Mitch Jackson and I just presented a live video Spreecast on "Market Your Plaintiff's Practice Like Lady Gaga." There is no question the pop singer Lady Gaga is a marketing genius. Whether she’s wearing a meat dress or shooting sparks from her chest, she knows how to promote her act and reach her target buyers.
Believe me now or believe me later, there are a lot of tactics that a plaintiff lawyer can use from her playbook to distinguish yourself in the market and reach potential clients. Click to play the Spreecast and follow the 8 points we covered below.
1. Lady Gaga is a business. She grossed $90 million in 2011 with her integrated entertainment, promotion and performance company, which includes Haus of Gaga fashions and Glam lipstick. Her act may look like a crazy musical spectacular, but it’s all about the bottom line.
Ask yourself: are you treating your law practice like a business?
- Have you identified the legal work that will go on your greatest hits album?
- Do you know which of your legal services causes you clients to ask for multiple encores (repeat business)?
- Do you take your legal show on the road and present it to big crowds of potential clients?
2. She knows her customer. Her musical vision is to combine glam rock with simple melodies that people like. Her lyrics appeal to her core of admirers – anyone who “doesn’t fit in.” Haven’t you ever felt that you didn’t fit in during some point in your life? She is targeting you and everyone else like you, and that’s why she’s so successful.
For lawyers, this means you need to identify your target demographic. This is completely different from deciding which services you want to market. Instead, you should identify the kind of people you want to attract.
3. Lady Gaga is all about what’s new. You expect to be surprised by her. Whenever you see her, you know it’s going to be unexpected. She’ll suddenly appear on stage with a cage on her head, 11-inch high heels, or a see-through dress of bubble.
For lawyers, this means marketing what is new in your practice. A good example is the Injury Law Legal News section on the website of Louisiana lawyer Chad Dudley. It’s updated almost every day with stories like “JetBlue Pilot Ruled Fit to Stand Trial” and “1-800-GET-THIN Clinics Put Patients at Risk, Lawsuit Alleges.” In order to attract new business, you have to say more than you’ve been in business for the last 20 years. Clients are attracted by what you are doing right now and the novel ways you can assist them.
4. She has talent and built on it. Lady Gaga began playing piano at age 4, wrote her first song at age 13 and performed in public a year later. She started a band in New York at age 19, got invited to the Lollapalooza music festival at 21, and had her first hit album The Fame at 22. The girl has talent and she maximized it.
Plaintiff lawyers can do the same thing. Ask yourself:
- Where do you get the best results? Railway accidents? Employment? Drug side effect cases??
- Of all the things you do, what are you especially good at? Oral argument? Discovery? Negotiating?
- What comes naturally to you in marketing? Networking? Seminars? Articles? Social media?
5. Pick a constituency and stick up for it. Lady Gaga lovingly calls her fans “little monsters” and refers to them as kings and queens, portraying herself as the jester. She is on center stage on behalf of anyone with who felt like a freak, and her fans love her so much they dress like her to come to her concerts.
This approach works for lawyers too. Chad Dudley gets into his community and hosts a blood drive in the summer, an Alzheimer’s walk in the fall, a toy drive at the holidays and a school supply campaign when classes are out. He sticks up for his fellow citizens and they appreciate it.
6. Lady Gaga talks to the news media. This is a proven formula for marketing success. When you get a call from the news media, drop what you’re doing and talk to them. Cultivate a relationship with individual news reporter. Did you know that Lawyers.com features an interview with a lawyer in every news story we publish at blogs.lawyers.com? We always quote a lawyer by name, include their color photo and add a link to their profile. If one of our reporters calls you, do yourself a favor and respond immediately.
7. Lady Gaga actively markets online. She is #1 on Twitter with more than 24 million followers and she writes her own Twitter messages. Her Facebook page has more than 46 million ‘likes.’ Lawyers can similarly use social media to stand out in a crowd. Lawyers can get expert help with LexisNexis Social Media Visibility. Lawyers nationwide are using the most trusted name in legal marketing to harness LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more.
8. She actively courts bloggers. Part of her early success is owed to the community of music bloggers to whom she reached out. Lawyers can rapidly boost their marketing by writing a blog, and again, LexisNexis can help by creating a custom blog for you, customized content, submission to blog directories and link building to increase your search engine ranking.
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So you can relax, knowing that you won’t have to wear a meat dress or a cage over your head as Lady Gaga does. But you can profit by taking a page from her marketing playbook. You don’t need to do anything unorthodox but you can’t sit still. You do need to market, and you’ll be glad you did.