More times than not, it’s a truly personal experience hiring a lawyer. For you, as the lawyer, it might be just another job, but for your client, it likely marks a significant event in their life. It’s also often expensive and not a decision the client is looking forward to making. As the lawyer, you can make this decision easier for your client. Nowadays, you need to go beyond advertising. Storytelling is a powerful tool and can help your client feel comfortable from the very beginning.
People relate to stories. It makes the listener feel as though they’re not alone and that other people have been through what they’re going through. Storytelling is a marketing tool that helps grab audience attention and creates a situation that is both personal and relatable. This could be extremely helpful in many situations, but especially when one is trying to find a lawyer for a personal reason. There’s an unfortunate assumption that firms and lawyers are just trying to take your money— by creating a story, you’re taking away that assumption and showing that you care about what the person is going through. A story creates an emotional journey for the listener and will help push them to act.
Creating a Personal Connection
Many law firms have used storytelling to gain more clients. Here’s one example: A young woman is going through a divorce and looking for a lawyer to represent her. She’s looking on the Internet and every lawyer she comes across seems like a scam or someone who wants to overcharge her. She finally comes across one site that gives examples of other clients the lawyer has worked with and the outcome of their cases. The young woman feels that she finally found someone who understands her situation and is willing to work with her during this time in her life.
Another example to reference is this Ted Talk on storytelling – Andrew Stanton illustrators the complexity of being an effective storyteller and says that you must think about the message and the end of the story, before you even start creating your story. This is especially true for law firms – you want to make sure you’re hitting listener’s emotions.
How to create a story
There are many platforms to use for storytelling. Depending on where you’ve advertised in the past and where you want your marketing to go, you could try media like radio and TV for storytelling. Just remember, there’s a time and place for media like this, especially radio. If that’s not your style, use your website, your blog, other marketing materials, or even videos.
What makes a great story? Here’s the 3 criteria you need to have:
- Characters. Your story needs characters. The most important character to have is the protagonist (main character) with whom your audience can identify. Try thinking of clients you’ve worked with in the past for ideas for main characters – obviously don’t use their name, but you can use their case to create your story.
- Conflict. There has to be something with which your main character is having trouble if you want to resonate with people. Without conflict, your audience won’t feel a need to follow your story. Create conflict so you can show that you’re the solution. Your audience needs to feel that something will happen.
- Resolution. Here’s where you show that you can resolve the problem. If your audience identified with the main character, then they likely have a similar conflict and want to see that you can resolve it for them. Show your audience that in order to solve their problem, they need to work with you.
Be sure to consider the identity of your target audience before creating your story. This will help you build your story and your audience and also help ensure you get the right clients.
Storytelling is an effective marketing tool for many businesses, but especially for law firms. Reaching out to your audience and showing them that you can help them through this difficult time is the push they need to contact you.