TV Advertising Advice for Attorneys
1. Take the Lead From Your Competition. Keep in mind: no one advertises on TV for long if it doesn't work. But when it does work, most people stick with it. So, if you've seen another lawyer advertising on TV consistently for months, chances are you've seen a lawyer who's making money at it. If your practice is similar, maybe you could be making money from TV too!
2. Know Your Prospect. Your prospect from TV advertising is not just someone who needs a lawyer. Your prospect is someone who needs a lawyer and will hire one from TV. This usually means someone who does not already have a lawyer and does not know any lawyers, someone whose economic demo, in most cases, is working class or lower. In order to profit from TV advertising, your practice should be one that can benefit from an appeal to this demographic.
3. Meet a specific need. This is an important exception to Rule #2: If your practice meets a very specific need, you may get response from prospects in higher economic demos, people who know lawyers or even already have lawyers. The prospects rightly assume that you could do more for them in this particular circumstance than another lawyer, who would know less about it.
4. Advertise a Legal Specialty that Works Well on TV. Some kinds of practices get much better TV results than others. Advertising a corporate tax law practice on local TV is probably not going to help you very much, unless you are only interested in building your image over the long haul and you are willing to stick with the program without getting much response in the short term. Even if you place your advertising where corporate executives might see it, they are unlikely to respond. They just don't find lawyers that way.
5. Feed Off Your Competitors' Ads. If another attorney in your area of practice has been using TV successfully for awhile, and your commercial suddenly pops up, you may pick up some prospects who have seen his ad but didn't need him at that time. Now they do need him, but it's your ad they see!
6. Make Sure Your Staff Benefits. This is not just altruism. Phone response to TV advertising by lawyers usually has a high "chaff to wheat" ratio. It can create a lot of extra work. Sometimes an office staff, resentful of having to answer, process and track a large number of TV calls, will consciously or unconsciously sabotage the effort. Avoid this by making sure your staff benefits materially from the extra work.
Be aware that there is no one more important to your success from TV advertising than the person who handles your intake calls, who initially separates "wheat" from "chaff". My advice: hire the best person you can find for that job and reward them for doing it well. Once you start advertising on TV, nothing you can do will help more to put money in your pocket.
7. Play by the Rules. Make sure that whoever produces your commercials is familiar with the rules that apply in your area. Here, the State Bar of Texas has an Advertising Review Committee to pass on all lawyer advertising. Remember -- no matter who produces your commercials, you are ultimately responsible for what is put on the air in your name.
I have not found that the Bar rules in Texas and the other states where I currently have clients are very difficult to live with. But just to be on the safe side and avoid unnecessary production costs, many attorneys like to get Bar pre-approval of the scripts prior to actual production.
If you are a Social Security disability lawyer, interested in getting on television, I would like to hear from you. First, please read this.
If you are interested in doing TV advertising for product liability cases, I would like to hear from you. I have extensive experience producing campaigns for these cases, going back over a decade. It is very important to get your commercials on the air as early as possible. If you are ready to get started, I can get you on the air very quickly.