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11 Brochure Mistakes Lawyers Make

by Trey Ryder

The law firm brochure is often the primary tool in a lawyers marketing arsenal. Its the all-purpose vehicle you can use for any occasion.

But many lawyers dont make effective use of their brochures and leave out important elements. Here are costly brochure mistakes to avoid.

Mistake 1 The brochure doesnt contain all the elements of a competent marketing message. Bits and pieces of information arent enough. Your brochure should take your prospect through your message from beginning to end. It should provide all the facts and persuasion necessary to get your prospect to take whatever action you want him to take.

Mistake 2: The brochure doesnt offer enough information about your background, qualifications and experience. A detailed biography is important to build credibility. The content in your biography isnt all that important. But the more information you provide, the better -- because as familiarity increases, trust increases. The more prospects know about your background, the more comfortable they feel.

Mistake 3: The brochure doesnt contain a personal message from you to your prospect. Since the brochure is a stand-alone document, a personal message takes the place of a cover letter. A short written message over your signature adds a personal touch and helps build a trusting relationship.

Mistake 4: The brochure doesnt contain a detailed list of services you offer. Prospects often look at your service list to see if you provide what they need. If they dont see what they want, they may assume you dont provide that service and call another lawyer. Make sure you list all the services prospects look for.

Mistake 5: The brochure doesnt include your photo. Photographs are effective marketing tools because they establish a sense of relationship between you and your prospect. Often, after seeing your photo, prospects feel as if they know you, even if you have never met. Dont worry about your appearance. Prospects dont care what you look like. But they feel better when they know.

Mistake 6: The brochure doesnt invite calls or contact from prospects. Giving information by itself isnt enough. You must create a reason for prospects to contact you. Interaction is the critical marketing step most lawyers overlook. Your brochure must result in your prospect taking whatever action you want him to take.

Mistake 7: The brochure doesnt contain client comments. In jurisdictions where they are allowed, testimonials can be the most persuasive part of your brochure. If you have letters of recommendation and thank you letters from clients and colleagues, ask their permission to use those comments in your brochure.

Mistake 8: The brochure doesnt offer educational information and advice. If you want your prospect to keep your brochure, make sure it contains helpful tips and advice. If the brochure simply touts your services, your prospect may see it as an advertising piece and toss it into the round file. But prospects often feel compelled to keep your brochure when it contains information they value.

Mistake 9: The brochure doesnt explain how you differ from other lawyers. If prospects dont know your competitive advantages, they have no more reason to hire you than another lawyer. Make sure your brochure features your positive differences.

Mistake 10: The brochure doesnt contain your guarantee or promise. The deeper the commitment you express, the more prospects appreciate your desire to help them. A written personal promise or guarantee makes a statement that few other lawyers will match. Prospects perceive this to be a significant competitive advantage.

Mistake 11: The brochures collect dust in your stock room. Many lawyers dont have an organized plan to distribute their brochures. What a waste! If you hope your brochures will attract new clients, you must get them into the hands of your target audience and referral sources.

© Copyright 2004-2011 by Trey Ryder LLC. All rights reserved.

About The Author

Trey Ryder is a law firm consultant who specializes in Education-Based Marketing for attorneys. Trey Ryder offers lawyers three free articles by e-mail: 9 Smart Ways to Cut Marketing Costs and Improve Results, 11 Brochure Mistakes Lawyers Make, and Marketing Moves Most Lawyers Miss. Send your name and e-mail address to and ask for his free e-mail packet of articles.

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