3 Ways to Avoid Wasting Money on Bad Lawyer Ads

6–7 minutes to read

Investing in marketing is vital to the success of your law firm — but there is a difference between investing and wasting money.

Video marketing is one of the most impactful forms of content to use for your law firm. Once you have a high-quality video produced, there are also many ways to leverage it to your firm’s advantage.

But before you dive into your next legal advertisement, we’ll cover the biggest pitfalls lawyers make in their videos that turn potential clients away, and how to avoid wasting money on your advertisements by sticking to our proven methods.

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.

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:

  1. Reflect and connect with your audience
  2. Leave the script at home
  3. Testimonials are king

1. Reflect and Connect With Your Audience

When creating any type of marketing content for your law firm, it is essential to keep your ideal client in mind throughout the entire process. If your ads aren’t geared toward your ideal client, then you will not accomplish the goals you likely set out to achieve. If, ultimately, your goal is to bring new business to your firm, that will only happen if the ideal client is always the focus.

For many people, calling an attorney means they are at a low point 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 as a last resort because they direly need help.

Legal advertisements that do not connect with their audiences, or those that instead attempt to use humor, are a waste of money. The best way to increase your success rate in client conversion and avoid wasting money is to use your ad to establish trust, build rapport, and help potential clients understand that you know what they are going through and that you’re here to help. Sell them on your “why,” not your “what.”

Once you recognize this, it’s knowledge you can use to connect with potential clients on their level. Your message can establish rapport and encourage them to build relationships with your firm by meeting them on an emotional level.

After all, the most important decisions are made based on emotion. If you can meet potential clients with your marketing at a point of emotional reasoning, your chances of successfully converting them to paying clients are much higher.

Check out personal injury attorney Dirk Derrick’s brand video for his firm. It opens with his personal story — he explains the role football played in his life growing up, and the role it plays in his firm now. This story proves to be much more relatable for his audience, which in turn brings tangible results for his firm.

2. Leave the Script at Home

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. Avoid wasting money and time on writing a script or hiring someone to write a script for you. Instead, have an idea of what you will say, but don’t plan your content word for word.

Authenticity inspires viewers to connect with your message. Great attorneys have no problem with this — it’s what they do every day.

If you connect easily with your current clients, your team, or a jury, you’ll have no problem connecting with viewers through the camera — so don’t force it. Speak freely, and don’t be scared to make a mistake. That’s what second takes and edits are for.

Consider the content you consume regularly that you connect with the most. Sure, sometimes it might be scripted TV shows — but what about the real and raw content that comes from your favorite influencers, friends and family on social media, or even less scripted television content like sports shows?

Everyone finds comfort in genuine connection, not just your clients.

Take this example from Nelson Tyrone of the Tyrone Birth Injury Lawyers. He speaks directly from his heart and shows just how deeply he understands what his clients are going through. His real experiences and opinions create better connections with his clients than any script ever could.

Pro tip: to create better content for editors to work with, speak succinctly and in complete sentences. This allows editors to choose the best soundbites and blend them to create cohesive, convincing content in post-production.

3. Testimonials Are King

If you read reviews or watch review videos before buying a product, which most people do, you’ll know how valuable they are. Client testimonials work the same way for law firms.

72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business, and 88% of consumers trust online testimonials and reviews as much as recommendations from friends or family. There is no denying how impactful that is.

However, client testimonials have to be done right in order to be effective. Earned media must feel authentic to inspire trust. If it feels fake, it won’t drive optimal results.

Not surprisingly, very few clients are skilled actors. You shouldn’t expect your clients to be theater buffs who can recite scripts like seasoned pros. You don’t want that, anyway — hiring actors to pose as clients for a testimonial is never a good idea, either. Potential clients will easily sniff out a fake testimonial, making it a waste of money.

Instead, you want real clients that you have helped. They will have genuine and impactful stories to tell. They might stumble, and you might need a few takes, but their emotion is powerful and you can rest assured knowing that you really made a difference in their lives.

When filming a client interview, treat it like a real conversation that just happens to be on camera. This helps your clients relax, which produces better soundbites and quotes to use for your video content. Ultimately, when clients are able to tell their authentic stories, they will be far more relatable than any actor you could hire.

Let your clients share their experiences as if they were talking to a friend. Real emotion elicits a genuine reaction from viewers, which in turn also drives business to your firm.

Take note of this client testimonial from Shannon Law Group. The client in this testimonial spoke to his injury and gives us a deep understanding of why he trusts Joe. The impact that Joe had on his life is apparent, and there is no denying the authenticity of his story.

Final Thoughts

Implementing these practices in the next advertisement you produce for your firm is not difficult. The reality is that more authentic videos are the key to connecting with potential clients, and there is no easier thing to do than just be yourself.

Making a conscious effort to understand your audience and meet their needs comes first and foremost. Following this up by ditching the script and including authentic client testimonials will ensure an impactful video, and empower you to avoid wasting money on cheesy tactics that just don’t work.


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