Four Things You DON’T Want to Hear From Legal Advertisers

Many companies want your advertising dollars, and they will do and say just about anything to get your business. Before you invest your marketing budget in any platform, do your research. You may be the lawyer who “cracks the code” and gets results from a previously untapped advertising resource, or you may lose money. It all depends on how well you optimize your ads and how you track incoming leads.

Before you sign a contract with an advertiser, review this checklist and learn about the big marketing red flags that signal an ad platform is setting you up for failure.

1. You don’t need to track your marketing. We will do that for you!
Marketing tracking is essential. You need to be able to verify your ads performance independently. This simply means that you are doing the tracking yourself, and not letting the advertising company control the tracking and reporting.

Whenever an ad company says “We track marketing on our system,” my skin crawls. What they are really saying is they want to control the marketing reports so they can present the numbers in the best possible light (for them).

You should always track your marketing. Period. If you cannot independently link a single new lead to an ad, then you should assume that marketing is not working.

2. Your ads need to mature for three months or more before you will see results.
This is true, in part. For most online ads, you need to let the ad run for a few weeks, and sometimes more, before you can report on the ad’s success or failure. This is because online platforms (like Facebook or Google) take some time to find the right audience for your ad. This can take a few days unless you uploaded a specific audience to target.

However, some platforms will say you need to run your ad for several months before you will see results. If you hear this, run away from this advertiser. You should see at least some response within the first few days, and within a few weeks you should see the ad “peak and plateau.”

Most ads have a “peak and plateau” pattern, meaning they will reach a high point of getting leads and then level off. At the peak, you will be getting a lot of leads, but those leads aren’t optimized for your practice. During the plateau, you are receiving a regular amount of leads that are optimized. This plateau period should last several weeks, maybe longer. Once this plateau drops off, it is time to pull the ad and launch something fresh.

3. Your ad is too different. We only show ads that look like this…
We recommend that Great Legal Marketing members create their ads instead of letting an ad platform do it for them. If you allow the platform (like Yelp or Avvo) create your ads, you are guaranteed to get ads that look like other attorney ads. It is better to craft your own, unique offer and message.

If the ad platform does not allow you to create your own ads or rejects several ad proposals, then you might want to think twice. Creating ads that look identical to other attorney ads almost guarantees those ads will fail. You need to create an ad that stands out and offers the potential client something unique. Differentiation is key, and you can’t achieve this if your ad platform only wants generic, boring attorney ads.

4. You should invest more money.
This is the objection that is as old as the yellow pages. If the ad fails and the ad platform wants you to continue paying them, they will say you did not invest enough money.

This can be true in certain situations. For example, if you started a social media ad campaign and set a budget of $5 a day and got a modest number of leads, you could probably get more client leads for $10 a day. Or, if you paid for the smallest ad to run once a week, then yes a larger investment could yield you better results.

However, if you ran a robust ad campaign for several months that failed to get one quality lead, then a bigger investment is not likely to get you more or better leads.

Saying you did not invest enough money is the ad platform’s way of passing the blame back to you. If you crafted a good offer with good ad copy, then you have done everything you can. It was up to the ad platform to get results, and if that failed then it is time to move on.

If you hear any of these objections while talking to the sales rep, be wary. Companies who are hungry for advertising dollars are prone to say just about anything to get and keep your business, even if the ads don’t work for your company. This is a huge problem for small businesses who fall victim to these tactics. Remember, always track your ads and never allow an advertiser to have complete control over your message.

Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.

Most attorneys start their firms assuming that being a really, really good attorney should, in and of itself, be a marketing advantage. Those attorneys believe that joining a whole bunch of committees and putting their name in lawyer directories is “marketing,” and they never bother to ask if there is a better way.

Attorneys are catching on, however, and those who succeed learn to leverage their current resources to create effective (and ethical) marketing. What they discover isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet but a different approach to marketing that your competitors haven’t considered.

If you want a peek at what successful attorneys use to market their practice, the HERO Starter Kit is your logical next step.

We’ve put together a FREE (and potentially life-changing) kit for solo and small firm attorneys that will show you a better way to reach potential clients and get them excited to call your firm. Request your HERO Starter Kit from Great Legal Marketing!

by Ben Glass

Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.


  • Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.