How Can Lawyers Advertise When Lawyer Advertising Is So Competitive?

Lawyers often think it is too competitive to begin advertising now because so many lawyers are advertising. I’m happy to let you know it doesn’t matter if you missed the bus.

There’s always another bus behind the one you just missed.

You just need to get in the game and distinguish your advertising from the crowd of lawyers.

How to brand a law firm with a vanity number

Is Lawyer Advertising Too Competitive?

It depends upon whether your law firm is advertising or not.

Many lawyers think advertising is too competitive because they see so many lawyers advertising on TV.

Unlike almost every other business, lawyers are unfamiliar with advertising or even running a business. That’s why lawyers are so afraid of the competition.

But because there is so much competition among lawyer advertisers, it’s good for the lawyers who advertise; it’s just not good for lawyers who don’t.

The Secret About Competition That Lawyers Don’t Know

The secret about competition that lawyers don’t know, but most business leaders know, is that competition increases business for everyone except those who don’t advertise.

Competition increases business because the combined advertising of all competitors raises the public’s awareness of what’s being advertised.

How Competition Among Other Businesses Raises Awareness

All you have to do is look around to see where all the fast food restaurants are near you or where all the car dealers are. You’ll usually find fast food restaurants and car dealers within a short distance of each other.

In New York, thousands of jewelry and diamond businesses are packed within just one block on 47th St. In fact, all of New York City had business districts like that. There was the meatpacking district, the garment district, and many other districts. There was even a block just for companies in the curtain business. Every business wants to be right in the middle of the competition.

Las Vegas casinos were worried when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned in 2018 by the U.S. Supreme Court because the decision allowed all states to engage in sports betting. But they forgot that competition is good for business. Overturning PASPA was good for Las Vegas.

Watch CBS Sunday Morning about how allowing states to compete in sports betting with Las Vegas was good for Las Vegas.

Like every other business and Las Vegas, competition is good for lawyers.

How Competition Affected 1-800-HURT-911® Advertising on TV

When I started advertising 1-800-HURT-911® on TV in 2002, my two biggest competitors, which had been advertising for years, were very worried about competition from 1-800-HURT-911®.

A disgruntled employee told me they were so worried about 1-800-HURT-911 that they conspired to put me out of business by doubling their ad budget for the first two months when I started advertising on TV.

I checked with Nielsen Media Research and found they did double their ad budget for my first two months. Ironically, it was the best two months of the year for 1-800-HURT-911®. I’m sure it was also their best two months.

This was my TV commercial in 2002

How to Distinguish Your Advertising From Other Lawyers

Clearly, you need to distinguish your advertising from the crowd of lawyers. There are many ways you can do that.

I didn’t have money for advertising when I started advertising my brand-new personal injury law practice. I printed business cards with black ink on white stock, but I designed them to not look like a lawyer’s card. I listed several reasons someone would want to hire me instead of another lawyer. The first item on that list said Personal Service.

Two years later, I got my vanity phone number, 1-800-HURT-911®, and advertised that prominently on my business cards.

To get some ideas on how to distinguish your law firm from other lawyer advertising, look at non-lawyer businesses advertising on TV, billboards, and magazines. Take note of the colors, words, and slogans they choose, and try to find a way to distinguish your law firm.

Almost anything will work, but some ideas are better than others. I recently heard a large personal injury law firm brand its advertising with the slogan “Stop whining, call 1-800-Law-Line,” which rhymes with its vanity phone number. While it’s weird, it stands out.

I prefer HURT in an accident? It’s a 911 call! …1-800-HURT-911®

If you want to stand out immediately with substantial impact and branding, call or email Attorney Phil Franckel to discuss licensing 1-800-HURT-911® for your state or TV market.

If you don’t have a vanity phone number and are not interested in licensing 1-800-HURT-911® or another vanity phone number for lawyers, look at what this lawyer advertised in his TV commercial.

How to Start Advertising When You Don’t Have Enough Money

If you want to start advertising but don’t have enough money for an advertising budget, see What’s the Best Way for Lawyers to Start Advertising and how to advertise with little to no money.

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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is a member of the Personal Injury Dream Team™; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client's Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and is a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.