EXPAND YOUR LAW FIRM BY USING BRANDING
Nielsen’s September 2013 study on Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages reveals that in North America, consumers trust (82%) AND take action on (79%) “recommendations from people I know,” trust (62%) and take action on (56%) “branded websites,” trust (68%) and take action on (60%) “consumer opinions posted online” and trust (57%) and take action on (49%) “branded sponsorships.”
All of these brand/trust forms of marketing outreach ranked similarly to or higher than traditional forms of advertising, such as radio, TV and billboards/outdoors, where 1-800-DIVORCE advertising excels. However, all of these top three brand/trust forms of outreach are automatically used, directly or indirectly, as a consequence of any properly managed 1-800-DIVORCE marketing campaign. In other words, these highly trusted forms of advertising are built into 1-800-DIVORCE, whether you market traditionally or digitally/online.
Advertising on branded websites was the third most trusted North American advertising form in 2013, a rise from fourth-place ranking in the 2007 survey. Branded websites rank behind ONLY recommendations from friends and consumer opinions posted online in terms of trust. “Brand marketers should be especially encouraged to find owned advertising among the most trusted marketing formats,” said Randall Beard, global head, Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen.
Also revealed in the Nielsen survey was the fact that humorous advertising messages resonated with 47% of responders, making humor the top-rated advertising theme. There is a clear humor component to 1-800-DIVORCE advertising, which is enhanced comparatively, and perhaps somewhat perversely, by the relative unhappy reality of the potential client’s family law problems. People naturally seek humor as relief and diversion from unhappy and tense situations. Subtle humor has been used very effectively by successful 1-800-DIVORCE lawyer marketers.
“For advertisers, it’s vital that consumers make a memorable and meaningful connection with both the message and brand,” says Beard. “Regardless of the ad delivery format, be it print, billboard, TV or online, effectively reaching consumers is predicated upon having a message that favorably impacts consumers when making a purchase decision. These favorable decisions are a key metric of marketing ROI.”
Can you think of anything more memorable, meaningful or impressive to a potential family law client than the sight of 1-800-DIVORCE advertising, including an empathetic message and a local reference, such as “Serving [Your Town] Since [Year]?”
Divorce and Family Law have always been the quickest and cheapest way to build a client base and expand your law firm when starting or building a general law practice. Further, family law clients are relatively easily satisfied. Furthermore, the extra cases 1-800-DIVORCE brings you automatically ensure that you remain knowledgeable and experienced in the family law field, thereby increasing the rate of client satisfaction going forward.
Once you have satisfied your 1-800-DIVORCE client, YOU will be her lawyer FOREVER. You may well be his or her only lawyer-contact. Cultivate that fact from day one. After all, divorced people have DUI’s, dog bites, slip and fall accidents, car wrecks, bankruptcies, unfair dismissals, social security issues, will and estate issues, immigration issues, etc. at least at the rate of the general population.
Many successful 1-800-DIVORCE lawyers in general practice have used uncontested divorce as a break-even proposition just to get clients in the door. Those savvy lawyers know that the real payday will come later. However, you MUST make your family law clients aware from the beginning, and then continuously, of the other legal services you offer. Even if they do not remember the precise areas you cover, they will remember that you cover SOMETHING other than family law, which effectively becomes EVERYTHING in their minds.
Such up-selling and cross-selling is entirely consistent with your ethical duty under ABA Rule 7.3 because of the pre-existing professional relationship.
Lack of spontaneous memorability of your name, local phone number, email address and website by current and past clients (not to mention by those who have heard of you, but won’t remember you) is currently your main cause of loss of business that you have essentially already earned. 1-800-DIVORCE plugs that hole completely. You will never lose the future business and referrals of your 1-800-DIVORCE family law clients or those who have merely seen or heard of your 1-800-DIVORCE outreach.
Additionally, should a friend or relative of a satisfied family law client, or person who has merely seen your outreach, require ANY legal services, 1-800-DIVORCE will be forthcoming as the point of referral and NOT, “That guy who did my divorce 2 years ago was good, but I just can’t remember his name or number.”
Your satisfied family law clients and other word-of-mouth sources will always remember how to get back to you. This is FREE business. 1-800-DIVORCE will super-charge the Lifetime Value of your clients.
Many 1-800-DIVORCE lawyers use their 1-800-DIVORCE activity either to obtain a lower maintenance income (perhaps just to cover fixed recurring expenses), to feed a practice in a different area of law or even just as an insurance policy against a more risky venture into a preferred area of practice such as Federal Criminal Appeals.
The point is that you control 1-800-DIVORCE. You ARE 1-800-DIVORCE in your market. There are NO ADVERTISING MINIMUMS, unlike with other expensive legal mnemonic programs. Also, 1-800-DIVORCE is NOT an expensive advertising co-op! There are NO large monthly or quarterly advertising fees. 1-800-DIVORCE is whatever you make it in your town.
