Mary Flood has an interesting article over at the Houston Chronicle on some anecdotal evidence on the effectiveness of advertising for “car crash” attorneys:
Shawn Nicole Thierry, who became disenchanted with big firm practice and went solo handling auto cases five years ago, will speak at the UT seminar on how to run a successful accident practice.Thierry found that a billboard with her photo and a catchy message bolstered her practice unexpectedly.
“It said, ‘I am not a shark, but I know how to deal with them,’ ” Thierry said. That’s the old message on her billboard at Scott and MacGregor streets. Her new one reads: “Injured? Call the Shark Slayer.”
“Clients love it. I’ve even had people call, saying, ‘I don’t have a case, but if I did I’d hire you,’ ” said Thierry, who feels better about being an auto crash lawyer than she did when she represented big corporate clients. “One called and just said, ‘You go, girl.’ “
As humorous as this aspect of the story is, the results highlight a very important aspect of advertising amongst lawyers — it typically relies upon the fact that many people throughout the country rarely have anywhere else to turn when they unexpectedly need an attorney. It’s likely that they don’t know an attorney and don’t know of anyone else who has used an attorney in the area of law in which they require assistance.
In my experience, however, the best sources of clients have come through Internet advertising and word-of-mouth. Both are very cost effective and usually result in a much better match between the attorney and client in terms of the client’s expectations and the ability of the attorney to meet the client’s needs.