Azimuth Check: Marketing Extravaganza!

Here we go again with another round of brain droppings from the voices in my head.

ABA to Regulate Online Marketing? Don’t worry, just stay one step ahead.

As I discussed in a previous post, the ABA is looking to regulate the current wild west–online marketing for attorneys. I also noted that it’s not the attorneys who require regulation and admonishment, it is the “gurus” and “experts” who specialize in selling fear of failure.

Now that we know of the impending doom to online free-for-all, we must become more creative than just trying to sell the creation of a Twitter-based law practice.

Naturally, I’m just full of ideas.

I had the thought of the picture shown here when I visited my favorite coffee shop and cashed-in my frequent caffeine addict card. I thought “If it works for coffee, why couldn’t it also work for a law practice?” I’m savvy that way.

Then, while washing my truck at the local Exxon station, I notice the menu of car cleanliness services offered by the automatic system. They ranged from 2 minutes of gentle spittle to 10 minutes of hurricane-force sandblasting with a final coating of wonderful Rain-X chemicals. We can tier our services similarly. Here is an example, listing the services from best to “value”:

Tier 1. Premier Gold Class Legal Services (the OJ package). Here you are assigned a team of seasoned, multi-disciplinary experts and attorneys from across the nation to advocate for you. Between hearings, enjoy a wonderful hot stone massage by one of our certified massage therapists.

Tier 2. Gold Class Legal Services (the Upper Middle-Class package). With this one, you enjoy the benefit of one seasoned attorney and one junior attorney assigned to your case. Additionally, you may select one expert witness of your choice. Additional services must be added a la carte.

Tier 3. Premium Legal Services. Here, you get a decent attorney with moderate experience who will listen to your issues for an hour once a week (additional per minute charges and roaming may apply). For an additional charge, he will convey to you that he cares and is interested. The attorney may or may not specialize in your particular legal issue, but he will convey to you that he’s got it all under control. Utilizing a carefully researched and planned heuristic developed by more senior attorneys 12 years ago, he will give you a quick plan to ensure that your issue is resolved quickly. Hopefully, this plan will result in something good for you. If not, don’t worry. This merely means that you were screwed from the onset.

Tier 4. Signature Value+ Legal Services. For this economical, yet feature rich package, you are assigned an attorney who is the member of a state bar and a graduate of an accredited law school. He will convey a positive, can-do attitude during the initial consultation followed by a more realistic (and often negative) approach once a retainer is secured. He will give you one option to follow in your case. If you request other options, he will make you feel stupid for thinking such silly things.

Tier 5. Our Signature Value Package. Bang for your buck is emphasized. You will be assigned an attorney, paralegal, or office temp who will seek to placate you as quickly as possible. Your legal issues will be disposed-of in a quick, efficient manner  by an attorney who you may or may not meet in person. You may be consulted about important matters, but you should also understand that we know what is best for you.

Tier 6. The Premier Silver Package. You will be assigned to Biff. Biff graduated from a law school and passed the state bar (barely). Luckily, despite numerous complaints, Biff expertly maneuvered his way through the attorney disciplinary system to to maintain a law license. Biff will pretend to listen to you, but really he’s thinking about trying to bang the new waitress at the diner. He will tell you that you are screwed. For an additional fee, Biff will substitute other colorful metaphors instead of utilizing the word “screwed.”

Tier 7. The Gutter Package. You will be assigned a social media “guru.” Sure, they’ve never really practiced law, but they will smile for you. Smiling is nice. For an extra fee, you can get one with capped teeth. They have even bigger smiles. For you, they will be a game changer, help to tribe build, and give you hardcore power branding in order to maximize your ability to engage in champion building. You may think it’s BS now, but wait ’til you pay for it.

Reality Check

Scott Greenfield and I engaged in some banter at his blog the other day regarding the use of Special Assistant US Attorney experience as a resume’ builder. I mentioned that I planned to award myself a special SAUSA bonus. In part of his reply, he riffs on a harsh reality of those of us who embark on our own solo/small firm criminal defense careers.

Sorry, pal, but your window of opportunity slammed shut the minute you actually did real criminal defense work.  This only applies to people who don’t actually work the trenches.  Step foot in a court as anything other than a SAUSA and kiss it good-bye.

Now, Scott realizes that I have no desire to apply for any other job than the one I currently have, and it’s one that I’ve planned and designed for several years before opening my doors. His comment very succinctly characterizes an important consideration I had when making my decision to fly solo and focus on criminal defense. Once you go down that road and your resume now includes “<Your Name>, Attorney-at-Law, CDL,” your marketability takes a hit.

I have several friends who moved from the JAG Corps to big firms. Their moves were made immediately and without a detour through independent practice. Those who embarked on small, criminal practices generally remained in those realms, even when they aggressively sought to move to “prestige” or “near-prestige” firms. Some even failed to secure government employment.

Is it impossible to move from independent CDL practice to something with more “prestige?” No, its not impossible, but it is infinitely tougher.

Non-Legal Topic Du Jour

Yesterday, CNN’s blog reported on a tweet by Senator Chris Dodd or one of his staffers. CNN labeled it as a “profanity-laced tweet.” Here it is. Those with delicate sensibilities, please avert your eyes.

U love torturing me with this shit.

Oh my goodness. My eyes are burning. This is horrible. What a travesty upon the Senate, our Nation, the English language, and the American flag!

Seriously? A random (and very common) scatological term results in something being labeled “profanity-laced?” Clearly, they’ve never heard me when I’m upset with something a prosecutor does. Their heads would explode.

Frankly, I hope he typed it. The thought of him sitting with his blackberry banging-out a tweet because of some frustrating issues would confirm to me that he is a certified, homegrown, American homo sapien. We need more of those to battle the legions who were genetically engineered to obtain elected office.

2 thoughts on “Azimuth Check: Marketing Extravaganza!

  1. You forgot about service bundling (like Dish, or Century Link).

    Most of your clients will also need a good family law attorney, somebody to handle their debt collection, somebody to rebut their OER/NCOER, and somebody to get them VA/Disability for their inevitable PTSD. If you could get all those professionals together, you could offer a total package price at a far reduced rate.

    No need to thank me. Just seeing you rolling on 22s is thanks enough.

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