However, you don’t have to go it alone unless you wish to do so. We know what works and can usually put you in touch with a friendly non-competitive 1-800-DIVORCE lawyer in a similar market and who has tried what you have in mind. There is no need to re-invent the wheel when you want to expand your law firm with 1-800-DIVORCE.
Obviously, the more you spend on effective marketing, the more business you get in return – MUCH more with 1-800-DIVORCE. And the return is all yours. Once you have a “feel” for 1-800-DIVORCE in your area, you can spend less (than your competitors) on family law advertising to produce the desired level of family law income to support your general or other practice areas OR you can afford to spend progressively more to build an ever-expanding pure family law practice with never-ending exponential word-of-mouth referrals.
It’s your choice: 1-800-DIVORCE works both ways! Either way, you will always be in control of your own 1-800-DIVORCE family law advertising campaign.
Your 1-800-DIVORCE contract is essentially a life estate in the use of the trademark in your market. You can terminate service at any time without cause on 30 days written notice. Our termination rights are strictly limited to non-payment and cessation of law practice. Increases in our flat rate monthly rates are strictly limited by contract. We can’t bump or squeeze you after you have invested in 1-800-DIVORCE over time. In other words, you are assured of the good will and equity from your own marketing investments in 1-800-DIVORCE.
You have complete autonomy over 1-800-DIVORCE within your subscribed territory. You BECOME 1-800-DIVORCE in your market. Your clients, who will not be aware, or care, that there are other lawyers who share 1-800-DIVORCE in other parts of the continent, will be impressed at what they perceive as your unique business acumen and foresight in clinching the premier family law phone number in the world. 1-800-DIVORCE is your statement to your potential clients that you are a cut above the crowd, that you seek their business and are serious about earning it and satisfying them as clients.
And as a bonus, you get to enjoy the reactions of your local competitors and colleagues too. You know the ones we mean.
There are also the elements of security and the pure enjoyment of one-upmanship that will define your acquisition of 1-800-DIVORCE, just as was experienced by this writer when he acquired the continent-wide rights to 1-800-DIVORCE in March, 1984 .
While your ARE 1-800-DIVORCE in your town, don’t forget that you would also be a part of a cooperative network of similarly minded non-competing lawyers continent-wide. You will have access to their names and local numbers, just as they will have access to yours, whether for the purpose of referrals, discussion of advertising efficacy or advice on local law and practice in other locales. And inevitably in our highly transient country, you will benefit from their 1-800-DIVORCE expenditures in their markets, as they will from yours. The 1-800-DIVORCE lawyer network is greater than the sum total of its parts.
Click here to see the contractual terms of the 1-800-DIVORCE Service Agreement. We believe you will find them particularly friendly.
You should begin to up-sell (QDRO; restraining, temporary or emergency orders; insurance, estate and will review; child support collection; etc.), on an appropriate needs-based basis, and cross-sell (DUI, slip-and-fall; car wreck; bankruptcy; unfair dismissal; other tort; social security disability; business establishment and advice; immigration, etc.) on the 1-800-DIVORCE client’s very first visit to your waiting room. At least, subtly. There should be brochures detailing all of the legal services you offer – with $50 and $100 off coupons (including for referrals), as appropriate – right on the waiting room coffee table and reception desk. Such material must also be sent systematically to the client with every piece of snail mail.
Such actions are entirely consistent with your obligations under ABA Rule 7.3 because of the pre-existing professional relationship.
Make sure that there is appropriate incentive for the client to like and follow you on Facebook and Twitter – in order to stay on top of any articles and blog posts you write – as well as specifically to receive information on new and/or discounted services offered in the future.
Work for and develop a system to obtain every single 1-800-DIVORCE client’s verified testimonial through third-party testimonial verification services such as eKomi and Business Consumer Alliance. Link to those published testimonials from both your general practice website and your 1-800-DIVORCE website. Include a few on a testimonial carousel on your website. Remember that 68% of North American consumers trust consumer opinions posted online.
A reasonably funded 1-800-DIVORCE campaign of appropriate meaningful content will provide a steady supply of fresh family law clients. In fact, you may need to turn it off from time to time, depending on the extent of your campaign. However, the clients that have already been satisfied are worth more to you NOW than those new clients, who will in time be similarly valuable. New clients are necessary, of course, to feed the system, but they are more expensive to acquire and therefore worth less to you in the early stages of the “pipeline.” You’ve already earned the future business of satisfied clients. Don’t let it go. Each client’s Lifetime Value is far more than the original retainer fee.
