Be an in-demand attorney

8388824_SLots of attorneys are in serious need of new work.  They have rent to pay.  They have employee salaries to pay.  They have health insurance, malpractice insurance, advertising expenses, office supplies, bar dues, and a litany of other bills to pay.  And on top of all of this, they have to worry about paying themselves so that they can pay their bills.  The stress of this can literally keep an attorney awake at night.

In a competitive market, most attorneys are trying to get every competitive advantage they can to meet their obligations and pay themselves.  No matter the practice area, plenty of other attorneys are jockeying for the same business.  How does an attorney separate themselves?  How do they create a desire for clients to hire them?  Attorneys answer these questions in multiple different ways.  But apart from simply doing great work and developing a solid reputation, attorneys who are struggling tend to veer their marketing in the same direction.

In particular, they tend to focus their advertising on being affordable and cost-effective. These same attorneys generally overly emphasize that they do free consultations.  Versus appearing calm and confident, they use exclamation points in their advertisements to show their enthusiasm.  Versus having somebody in their office take the intake calls, they do their own intake calls and pick up quickly after a single ring — with an overly enthusiastic greeting.  From a marketing perspective, this enthusiasm is actually counter-productive to retaining new clients.

The reason is that potential clients have different interests.  They are not at all concerned with how your law practice is doing.  They are not concerned with whether or not you can pay your bills and yourself.  At the end of the day, they have a legal matter.  These legal matters are often one of the most important priorities in their life.  Especially in some areas of law (take family or criminal law), it can have a significant impact on their life going forward.

These clients generally want the best attorney they can get.  They want somebody competent and diligent.  They want somebody who can reassure them. They want to feel like their legal matter is in the hands of somebody who can get them the result they desire.  This is what allows them to rest easier at night.  All of this is especially true of the upper echelon clients who can afford to pay for what they deem is the best attorney possible.

When attorneys appear over-eager, most potential clients will assume that the attorney is not very good.  After all, why would an in-demand attorney be so eager?  Why would they advertise on being a bargain attorney that is affordable, cost-effective, and who will meet me for free (for an unlimited duration and even multiple times) while not being paid anything?  Why would they take their own intake calls versus having an assistant screen them for them?  Is it because they have no business?

Instead of appearing over-eager, think of ways to project that you are in demand if you wish to separate yourself.  Feel free to leave your thoughts below.

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