The mistake of advertising based on being affordable

Law firm prices With lots of law firms and attorneys trying to jumpstart their business, one of the most popular approaches many take to get new business is to advertise based on providing affordable or cost-effective representation.  Many new or small law firms think this is a quick pathway for success.  Why not undercut all the other law firms based on price?

Certainly, law firms have to charge a reasonable fee for their services based on the market.  However, from a marketing perspective, advertising based on providing affordable or cost-effective representation is a mistake for many different reasons.

When quality prospective clients are looking for legal help in an important area of their life, most clients want representation that is diligent, competent, communicative and which puts them in the best possible position for a favorable result.  While quality clients certainly want the bill to be fair and reasonable based on their case, advertising based on being “affordable” or “cost-effective” doesn’t give the potential client a great deal of confidence in the level of legal services being offered.

Even if a law firm tries to use adjectives such as “quality,” “exceptional” or “excellent” next to the words “affordable” or “cost-effective,” the strategy is still not a pathway for success.  What sticks out is that the lawyer doesn’t think highly enough of the services such that they’ve had to lower their price compared to other law firms.  This sends the wrong message.

Instead of advertising based on being affordable or cost-effective, how can you show potential clients that you have the skill and knowledge to put them in a good position for a favorable result?  How about showing how can you help make the client’s life better?  From a customer service standpoint, what does your law firm have to offer?  What awards have your law firm or lawyers received?  What continuing education seminars have your lawyers taught at?  What have your lawyers published?  What appeals court wins has your law firm had?  What kinds go internet reviews and client testimonials does your law firm have?

These are the places you want to go with your advertising versus advertising based on being affordable or cost-effective.  Even if you get clients with this type of advertising, you are setting your firm up for complaints on the back-end because your law firm’s definition of what is “affordable” and “cost-effective” might be different from that of the potential clients who are attracted to this advertising approach.

At the end of the day, all law firms need quality clients that can afford to pay for the legal services provided.  Law firms that advertise based on being affordable or cost-effective normally do not well in this regard.  On the other hand, law firms that advertise based on the skill and experience they have often have an abundance of paying clients.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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