How Lawyers Are Using This Ancient Approach To Quickly Get New Clients
Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’
Brian Tracy (1944) A Canadian-American motivational public speaker and self-development author.
Demosthenes, a young Athenian boy, couldn’t speak well. He stuttered, struggled to form sentences, and as a consequence suffered in his early years.
He still felt fortunate, because his father was a wealthy sword maker. However, it was short lived. At the age of seven he was orphaned.
His father had prepared for this day and left him an inheritance. In today’s money it would be about 11 million dollars.
However, his guardians didn’t look after his inheritance like they should have. They completely mishandled it and left him with a fraction of what he was due.
Determined to take them to court, he sought out the help of others who could speak well and understood the law. However, in ancient Greece, it was illegal to pay someone to help you with your case. So, he decided to do it himself.
What happened next was nothing short of remarkable. Demosthenes built an underground study where he could learn in peace and practice speaking.
He constantly spoke with pebbles in his mouth, rehearsed in front of mirrors, and would repeat sentences while out of breath or running. He would also obsessively read about speeches given by great public speakers. To improve his voice, he would travel to the seaside and speak above the roar of the ocean.
As soon as Demosthenes came of age in 366 BC, he took his guardians to court.
His three guardians felt confident that he wouldn’t be able to string together a single coherent sentence. Yet, when the time came he was flawless.
He went through five separate trials and was rewarded an additional ten talents, which was about the 70% of his inheritance that was missing.
His new-found abilities didn’t go unnoticed. Rich and powerful men will flout the rules of hiring an advocate.
Demosthenes found himself representing clients and winning cases. He seems to have been able to manage any kind of case, adapting his skills to almost any client.
He quickly filled a huge void. At times, the cases were very complicated and included a lot of plaintiffs. He helped to solve problems people found impossible to solve themselves.
Now he is widely considered to be one of the first recorded attorneys by today’s definition of one.
Before he stepped into public office, he earned his entire living by solving people’s legal problems.
When he spoke, he didn’t refer to himself or his character. He spoke about people’s problems and appealed to their need to have their problems solved. Whether in court or in public, he would win people’s approval.
And that is exactly what attorneys in America are not doing. The super attorneys who are doing this are tapping into an unlimited source of new clients who are willing to pay premium prices.
“It was this realization that propelled me into helping law firms grow.”
Several years ago, I ran a successful business generating leads.
One day the phone rang.
“As many leads as you can possibly deliver…”.
I replied, “Are you sure? Will you be able to handle it?”
“Yes, bring it on…”
And so I did. I flipped the switch to ‘on’. My team jumped into action and started on a campaign with no limits.
Within 4 days we were generating between 2,000 and 10,000 leads per day. A couple of years later it was the biggest online university in the country. It turns out they really could handle it.
A short while afterwards an attorney called me.
I’m not sure if, as an attorney, you know how heart stopping it can be when you call someone out of the blue.
So, I sat there holding my breath. Wondering if I’m about to get screwed in some way by some unknown entity.
As soon as the attorney started talking I sighed with relief.
All they wanted were a steady stream of inbound calls requesting their services. In other words, I was asked if I could generate leads for a local law office.
I had never generated a single lead for an attorney before. So, I suggested we set up a test.
After all, I could simply take what I learned from the 500,000 leads I just generated for my biggest client.
I performed 5,000 tests, ran over 100,000 ads, and was pushing 10,000-20,000 visitors per day to their lead generation pages.
I knew what worked, but would it be the same for lawyers?
It turns out, law offices are very different from other businesses.
I ran the first test for the attorney and it fell flat. After 2 days – nothing. Not a single lead.
However, this simple failure would reveal one of the biggest secrets when it comes to growing a law firm. Something Demosthenes unknowingly championed over two millennia ago.
I decided to figure out what the problem was by surveying the visitors with a special piece of software.
I asked them 2 simple questions:
What area of law are you looking to inquire about?
What problem do you want to solve?
And something odd happened. At first glance I thought the survey had failed. Most people skipped the first question and only answered the second question.
I was about to call my colleague to ask them to see how quickly we could set up another survey when something caught my eye.
There was something incredibly interesting about the answers to the second question. People would write these huge paragraphs and go into incredible detail about the problem they want solved.
I couldn’t figure out why. My first thought was that people believed the attorney got their answers. Perhaps they believed the attorney would respond.
