The legal services market is well-saturated and particularly competitive in the Raleigh-Durham area. More law firms and attorneys are waking up to the fact that their target audience and potential clients are turning to Google to find, research, and choose their next lawyer.
The competitive nature and change in consumer behavior makes it more important than ever to ensure that the message your law firm is putting out is relevant, timely, and appropriate.
As more attorneys become privy to the world of online content marketing and advertising, we’re seeing more and more “black hat” practices from law firm websites. Lawyers are using words like “experts,” or “best” in their PPC campaigns or other advertisements. But did you know that this could potentially be seen as a practice that discredits your firm?
There are certain guidelines and best practices set into place by the North Carolina State Bar to provide a set of standards for legal marketing speech in North Carolina. Firms who do not abide by these standards could be seen as dishonest, sneaky, or unethical. After all, if you’re unable to abide by a strong ethical code in your advertisement, how can I count on you to provide just legal representation for me?
The North Carolina State Bar outlines rules for communicating an attorney’s services in Rule 7.1. Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services. Basically, anything that could remotely be taken as dramatization, marketing- or sales-speech, or misleading is forbidden. For example, unless proven, statistical information can be used to prove the claim, statements that position your firm as better than a competitor is off limits.
Not sure if the content you are writing is acceptable under the North Carolina State Bar’s Rule 7.1 standards? Here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: Unless you have factual data to substantiate the claim, do not write it.
More examples of unacceptable vs. acceptable content:
|“Get your claim settled faster and more quickly with us!”||“We provide efficient execution of claims management.”|
|“Our lawyers are Criminal Defense experts.”||“Our lawyers are Board Certified Specialists within the Criminal Defense practice area.”|
|“XYZ Law Firm has 160 years of experience.”||“The attorneys at XYZ Law Firm offer a combined total of 60 years of experience.”|
|“The attorneys at XYZ Law Firm can get you the best results!”||“The attorneys at XYZ Law Firm offer legal services for effective results.”|
|Participating in an online directory that advertises your firm as being “the best.”||Participating in an online directory that advertises your firm fairly, without terms that could be misleading or untrue.|
Standards like these make it even more important to hire professionals to create and manage your content. The internet marketing professionals at TheeDigital specialize in verticals such as legal marketing, and have served law firms and attorneys over the last 10 years all over the Triangle. We can gladly say (without reprimands from the NC State Bar!) that we are experts in legal services marketing.
Focus your effort on what matters most – your clients. Let our internet marketing specialists handle the web and advertising content for your law firm – without worry of penalty or damage to your reputation. Contact us to see how we can help you, today!