Law Firm Marketing: What if your law firm is in “the suburbs”?

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I often get asked: What if my firm is not a big Central Business Firm – but “in the suburbs” – do I still need social media and law firm marketing?

My answer is: YES – and you need to do it right and differently from CBD-centred firms

 

Some “suburban” firms are in the suburbs for a reason – to be close to their potential clients – and they have to make sure their marketing and social media presence appeal to their target audience.

 

I usually analyse best practices in law firm marketing from around the globe.

In this post I turn my attention to my own “backyard” in Brisbane, Australia.

I’ve been analyzing the social media presence and web design of  many non-CBD firms and I am very impressed with a particular firm – Tribly Misso.

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I have no connection with the firm. I just use it as a good example.

(When I do have a connection with a firm or organisation – I disclose this.)

 

Now Trilby Misso does have a Brisbane CBD office. It is by no means a small suburban firm – but most of its offices are out where its clients are – including Browns Plains, Ipswich, Sunshine Coast etc.

What I am saying is: Tribyl Misso  needs to appeal mainly  to a “suburban” audience of everyday people rather thand big inner city corporate types.

It handles lots of  Motor Vehicle Accidents, Workplace Injuries and TPD (total and permanent disability) compensation cases.

As you can imagine – people who have suffered some injury  need more than just legal advice – they need care and support and empathy.

 

I remember being taught Equity at law school – but not Empathy!

But how do you “show” care and support and empathy?

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The slogan of Trilby Misso is “because we care” –  but you need to do more than just say it – you have to show it!

Trilby Misso describes many of its clients as everyday people.

 The power of visuals and video!

One of the best ways to connect with everyday people is to use the power of a short video where a client (someone like your target audience) describes in everyday language how you have helped them.

Video is an investment for firms – but a good one will connect with clients far better than just text.

I encourage you to look at the website and the video.

One of the worst things you can do in law firm marketing to everyday people is look manufactured –  like a person is reading a script.

Ask your talent questions and let them answer in their own words.  When I do videos I always like to be real about the challenges and hardships of a matter – rather than being too “glowing with praise”.

An everyday audience is suspicious of too much spin.

Also just look at the images in the website that jump out at you – even without you reading any text.

See how many times you “see” a family  or everyday people in the photos.

Men work there – but look at the friendly feminine presence in the website – even in the marketing material in the office shots.

 

Powerful and memorable call to action.

The call to action is very memorable and effective too.

It’s very good – like a professional advertising slogan – based around the word TURN – and how you can get injured through a wrong turn or a turn of fate.

There are a couple of versions of the slogan – but with the same basic message.

When life takes a turn for the worse/When life takes a wrong turn…turn to Trilby Misso

 Simple, memorable, effective!

 

Often I can tell just by looking at a website – roughly when it was activated.

This site looked recent – within the last 12 months. You can tell by the increased simplicity.

Larger firms that were some of the first to market with website are now starting to look dated.

Modern sites are even more simple than ones from a few years ago – more photos, less text!

Now, the simplicity is not to impress ciients with modernity – the simplicity is to make it easy for the audience to find what they want.

Also many firms have simpler versions for display on mobile devices – the phone-ternet as US expert Chris Brogan calls it.

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The Tribly Misso site translates well to a phone too.

I later found out that the new website was activated in August last year – so my instincts were correct.

Facebook and twitter 

For a “smaller than international/national firm” status, Trilby Misso “punches well above its weight” with its Facebook and twitter presence.

The Facebook page is very, very family and community friendly – once again through the power of images – and not all law and business.

Look at the all the red branding too.  Very distinctive.

On Twitter, once again lots of red branding and well written, plain language tweets.

Enthusiastic, friendly tone in the tweets.

What I like is the tweets aren’t all self-promotional business tweets.

Lots of photos of family and food.

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So if you are from a firm with a suburban presence, ask yourself.

1. What image (through the chosen images) does your website and social media project ? Is it audience friendly? Is your audience (or people like your audience) IN your marketing material?

2. Do you use the power of video and real photos?

3, Do you have an effective and memorable slogan  that is also a call to action – like Trilby Misso does?

4. Is your branding distinctive and echoed in all your media?

So –  well played Trilby Misso!  In my opinion you have invested wisely in your web and social media presence.

Here is a link to the site for you to check out and see what you think:

http://www.trilbymisso.com.au

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Cheers, Tony

So, why do lawyers need to be likeable anyway?

Lawyers often get a bad rap ( perceived as dry, detached and  dispassionate) – yet they can change their image and be more likeable. In these competitive times –  to attract and retain clients, lawyers need to show more than  just their legal expertise.

They need to create greater connections with existing and potential clients. Lawyers need to be more likeable. 1. by showing what they have in common with their audience ( how they are LIKE their audience). 2. by revealing just a bit of their human and private side – what things in life they LIKE. Lawyers in the US now list things (outside of work) that they LIKE and are passionate about. Social Media Savvy law firms are creating more shareable and likeable content.

Legal websites are more audience-focussed and dare to stand out from the old stodgy legal image.

Who is writing this?

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Hi, I’m Tony Biancotti. When I was a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland – I found the working as a lawyer too dull, so I “escaped”  for an adventure-filled career as a TV reporter and Defence Correspondent – and even a political speechwriter and media adviser.

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Since 2004 I’ve been an international presentation and writing coach and consultant helping leading Australian and global businesses. I use my media and social media skills to help professionals (including lawyers) communicate and persuade more effectively by “connecting” with their audience.

 

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