However, upon further inspection that was impossible. The wording was perfectly clear. They even had to tick a box acknowledging they knew as attorney won’t get back to them.
I spent the whole day thinking about it. I couldn’t shake the feeling that we did something wrong.
That night I sat down to watch a baseball rerun. As the commercials started my hand stood still over the fast-forward button.
There was a commercial for a car. I believe it was a Ford. Instead of hitting the fast-forward button I thought I would pay attention. For whatever reason, I decided to sit there and watch a commercial.
It was pretty good. I was engaged, and I felt uplifted. I could actually see myself in that Ford.
The next commercial was completely different. I felt the exact opposite.
It was some tablet or medicine that helped with some kind of disease. They showed people suffering, and then demonstrated how it can help you.
It was such a contrast to the first Ford commercial that I immediately started comparing them.
And that’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks.
“It turns out, the attorney market is very different to other markets. That is why so many attorneys fail at advertising their services.”
And the reason is simple. Nobody has a desire to hire an attorney.
People have a desire for a flat screen TV, morning coffee, and a new car. That Ford commercial appealed to my desires for something that’ll elevate my status among my peers.
Hiring an attorney is different.
Take the commercial selling medicine for instance. Nobody has a desire to contract a disease that requires them to fork out cash to make them better.
Just like nobody has the desire to have a legal problem so large they need to hire an attorney.
Attorneys don’t fulfil desires like other products and businesses do.
You are in the business of solving problems. Very real and very serious problems.
“So, your marketing and advertising has to be different. In most cases, it has to be drastically different.”
After realizing this I felt excited. Everything made sense. The next morning, I instructed my team to make a few tweaks to the advertising campaign.
What happened next shocked me and my new attorney friend.
Five new clients signed up in the next seven days, netting him an additional $35,000 in new business.
All of the sudden I was hailed a ‘genius’ by an attorney. To this day I am not sure if I explained to him that I was an ‘accidental genius’.
And the process was simple.
Focus solely on solving a single problemand make sure the prospects knew you understood it inside and out.
It is funny how history repeats itself over and over.
Demosthenes understood how to solve people’s problems. He was incredible at communicating his ability to do so, and he used it to turn himself into one of the most famous orators and politicians of Ancient Greece.
Commercials for medicine are good at exactly the same thing.
Now we simply needed to apply that same principle to modern day law offices.
The difference in results are startling.
Here’s What You Should Do
Imagine there are two lawyers, both of whom specialize in the same area of law. They are both equally qualified to offer the same service and are good at what they do.
So, both of them start an advertising campaign using Google.
Lawyer #1 gets 50 clicks from Google.
Lawyer #2 gets 84 clicks from Google.
Who do you think did the best?
Well, Lawyer #1 got a client within 24 hours, and then proceeds to get another 23 leads from those 50 clicks.
Lawyer #2 simply gets 2 inbound calls and zero clients from his 84 clicks.
This is a true story of two competing Personal Injury attorneys.
Lawyer #1 used a ‘problem first’ approach to their advertising, and Lawyer #2, simply sent the traffic to his ‘good-looking’ website.
He just spent a lot of money getting his new website up and running and didn’t see the need for a landing page. His website, of course, wasn’t designed with the problem first principle in mind.
THIS IS NOT A HYPOTHETICAL
Have a look at the results of their campaigns:
Lawyer #1: 23 total leads from 50 visitors. That’s a conversion rate of 46%.
So, 46% of all of the people who saw this attorney’s page became a lead.
Lawyer #2: Two leads from 84 visitors. That’s a conversion rate of 2.38%.
By letting prospects know you understand their problem you will outperform attorneys who don’t. Period.
The same is true with every single area of law. To date I have personally witnessed this kind of result for:
Evictions & Housing
I often speak to attorneys who are convinced that Google advertising doesn’t work. They have tried it before and it gave them zero results. Just like Lawyer #2.
However, there are thousands of attorneys right now making it big with Google ads.
A lot of them are like Lawyer #1. They consistently pull in new clients every single week, all because they focus on the specific problem their visitors are facing.
Don’t forget, the problem first approach isn’t simply there to help you with advertising. It can be used in every single facet of your law firm. Every single time a prospect comes across your firm it will confirm that you understand their problem better than anyone else.
