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Printed Marketing Materials: 10 Common Mistakes Lawyers Should Avoid

by Dion and Robert Algeri

  1. You Printed Too Many!
    We've never heard of a company printing too few brochures. They normally print far too many and feel obligated to use them long after they are outdated.
  2. Your Message Is Too General
    Consider creating marketing materials that address a specific industry or audience. This ensures that your marketing efforts will always be targeted and effective.
  3. Your Materials Look Cheap
    We live in a world where people have learned to judge products by their packaging. Professional service firms are no different. If your materials look "low budget," potential clients will perceive your firm as second-rate.
  4. Inconsistency in Message
    The consistency of your firm's marketing message is key to its effectiveness. This means that every element of your marketing materials (from business cards, to a trade advertisement, to your website) must contain the same look, logo and message. You'll get the best result from an all-around marketing communications firm (instead of hiring separate companies for your strategy, logo, and website).
  5. Logo Is Too Complex
    A complex logo is the sign of an immature company. A good logo not only looks good, but has a simple, flexible design that allows it to work under all sorts of conditions. For example, it needs to look good on a little business card and on a big banner as well as in color and in black and white.
  6. Too Much Text
    It is impossible to describe all the positive features about your firm in a brochure or other marketing piece -- nor should you! Short, bite-size nuggets of information are far more likely to be read than long passages and dense text.
  7. Message Is Shortsighted
    A consistent marketing message increases in value as time goes on, so be sure to choose a message and graphic identity that will stand the test of time. It's cheaper in the long run. Just ask all of those firms that focused all of their marketing efforts on Internet companies.
  8. You Sound Like Everybody Else
    You have to tell your audience what makes your firm different from others. Detail your capabilities.  Talk about your experience. Resist the temptation to make your marketing materials a shallow puff piece.
  9. Failure to Consider Target Audience
    Who will be looking at your printed marketing materials? Will it be Fortune 500 general counsel? Entrepreneurs? Recent law school graduates? Current clients? It's imperative that you define your audience first and target your message to that audience.
  10. Marketing Materials Lack Flexibility
    Modular marketing materials allow you to mix and match pieces of collateral so that you can create a custom marketing kit for each potential client. The most simple example of this is a generic firm brochure that has a pocket. The pocket can be filled with detailed, targeted information that emphasizes specific capabilities and practice areas. Modular materials are much cheaper to create than a different brochure for each practice area.

About The Author

Dion and Robert Algeri of Great Jakes Legal in New York,, a Web site about Websites and printed marketing materials.  They can be reached at 212-699-3684. This article is reprinted with pemission of Great Jakes Legal.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.