So you’re a personal injury lawyer who’s just about to take your first step into the world of advertising. Congratulations! But before you risk losing money – and hurting your reputation! – there are some important things you need to know about attorney TV commercials. Just getting a TV spot on the air is no guarantee of success: you need to plan your advertising carefully in order to get the best possible return on your investment.
First of all, ask yourself: would you be sold on buying a car if its commercial made claims like “lets you avoid walking from place to place” or “seats at least one extra passenger”? Of course not – these are things you’d expect any car to be capable of. In fact, if a car’s commercial made special mention of these basic features, you’d rightfully suspect it has so many failings in other regards that those are the only things they can truthfully talk about. The same logic applies to attorney TV commercials.
You need to avoid making claims about things any lawyer would be expected to offer – like free consultations, home/hospital visits, or contingent fees (i.e. clients don’t have to pay unless they win their case). You should also be wary of making claims that could be taken in a negative light: if you’re “good at negotiating settlements,” that’s the same as saying you actively work to avoid going to court for your clients. From a practical perspective, mentioning things like these also takes up airtime you could be spending on the things that genuinely set you apart from other lawyers.
That’s right – the focus of your lawyer advertisements should be making your practice stand out from your competition. Your message needs to catch your audience’s attention and engage their interest – no boring, bland monotone repetitions of the same tired promises that other lawyers make in their commercials. And don’t just address your message to potential clients, either: even if you reach viewers who have no immediate need of your services, odds are good those viewers might know potential clients who haven’t seen your commercial, or become potential clients themselves somewhere down the line. Above all, though, remember to keep your ads truthful: legal advertising is tightly regulated, and making deceptive claims, misleading comparisons, or promises you can’t back up can stir up enough legal trouble to sink your practice in short order.
The world of attorney TV commercials can feel like a minefield, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Doing your own research into the dos and don’ts of legal advertising will help you reap the biggest benefits from your advertising investment – and help you avoid costly pitfalls!