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Building Your Legal Authority in Your Marketing

The public, in general, tends to see lawyers as commodities; one lawyer is just the same as another. For this reason, they tend to look for lawyers in their area and start calling. This tends to create more competition for your firm. then there should be. If your marketing and advertising portrays, you is essentially the same as everyone else, you are competing with everyone else.

For this reason, it is critically important, that your marketing and advertising distinguishes you from your competition and positions you as the lawyer, they should hire, rather than someone else. One way to do this is to build authority in your practice areas, so that a potential client will see you as the expert that they need to hire.

You can do this by taking 4 important steps.

Create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

First off, your marketing and advertising needs to reflect how you are uniquely qualified to handle the potential clients legal issue. If you do the same thing as your competitors, you are communicating that you are the same and that’s a commodity.

Have information on your website or other advertising the talk to specificity about your law firm, how it handles legal matters, and why that should be important to potential clients.

Get feedback from current clients as to why they hired you. You will start to see trends that you can use. For example, they may say that they liked how you responded to them quickly. They may also talk about your thoroughness and attention to detail in the handling of their matter. Be sure that this information is highlighted in your marketing materials.

Build Authority by Association

If one can be “cool by association,”” one can also be authoritative by association. If your potential clients see that you work with recognized, authoritative professionals and community leaders, they will impute authority to you. The additional benefit of this is that you should already be doing this as part of building your referral sources for business.

Publish or Perish

Nothing screams authority like being a lawyer, that “wrote the book on it.” People see published authors as experts, so having a book that you wrote on a specific practice area will elevate your authority to potential clients in your marketing.

Build Social Proof

People like stories, and even more so, success stories. And essential part of any law, firm website is one that tells case studies. To the extent you can, and with the clients consent, you can tell stories about how you helped other people with their legal problem. You hear personal injury attorneys talk a lot about their multi million dollar Vertex or settlements. This is helpful, but it is often not solely about money (again talking about the practice area).

Another way to establish social proof through reviews. I’ve talked quite a bit about the importance of getting as many five star reviews as you can on platforms such as Google. More and more, people are reading reviews before purchasing goods or services. The more five star reviews you have, the better. Even more so if those reviews tell a story. You should have a system in place for asking for reviews and following up.

Take these four steps, and you’ll be well on your way to building authority in your practice areas in your community. This will set you apart from your competition and reduce significantly the risk of appearing as a commodity to potential clients.

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Steven J. Richardson

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