

Use this knowledge to connect with potential clients, on their level, to establish rapport and encourage them to build relationships with your firm. Your message needs to meet them on an emotional level.

Many attorneys aim to create funny content, but research shows that emotional pull drives the greatest ROI.

According to Psychology Today, advertising research reveals that emotional response to video has a greater influence on a consumer’s intent to buy than the ad’s content itself (by a factor of 3-to-1!).

Establish trust, build rapport, and help potential clients understand that you know what they are going through and you’re here to help. Sell them on your “why”, not your “what”.

Here’s an example of an effective way to do this:


Here’s what not to do:

2. Leave the Script at Home

bad lawyer ads

If you’re not an actor (most attorneys aren’t), leave the script at home. Scripts sound planned, canned, and they don’t add authenticity or credibility to your message. If you’re reading a teleprompter, people will know. Have an idea of what you will say, but don’t plan your content word for word.

Tying into tip #1, authenticity inspires viewers to connect with your message. If you’re a good attorney, this isn’t a problem. Why? Because you’ve spent your life doing this. You are the expert; just let it shine through.

Speak freely, and don’t be scared to make a mistake. That’s what second takes and edits are for.

Pro Tip: Speak in succinct, complete sentences.

This allows editors to choose the best soundbites and blend them to create cohesive, convincing content in post-production.

For example, in the following FAQ video criminal defense attorney Bill Bly answers the question, “Is a DUI a Criminal Offense?”

Bill’s answer is not scripted. He knew the question beforehand but didn’t plan a word for word response. He lets his knowledge and expertise dictate the conversation just as if he were consulting a potential client.

Pro Tip: Base video topics on keyword research.

Bill based his FAQ videos on topics and questions his ideal clients commonly search online.


Here’s a less savvy message from another DUI attorney. Which do you think is more effective?

3. Testimonials Are King

At 89%, client testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for all types of content marketing. Furthermore, 92% of consumers say they trust earned media (testimonials, reviews) above all other forms of advertising.

But, earned media has to feel authentic to inspire trust. If it feels fake or canned, it won’t drive optimal results.

Not surprisingly, very few clients are skilled actors. You shouldn’t expect clients to be theater buffs who can recite scripts like seasoned pros. You don’t want that, anyway. Treat client testimonial interviews like real conversations that just happen to be on camera.

This helps your clients relax, which produces better soundbites and quotes to use for your video content.

Here’s an example of a testimonial video recorded using this strategy:


Let your clients share their experiences as if they were talking to a friend.

If you don’t, here’s what could happen:

The moral of the story? Authentic content drives an emotional connection which, in turn, drives new clients and cases.

To Recap:

  • Understand your audience
  • Don’t script
  • Include authentic client testimonials

If you implement these 3 easy practices, you can avoid creating bad lawyer ads, differentiate your practice, and ultimately convert new clients and cases.

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Attorneys who produce videos with Crisp Video see an average return on investment of 300% and a 2-10X increase in their average case values.

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