How to Prevent Your Law Practice From Falling Into the Commodity Trap
What impact is the increased commoditization of legal services having on your practice?
As you know, lawyers used to be the prime source of legal knowledge. The ones people turned to for information and advice following an injury or accident. As such, your competition was once largely limited.
These days, though, technology has altered the way people engage in legal services. With this change has come vast amounts of easily accessible information and competition beyond geographic borders.
It’s also led to greater reliance on companies outside the legal industry to get in front of potential prospects.
And these trends only promise to continue, especially as legal resources — online and offline — become even more accessible.
So what’s the solution? How do you stand out from the pack today, so you can attract clients and get more of the cases you want?
First, you must remember that consumers’ buying habits have evolved. They now demand more — and want it faster and easier.
Not all that long ago, buying legal services without talking to an attorney seemed absurd. Now it happens all the time.
This is one factor contributing to commoditization. The human element just isn’t as important in the “buying” process.
Yet just because you’re not involved face-to-face doesn’t mean you’re at a disadvantage.
In fact, embrace this change and your firm can see big benefits.
After all, these days you can put your message in front of a constant supply of potential prospects 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — without ever leaving your office or even having a single consultation.
One way is with what we call a legal brand video. These videos drive conversion by communicating the why behind a firm’s story.
The narrative helps potential clients connect with an attorney and/or practice by communicating your unique value proposition — what sets you apart from other law firms.
Here’s an example from Keith Magness, a personal injury attorney in New Orleans, Louisiana:
When Keith came to us, his competition held every advantage. They were bigger, had more resources and, of course, held significant market share.
Keith operates a solo law firm.
Yet by multiplying his ability to reach potential prospects, he not only started competing against the larger law firms, his practice thrived.
During the first year, Keith’s overall revenue jumped 30%, while his website conversions nearly doubled to 40%-45%. Furthermore, he spent less than 1% of his top competitors’ marketing budgets.
Now, another way to combat commoditization is to position yourself as the marketplace expert (establish authority). This is where content marketing comes into play.
In the case of Crisp clients, we do this with a series of high-quality FAQ and educational videos. Each one is focused on data-driven topics developed through keyword research.
This example from Herrman & Herrman, a personal injury firm in Corpus Christi, Texas, is one of 26 videos the firm uses to establish thought leadership and rank higher in search engines.
So now when people around Corpus Christi search online for answers to common legal questions, the firm’s attorneys are the ones providing answers.
The more educational content they release, the more potential prospects they reach.
This growth is right in line with the latest research. According to Aberdeen, a data science and analytics company, marketers who use video see 49% faster growth in revenue.
Law firms using a legal video marketing agency for marketing purposes also see 41% more web traffic from search engines than firms that don’t use video.
Now, of course, not just any video works. The quality needs to properly portray your law firm, especially if you’re looking to attract high-value cases.
Quality was key when Lance Cooper of The Cooper Firm came to Crisp Video. His firm combats commoditization by emphasizing a specific, high-value personal injury niche.
You see, The Cooper Firm primarily focuses on wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases. They also can only take on a select few clients at a time.
So how the firm’s messaging comes across is critical to bringing in the right type of prospect.
Outside the legal world, this type of segmenting within industries is common. For instance, Volvo is a car manufacturer that targets consumers especially concerned with safety.
Whole Foods is a food retailer that targets consumers willing to pay a premium price for organic food.
Beachbody is a provider of fitness programs that target consumers wanting to get fit with super-intense, challenging workouts.
The takeaway here is simple:
Narrow your messaging so it “speaks” to a specific type of personal injury client.
In the video below, Atlanta personal injury attorneys Gino Brogdon, Jr. and Darl Champion describe their ideal clients. You’ll notice these people aren’t just any type of personal injury victims — they share common characteristics.
The Simpson Law Group in San Diego takes a similar approach. In this case, they only target victims of trucking accidents.
Furthermore, the content goes beyond the typical “fight for your rights” and “aggressive representation” promises that plague so much personal injury marketing.
The firm understands how their ideal client defines value and communicates this message. As such, prospects are more likely to view their legal services as a required necessity.
So if you see signs of your law firm falling into the commodity trap, it’s time to find that differentiating factor — what sets you apart?
Once you do, you’ll put yourself in a better position to consistently bring in higher-value cases, as you set yourself apart from the pack.
Michael Mogill is the President and CEO of Crisp Video Group, a national legal video marketing company that produces high-quality and engaging legal videos for attorneys all over the country. Crisp Video is consistently recognized for creating engaging legal videos that help attorneys see a 2 to 10 times increase in case values. By simply bringing in higher-value cases, attorneys who produce videos with Crisp Video see an average return on investment of 300% and routinely double and triple their revenue — sometimes within just 6 months. He has been featured in Forbes, Avvo, ABA, PILMMA, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.