• Heidi Turner

How Your Law Firm's Unique Selling Proposition Gets You Leads


You may not believe it, but your law firm has a unique selling proposition (USP), and if you want to generate solid leads you need to know and understand it. That's because your USP should be the basis of your legal practice content marketing and your website copy.


What's a USP and how does it fit into online marketing?


A unique selling proposition is the thing that makes you different from your competition. It's the benefit you offer your clients—or potential clients—that other law firms and attorneys can't.


Knowing your unique selling proposition helps you develop a marketing strategy for your law firm. It directs your content marketing and enables you to build relationships with potential clients.


It answers the question potential clients ask: Why should I hire you as my lawyer instead of someone else?


Remember, clients rarely have to do business with you. Those who hire you choose to work with you. Why do they do so? Why choose you over other options? Why choose you over less expensive options? Why choose you over doing nothing?


Your legal practice's content marketing—which includes your unique selling proposition—gives clients a compelling reason to take action. It convinces them to choose you to help them with that action.


That's why you need an engaging USP.


Your USP differentiates you from your competition


Many law firms use some variation of the following messages:


  • "Our attorneys have X years combined experience"

  • "We've recovered Y dollars for our clients"

  • "We're here for you"

  • "We get results"

  • "We're the best"


These don't make your legal practice unique. They make you sound exactly like every other law firm out there, which makes it difficult for potential clients to tell you apart. That doesn't mean you can't use some of that copy in your website.


But that type of wording won't sell potential clients on your practice.


Developing your USP


A unique selling proposition isn't easy to create. It has to highlight your value and benefits while reflecting your personality and building a relationship with your target audience. That's a lot to put into a short blurb.


Here's how to go about it:


1. Examine your ideal clients


Who are your ideal clients? What's their age? What's their income? Where do they live? What are their pain points? What do they need from your law firm? What motivates their spending decisions?


This is a great time to think about your clients not just in terms of their legal needs—after all, very few people seek out an attorney unless they need legal assistance—but in terms of what you offer them beyond that.


For example, some clients seek the peace of mind of knowing they have an attorney available to advise them on business dealings. Others want justice for a wrong done to them. Still others might need an attorney to help them pursue their dreams (such as clients of immigration lawyers).


What do your clients value beyond their transactional legal needs? The answer will help you develop your USP and your law firm website content.


2. Examine your legal practice.


What are your practice's core values? What is your promise to your clients? Have your lawsuits resulted in groundbreaking decisions or had dramatic ramifications (e.g. by changing laws or setting a precedent)? Do you have specific additional experience in or insider knowledge of the field you practice law in?


I've worked with lawyers specializing in personal injuries related to plane crashes who had their own pilot's license and experience in the aircraft industry. That gives them unique insights into how the aviation industry works, which gives them a distinct advantage. You could be a criminal defense attorney who previously worked as a prosecutor, which gives you insight into how prosecutors approach trials.


Do you offer services above and beyond what most attorneys do? Don't just say your service is good or the best. That doesn't differentiate you. Set yourself apart based on your knowledge, expertise or unique services.


What authentically and objectively makes you the best?


3. Take the information from steps 1 and 2 and write a USP


Your unique selling proposition needs to be compelling. If it isn't, your potential clients won't be motivated to reach out to you. Use powerful language.


It doesn't just have to be one sentence, although shorter is better. You don't want to go more than two sentences.


Don't try to come up with your USP in five minutes, take your time writing it. You might think that because it's short, it should be easy to write. That's not the case. You need to put some time and effort into the process. You may even need to talk to your colleagues, partners and clients to gain their insight and input on the value your law firm brings.


Here's an example of a USP based on consumer need: FedEx used to have the slogan "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight." Unfortunately, it no longer uses this slogan. But the USP is there and meets two obvious customer needs: 1. That parcels will arrive on time and 2. That customers can order items on short notice with no worry.


FedEx showed that it knew its customers' pain points, provided peace of mind by addressing those needs, and set itself apart from competitors that couldn't guarantee overnight service. Then it wrote a slogan and based its marketing on that USP.


Once you have your USP, use it in your marketing to attract your ideal clients. Use it to guide your law firm's website content, your articles and blog posts and your social media feeds, which will help develop solid leads. Implement marketing strategies that highlight your USP and motivate potential clients to reach out to you. Build relationships with your clients and deliver on your promise to them.


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