In developing your cross-selling strategy, remember the following facts:
- 80% of future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing clients–Gartner Group
- It’s 50% easier to sell to existing clients than to new clients–Marketing Metrics
- Existing clients convert at 60-70% compared to new prospects at 5-20%–Marketing Metrics
- Repeat clients spend 33% more compared to new clients–CMO.com
- Boosting client retention by 5% can raise profits by 75%–Bain and Company
- A 10% rise in customer retention yields a 30% increase in the value of the company–Bain and Company
According to Nielsen’s November 2013 survey, Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages, consumers trust (82%) AND take action on (79%) “recommendations from people I know.” Word-of-mouth referrals are the consumer’s number one source of trusted advice on any purchasing decision, including the choice of hiring a lawyer. The psychology of the referral is powerful.
1-800-DIVORCE word-of-mouth referrals come from two separate groups of people: those you have already satisfied as family law clients and those who have seen or heard your marketing outreach and were sufficiently impressed to remember the obvious phone number, though they have not yet contacted you themselves.
The naturally low memorability of names and numbers constantly works against you in this regard. Without a reliable brand to represent you, this is the single largest source of lost business. This is business you have EARNED, but you will only rarely receive it. It simply goes back onto the local lawyer roulette wheel and rarely comes back to you.
Which would you prefer as a referral: “That guy who did my sister’s divorce was good. Can’t remember his name, but I’ll ask her the next time I see her.” or “Just call 1-800-DIVORCE. They helped my sister.”
Once consumers have seen 1-800-DIVORCE, they never forget it and love to pass it along – with all of the psychological one-upmanship that involves! Word of mouth referrals alone will cover the low monthly cost of the 1-800-DIVORCE legal marketing tool.
We realize that most lawyers are neither marketing nor Internet wizards. It’s tough enough just to be a lawyer. Accordingly, we understand that you may well have marketing and/or IT people to assist with your 1-800-DIVORCE campaign set up and implementation.
We promise to cooperate fully with your in-house or third party advertising or marketing pros.
Whether it’s discussion of marketing strategies, setting up your micro-site or landing page on http://1800Divorce.com, providing your log-in credentials to same, putting your rep in touch with an experienced 1-800-DIVORCE lawyer who has already tried the advertising vehicle you have in mind or providing full access to our extensive library of 1-800-DIVORCE advertising ideas and samples, we will always treat your staff and sub-contractors with courtesy and cooperation – and always with the primary purpose of improving your bottom line.
The average monthly flat rate cost for all existing 1-800-DIVORCE contracts is $290, but that is seriously misleading because it includes almost all of the larger metropolitan areas, in most of which we can actually hold an auction when a 1-800-DIVORCE contract rarely becomes available.
Informationally, in some larger markets, we are now into our second generation of lawyers within a family. 1-800-DIVORCE contracts are in lawyers’ estate planning in at least 4 large markets. Several contracts have been sold in large markets. BTW, contracts are assignable with our consent,which cannot be unreasonably withheld. In any event, the larger markets are expensive and worth it.
The majority of commercially viable markets still available is within the $75-$300 per month range. To give you some perspective, of the currently available markets, $210 per month would get you Tucson, AZ; $170 per month would get you Kansas City, MO; and $190 per month for Alexandria, VA – all proven 1-800-DIVORCE markets (particularly Alexandria), though now available due to the natural attrition of lawyers who have done well and moved on to their next stage, usually assisted by 1-800-DIVORCE to do so.
Very many rural areas are available nationwide at $50-75 per month, below which it is not worth our while to go. If you are in a rural area, $50 per month would get you a population base of 250,000. So you can see that in some rural areas, that would provide you with a larger geographic area than you would want to service.
BTW, you can sub-lease parts of your subscribed 1-800-DIVORCE area. You can also run your own advertising co-op if there are trusted colleagues in adjacent markets or within a market. 1-800-DIVORCE is flexible. We have had a few 1-800-DIVORCE lawyers run completely free on their own retained 1-800-DIVORCE areas by subscribing and sub-leasing areas larger than they want to control personally. You can mark up subleased areas as well as to operate your own advertising co-op, which may be beneficial to you.
If branding makes sense to you and 1-800-DIVORCE is of interest as a marketing tool, we recommend that you check the availability of your market. If your market is NOT available, contact us to get onto the waiting list. Areas do become available as lawyers move on, retire or pass away. We have a number of lawyers currently on board who are very happy they got onto their area’s waiting list.
If your area is available, call us on 1-800-PETEROH or through our Contact Form. Subscribed geographic areas are almost always customizable, within reasonable commercial parameters. We can almost always build the area you want and provide an attractive cost.
Beyond that, we seek long-term relationships, though not commitments. If you have a proposal, make it. We listen. If you have a business plan that is cogent and realistic, we will do anything reasonable to get on board and to get you on board with 1-800-DIVORCE.