Unfortunately, most attorneys in America do not think about the prospect or their client when advertising.
For example. I did a simple search for a divorce attorney on Justia, in the Phoenix AZ area. This is what I found:
Both of these premium listings have one thing in common, and both are horribly wrong. As you can see, I have blacked out their identities to protect their privacy.
The first listing says:
“[Attorney Name] has over 35 years of legal experience and has helped thousands of Arizonans with their family law matters, including divorce, child custody, child support, child relocation and alimony.”
The second listing says:
“[Law office name] is a small boutique firm focused on Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody with six offices in the Greater Phoenix area. Whether you’re facing a divorce, custody battle, or spousal support.”
Do any of these listings talk about the prospect and their problem? No.
Do they stand out from each other in any way? No.
They effectively say the same thing. They talk about themselves. A potential client will end up picking the attorney with the best picture or smile. It’ll have nothing to do with their experience.
In the U.S. there are hundreds of thousands of attorneys with decades of experience, there are tens of thousands of attorneys with more than one law office, there are hundreds of thousands who have helped ‘thousands of clients’.
None of those talking points are service winners. None of them are out of the ordinary.
“This kind of mediocre language attorneys are using lead to mediocre results. It is a gift to the super attorney who knows how to talk to potential clients.”
Look at the results of a study conducted by Wordstream.
I put a red square over the legal industry’s numbers. This shows that the average ad in the industry gets a conversion rate of just 2.93%.
In other words, out of 100 people who see the webpage of the attorney, less than 3 people would become a lead.
Compare that to this criminal attorney who is using the problem first advertising approach:
The conversion rate on this webpage is 15.92%. That is a 443% improvement on the industry average.
In this example, by using the problem first approach, an attorney is able to capture 400%+ more clients with the same advertising budget.
In other words, this attorney spent $3,974.60 to get 31 inbound calls, whereas the average attorney would need to spend $21,582.07 get the same number of leads.
Like I said before, this happens in all areas of law. When you focus on the problem of the client, instead of focusing on yourself, the improvement in the results are remarkable.
Here is another example. This time for a divorce attorney:
The conversion rate on this campaign is a whopping 43.40%. That is 1,381% higher than the industry average.
The average attorney would have to spend more than ten times as much on advertising to get the same result.
I deliberately used a small campaign budget on this one to give you a taste of what is possible. This was a simple test to show an attorney who didn’t believe me when I told them about the results they could get.
I have dozens and dozens of examples I can show you. Including one for an immigration attorney who is getting a conversion rate of 28.77%, just under ten times better than the industry average.
Have a look at the image below to see the results.
It is no coincidence that these campaigns are working better than industry averages. Don’t forget, they are based on rigorous testing. We’ve tested over 5,000 different marketing messages, with 100,000 ads, and over 1.5 million leads.
The science is as clear as day. Problem first advertising works.
Below is another example for a family law office. They are getting a 19.03% conversion rate. A six-fold increase over the industry standard.
The list goes on and on. The conversion rate for this Personal Injury attorney is 9 times better than the industry average.
In the next article I’ll show you real world examples of what the problem first approach looks like. You’ll see practical examples of what is being used right now by the super attorneys out there.
So far, the statistics I have shown you above are small campaigns. They are attorneys who spend $5,000-$10,000 per month on advertising. Many attorneys are living a fantastic life, consistently growing their law firms while acquiring new clients every week.
They never have to worry about where the next client is going to come from. They know the phone will keep ringing with new appointments.
In later articles, I’ll show you some campaigns that have $100,000-$300,000 per month in ad budgets. And they are making fat profits.
Whether you are a small office who is looking to expand slowly, but profitably, or someone who has ambitions to be a multi-office, multi-state law firm, there will be something for you.
Hopefully by now you understand how important it is to think about your prospect first.
Think about their needs above your own experience. Talking about yourself will turn you into a commodity. You’ll be like every other attorney out there. The coming waves of change in the industry will swallow you whole.
Have a look at what D. Turner, a criminal attorney had to say:
We converted our first lead on the first day of launch, which paid for the first month!
“I’m very impressed with Big Mouth Marketing! Gary and his Team have completed design and implementation of our new campaign in timely and professional manner. We converted our first lead on the first day of launch, which paid for the first month! looking forward to the future relationship with Big Mouth”