John E. Fike Copywriting Services; Copy, Content & Custom Publications for Companies Who Make Life Worth Living

Speak to Customers' Emotions--Allay Fears & Magnify Desires

Yesterday I was doing some research for a law firm client of mine. In visiting the sites of numerous law firms I noticed a key trend that many law firms fall into and probably causes them to lose many potential clients.

Most law firms feel they need to have a look and feel that reflects the justice system. They want to look professional and often give a feeling that they dominate the courtroom. You know the image. It's the image that comes to mind when you think of a good lawyer. And it's for that reason that lawyers tend to use that image--because it's one you recognize.

But hiring a lawyer can be an extremely intimidating event for most people. Most people don't interact with lawyers on a regular basis. And all that grandeur and posturing makes it even more intimidating. Lot's not forget the other image that comes to mind when you think of lawyers: money--lots and lots of it.

So people who are searching on the internet for a lawyer--especially those who are looking for someone to represent them in an accident case--are experiencing two negative emotions during their search: they are intimidated by law and lawyers and they are afraid of how much it costs. Many are probably also feeling hurt and betrayed by someone if they think they need to seek out a lawyer.

I think law firms would do much better on the internet if they address those fears and make an effort to allay them rather than play up the intimidating aspects of their industry.

One law firm, I thought, did a pretty good job of that. Take a look at The first words a visitor notices on their home page is "Injured in an accident? Get the money you deserve." This message does two things: 1) it identifies its clients--people who have been injured and 2) promises some relief from the financial strain of the injury. For some customers it may also connect with their sense of retribution if they thinks someone ought to ante up for their suffering.

But the site doesn't stop there. After you read the headline, your eyes immediately go to the column on the right where there is a simple form to fill out and a bold invitation to speak with a lawyer for FREE. That alleviates the concern about how much it will cost to talk to the lawyer--it's free. And it's easy; all you have to do is fill out the short form and click the button. Then the lawyer calls you. immediately deals with two strong negative emotions their clients are dealing with: the intimidation (the headline effectively says, "We're on your side.") and the fear of high costs. The people behind this site are also smart marketers as they've included an automated way to add prospects to their lists. When people fill out the form, gets their contact info and can market directly to those people. And there is plenty of incentive to fill out the form because many people who have been injured want to know what their rights are and whether they have a case, and now they can find out without paying anything.

I think it's also a fairly friendly-appearing site, which makes it even more inviting to web surfers.

So the moral here is that your web site should be inviting to your clients. Who cares whether others in your industry are intimdated by you or whether you're the best at what you do if your client doesn't feel comfortable talking to you. Bragging and intimidation can give many people the feeling that you're likely to walk all over them even while trying to "help" them. Make sure your web site and other marketing materials are speaking to the people who are your customers and the emotions they are feeling when they first come in contact with you.

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posted by John E Fike @ 6:20 AM, ,

Everybody loves to spam. I find it disgusting.

Social Media--the online phenomenon that was supposed to connect people on a real and personal level like never before--has become the new playground for spammers.

Most social media spammers believe they are doing what they're supposed to do. They believe they are supplying quality content by guiding their followers to useful articles and web sites.

That's fine--to an extent. When you come across a truly excellent article, tweeting about that on Twitter or posting a link on Facebook is fine. But make sure you do two things with it:
  1. Give your opinion about it. Your opinion gives merit to the post or tweet and is the reason your followers follow you.
  2. Do it OCCASIONALLY! If all you're doing is tweeting and posting all day long with links to other people's content, you're not displaying your expertise.

Posting links without giving your opinion, especially when you post 5, 10, 20 links a day, is just spamming. It's annoying and you're not adding any real value to it.

If you're using social media for marketing, you want to be perceived as an expert. To do that you have to add or provide value to your posts. Why should I read that article? Do you agree with it? What should I look for in it? What's the most important point?

Most of your posts should not be article links and retweets. If you're doing that, you're just an aggregator--not an expert. An expert provides his or her own content. Tell us what you know. Bottom line, that's how we know you're an expert.

Let's be honest; if you need a product or service, are you going to go to the person who sends you a link to an informative article related to what you need, or are you going to go to the person who actually wrote the article?

If you find a good article, go ahead and link to it, but write your own article that expounds further on it and link to it as well. This is a great way to showcase the depth of your knowledge and prove that you're an expert.

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posted by John E Fike @ 7:21 AM, ,