Attorney Ken Harrell joins Eric Elliott on The AdCast.
In part 1 of The AdCast with Attorney Ken Harrell of the Joye Law Firm, we discuss marketing and advertising for personal injury law firms, what’s made it different, what makes it difficult, how it is today, and most importantly, why you need to advertise. Following in part 2, Attorney Ken Harrell talks with Eric Elliott, of Craft Creative and VIP Marketing, on the significance of marketing and advertising for personal injury law firms, television, digital marketing, and social media marketing.
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The Law Firm Approach: Nicknames
A principle that all marketers and lawyers stand by: when someone comes to you and says, “Hey, I got the client this much money.” Ken Harrell says that mindset really hurts the law firm profession when firms advertise with that mindset.
“It does make it harder to get a result, the right result, for somebody that’s been seriously injured. I still think you can overcome, if you try the case the right way, you present the case in the right way, you can break through to a jury and you can convince them, ‘Hey, look, we know you’ve probably come in here with certain biases about these cases in part because of some of the ads that you see.’ I think you can overcome that.” Ken Harrell, Joye Law Firm
Lawyers that may use a different approach – nicknames – is a constant trend. “John Hawkins who with HawkLaw,” he explains. “I’m not saying anything negative about John. It’s a different type of marketing. That’s getting pretty close, to me, with HawkLaw, it’s probably not the same as the Strong Arm or the Heavy Hitter. But again, those ads, I don’t want to have a client screeching like a hawk on a TV ad. That’s my choice. That’s the brand that I want,” Harrell comments.
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Eric Elliott asks Ken about how competitive the market is now, comparing the market to five years ago. Harrell agrees that “it’s incredibly competitive. Charleston has always been incredibly competitive.” There are different markets all over the country (DMAs) – 260 markets total. Charleston fluctuates but remains in the top 10 of lawyer spending per capita. In South Carolina, Myrtle Beach/Florence market, Columbia market, and the Greenville market typically tend to be less competitive, even though there’s a lot of lawyer spending statewide. This is the case with every state.
Your Law Firm, TV & ‘Cord-Cutters’
Television reaches the largest number of people. Reaching the younger generation is getting tougher because young people are watching television on their own time. The cord-cutters who are switching from satellite or cable television to streaming services like Hulu, YouTubeTV, and SlingTV. TV is still playing a part. However, television is growing a little less effective because it is now a top-of-mind awareness and branding situation like social media and digital marking – which is becoming more important.
Let’s Get Digital
“It’s becoming more and more important. We do a lot of the Google ad, I think that’s the wave of the future is in just trying to figure that out. I mean, and the same thing with a lot of them, I guess it’s referred to as the OTT sources, like the Roku and Hulu. I can’t say that I think any law firm, or at least any South Carolina law firm, has really figured that out yet, and maybe it’s just because it’s still kind of in the early stages, but we all need to be watching it because it’s going to become bigger and bigger, “ Harrell says. Your content on social media reflects your business’s personality. Although not a guaranteed lead, social media holds the same concept of being top-of-mind in case someone is in need of your services.
“And then probably about 25%, 30% of our content is the heavy, the real legal content, what to do if you’re injured on the job. Now, that’s not the kind of thing that’s going to ever get 1,000 likes because people are used to liking puppy photos and sunsets, and they don’t really want to think about getting hurt on the job. But if you catch that person who, God forbid, just got hurt on the job, then that’s a real opportunity to connect with that person if you’ve got quality content posted on social media.” Ken Harrell, Joye Law Firm
Ken Harrell comments, “ I think lawyers were a little late to the game. Law firms were a little late to the game may be in terms of realizing how important it is.”
Web marketing is the biggest change for every profession, especially the attorney/law firm profession. It is becoming a bigger component of how we market for cases. We’re wanting to be as competitive as possible when it comes to what’s online. A quality website with quality content is key “…for particularly the more serious your case is, it can be an excellent resource for people to try to start distinguishing between firms to see who they think is going be the best choice for them,” Ken Harrell tells Eric Elliott.
“You talk about different approaches. I think of a good friend of mine here in town, David Aylor, and David primarily is focused more on criminal defense work. That’s certainly been where he’s done a very good job with some trial results, but also does some personal injury work. David’s never been on TV, but very aggressive with his web marketing.” Ken Harrell, Joye Law Firm
New School Back to Old School
From digital marketing to the newspaper, Harrell confesses he still receives copies of Charleston’s Post and Courier and the New York Times. While he says he enjoys reading the newspaper, Harrell says that the newspaper is a medium that many people abandon. Just like the newspaper, radio stations are competing with a new tech-savvy version of themselves.
“Radio, I think can be hit or miss. We’ve never had a lot of success with it, but I think it can be very effective if you have a niche market. For example, like Spanish-speaking radio, I still am inclined to believe is probably the best way of trying to attract Spanish-speaking clients. But again, radio is a lot like broadcast TV in the sense that I think most younger people, they’re not just turning on the radio in the car anymore. I mean, they’re listening to Spotify or Pandora or whatever the case may be. But I think it’s getting tougher and tougher for the traditional radio stations to sell marketing.” Ken Harrell, Joye Law Firm
For radio? Internet radio such as Spotify and Pandora is taking over. Ken Harrell admits that is a medium to be watching. “I think it will get bigger and bigger. I can’t say that we’ve had a ton of success doing it, but clearly we know that the Spotifys and the Pandoras, they’re not going away. So it’s definitely something to consider,” says Harrell. Podcasts are blossoming into a franchise that lawyers dabble in. Want more content relating to legal marketing, VIP Marketing, and advertising for personal injury law firms? Visit us on social media or reach out to Eric today.