Developing Your Unique Selling Proposition (a.k.a Standout Advantage)
The goal in your lawyer advertising is to stand apart from all the other ads out there, all saying the same basic thing:
“I’m a good lawyer. You need legal help. Hire me.”
That’s essentially the same message every lawyer is broadcasting because that’s what you’ve been lead to believe clients are looking for. And you’re dead wrong.
What is a Unique Selling Proposition?
The frontrunners of any class of goods or services always have something unique to set them apart from the competition. The concept of promotions stemmed from this fact; companies try to set themselves apart from their competition by offering something the other companies can’t or won’t.
Nowadays, every lawyer advertising piece out there is pretty much yelling that they offer free consultations and they care about a client’s case. To break off from these stale marketing tactics, you need to have a unique selling proposition (USP) to set you apart from all the other lawyers in your area.
Your USP is not the single solution to getting a new client; rather, it’s the first step in your lawyer advertising to convert a viewer into a client. Your unique selling proposition should attract their attention to lead them into wanting to learn more. It should lead them to a contact form, a phone number, or a website to allow them access to everything your legal marketing has to offer.
Discovering Your Unique Selling Proposition
Back in grade school, they told us everybody is special, and it’s true. You have something unique about you that no other lawyer in your area can claim to have. It doesn’t even have to be law-related; you have a life outside the law firm. You may have even had former professions that distinguish you from the rest.
Are you an avid motorcyclist? Did you once compete in professional gymnastics? Do you have a horse farm? These are all unique, interesting facts about you that can be made into a great unique selling proposition for your lawyer advertising. If you can tie your hobby into your practice areas, this is particularly helpful in your quest to become the legal guru in your local market.
Once you develop your unique selling proposition, you need to use it effectively in your lawyer advertising. Read on to learn about the proper use of your USP and how it can work its way into all your lawyer advertising.
Putting Your Unique Selling Proposition to Work
You’ve decided on your unique selling proposition; now you need to implement it in your lawyer advertising. Remember that the unique selling proposition is a hook to get your client interested. Once you have their attention, you need to reel them in with more of what you initially offered.
If your unique selling proposition (USP) was that you offer free materials related to their case, your lawyer advertising needs to hype this up. You may choose to market yourself as the Motorcycle Lawyer. Your unique selling proposition will stress that not only do you specialize in motorcycle accident claims, but you’ve been riding for 20-plus years and really know your stuff. This means your lawyer advertising should be full of images of you on your bike, announcements about local motorcycle rides, and so on.
Your Unique Selling Proposition is Just the Beginning
If you think using your USP in your basic lawyer advertising is all you have to do, you’d be wrong. One advertising tactic is not enough to set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. You need to make sure your unique selling proposition is implemented throughout your lawyer advertising and legal marketing.
This doesn’t mean you need to be a one-trick pony; there are some cases where using your unique selling proposition isn’t appropriate. Some of the stricter, straight-laced marketing venues like the lawyer directories or online Yellow Pages will try to keep everyone uniform, so your USP may not function here.
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.