The law firm brochure is often the primary tool in a lawyer’s marketing arsenal. It’s the all-purpose vehicle you can use for any occasion. But many lawyers don’t make effective use of their brochures and leave out important elements. Here are costly brochure mistakes to avoid.
MISTAKE #1: The brochure doesn’t contain all the elements of a competent marketing message. Bits and pieces of information aren’t enough. Your brochure should take your prospect through your message from beginning to end. It should provide all the facts and persuasion necessary to get your prospect to take whatever action you want him to take.
MISTAKE #2: The brochure doesn’t offer enough information about your background, qualifications and experience. A detailed biography builds credibility. The content in your biography isn’t all that important. But the more information you provide, the better — because as familiarity increases, trust increases. The more prospects know about your background, the more comfortable they feel.
MISTAKE #3: The brochure doesn’t contain a personal message from you to your prospect. Since the brochure is a stand-alone document, a personal message takes the place of a cover letter. A short written message over your signature adds a personal touch and helps build a trusting relationship.
MISTAKE #4: The brochure doesn’t contain a detailed list of services you offer. Prospects often look at your service list to see if you provide what they need. If they don’t see what they want, they may assume you don’t provide that service. Make sure you list all the services prospects look for.
MISTAKE #5: The brochure doesn’t include your photo. Photographs are effective marketing tools because they establish a sense of relationship between you and your prospect. Often, after seeing your photo, prospects feel as if they know you, even if you have never met. Don’t worry about your appearance. Prospects don’t care what you look like. But they feel better when they know.
MISTAKE #6: The brochure doesn’t invite calls from prospects. Giving information by itself isn’t enough. You must create a reason for prospects to contact you. Interaction is the critical marketing step most lawyers overlook. Your brochure must cause your prospect to take the desired action.
MISTAKE #7: The brochure doesn’t contain client comments. In jurisdictions where they are allowed, testimonials can be the most persuasive part of your brochure. If you have letters of recommendation and thank you letters from clients and colleagues, ask their permission to use those comments in your brochure.
MISTAKE #8: The brochure doesn’t offer educational information and advice. If you want your prospect to keep your brochure, make sure it contains helpful tips and advice. If the brochure simply touts your services, your prospect may see it as advertising and toss it into the round file. But prospects often feel compelled to keep your brochure when it contains information they value.
MISTAKE #9: The brochure doesn’t explain how you differ from other lawyers. If prospects don’t know your competitive advantages, they have no more reason to hire you than another lawyer. Make sure your brochure features your positive differences.
MISTAKE #10: The brochure doesn’t contain your guarantee or promise. The deeper the commitment you express, the more prospects appreciate your desire to help them. A written personal promise or guarantee makes a statement that few other lawyers will match. Often, prospects perceive this to be a significant competitive advantage.
MISTAKE #11: The brochures collect dust in your stock room. Many lawyers don’t have an organized plan to distribute their brochures. What a waste! If you hope your brochures will attract new clients, you must get them into the hands of your target audience and referral sources.