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 by integrating legal brand videos into your current marketing strategies. These videos drive conversion by communicating the why behind a firm’s story. It puts the human element back in the buying process — this adds huge amounts of value to your firm, both spoken and unspoken.
The narrative inherent to successful legal videos helps potential clients connect with an attorney and/or practice by communicating your unique value proposition — what sets you apart from other law firms.
Ben Glass, founder of GLM, decided to produce a legal brand video with Crisp Video Group. One of the elements of his legal brand video he felt most passionately about communicating was the emotional, human element behind his legal practice.
Check out his video to see how this legal brand video communicates the “why” behind Ben Glass Law:
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 extensive keyword research.
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 legal video content for marketing purposes also see 41% more web traffic from search engines than firms that don’t use video.
Content marketing doesn’t solely apply to video – it includes any content produced and distributed by your law firm. If you’re interested in boosting your content marketing efforts, here are some tips for success:
- Be consistent: post content on a regular schedule – we recommend once every other week
- Avoid jargon: use personable, easy-to-read language – your clients didn’t go to law school, so don’t expect them to know the terminology)
- Rely on research: don’t post content arbitrarily – incorporate popular keyword phrases, common FAQs, and content potential clients actually want to read
Quality was key when Howard Spiva of Spiva Law Firm came to Crisp Video. His firm combats commoditization by emphasizing a specific, targeted personal injury niche.
As a fellow GLM member, Howard shared a similar goal with Ben Glass: he wanted to emphasize the human element
of his personal injury firm while also establishing himself as an authority.
Within the personal injury practice, it’s more common to create an emotional connection with the audience. In personal injury cases, clients are dealing with a whirlwind of emotions including pain, fear, stress, and anger.
Spiva Law Firm focuses on catastrophic injury, so it’s all the more important to solidify those intimate emotional connections with potential clients by conveying emotions such as hope, vulnerability, and determination.
So how did Howard Spiva’s video perform?
Just 3 days after sharing his Crisp legal video, he had 35,000 views.
2 days later, he had 42,000 views.
Now? He’s exceeded 64,000 views on YouTube and 100,000+ views on social media.
Obviously, how your firm’s messaging comes across is critical to bringing in the right type of prospect and connecting with your client.
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 client.
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?
To figure out what sets you apart, start with your “why”:
- Why do I practice law?
- Why did I choose this practice area?
- Why do my clients should choose me over my competitors?
Once you find your “why”, you’ll put yourself in a better position to consistently bring in higher-value cases, as you set yourself apart from the pack.
To reiterate, if you want to avoid commoditizing your law firm, focus on these techniques:
1. Stay on top of evolving client habits and needs
2. Embrace contemporary marketing strategies such as legal video
3. Communicate your “WHY”
4. Establish yourself as an authority figure within your field
5. Narrow your messaging to match your ideal client
When implemented effectively, these strategies will allow you to be more than just a name in a phone book. It will allow you to humanize your firm, connect with your clients, and increase your firm’s overall intake.
Want to chat about how Crisp Video Group can help you implement these strategies? Schedule a 15-minute phone call with our team. We’d love to discuss your firm’s marketing goals with you.
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.
by Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.