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Ethical Thanksgiving Legal Marketing
- by Aron Solomon
It’s hard to believe that we are already in November. While so much of this year has gone much more slowly than it usually does, this fall has absolutely flown by.
With Thanksgiving just a week away, legal marketers and their clients have turned an eye to leveraging the holiday for their campaigns, especially on social media.
What better time of the year, in which we should reflect and give thanks for the bounty that helps form our lives, to think about how we want to do marketing in November and in the entire year to come? So what better time to think about legal marketing through an ethical lens?
Why Ethical Legal Marketing Matters
Ethical legal marketing applies standards to showcasing the benefits of working with a given lawyer or law firm. Firms that practice and support ethical marketing demonstrate a socially responsible and culturally sensitive business sense that is critically important today.
Ethical legal marketing is less of a marketing strategy and more of a philosophy that informs all marketing efforts. It seeks to promote honesty, fairness, and responsibility in all advertising in and around the profession.
While there is no guarantee that unethical legal marketing will guarantee more clients for your firm, ethical marketing is always the wisest route to success as it develops trust with your prospective clients.
Here are some tips ethical marketers and their law firm clients can adopt to embrace a better way of marketing:
Don’t oversell and underdeliver
This is the first rule of marketing. Don’t promise the customer the world and deliver below your client’s expectations. In the legal industry, there is always the temptation, as some areas of practice have virtually no repeat business. This purely translational nature of the relationship with a clearly-defined and limited lifetime value of each client makes it tempting for legal marketers to put on the black hat and use techniques often close to or on the ethical line. Don’t.
Treat your audience with respect
Always have your audience’s interest at heart when you’re embarking on a legal marketing campaign. Think about the effects of your decisions on your audience. What lawyers and legal marketers often seem to fail to grasp is that their marketing is for their clients, not them. Legal marketing that is smart and respectful resonates with an audience and will provide a far greater return on investment than marketing that talks down to your user and is aimed at a level far below or above where they are. Speak to your prospects as they would want to be spoken to.
Hone your craft
Whatever your areas of specialization are, actually try to be the best at it so you can honestly stand out.
While saying this may seem wildly antiquated, we should be doing legal marketing and practicing law in a way that brings us profit, satisfaction and actually improves the world around us.
How would our marketing efforts and the legal services we provide change for the better if we always kept this front of mind?
Your clients actually don’t expect perfection but they do expect honesty.
Borderline false claims are far too common in legal marketing. While many don’t quite violate the laws around legal marketing, many will be exposed, and trust is irrevocably lost.
A transparent legal marketing campaign can convey the firm’s sense of purpose to their audience and draw in new business.
Stick to the truth in your campaigns and communications, be human and humane, and use verifiable data to support the claims you are making. It might not be easy, but it will make your legal business a better and more sustainable one.
About Aron Solomon
Aron Solomon is the Senior Digital Strategist for NextLevel.com and an Adjunct Professor at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University.