Previously in this series we discussed giving your firm a voice and writing the perfect sales page. But you have lots of other types of pages to write, too—an about page, your home page, attorney profiles and probably lots of others. Each of these pages needs to shine. On some level, each one is working to convince potential clients that they should hire you. So how do you make them as strong as possible?
One important way to do that is to make sure you’re focusing on benefits, not features. This advice is repeated often in the marketing world and there’s a reason for that: it’s easily forgotten. Let’s look at what counts as benefits and features in law practice and why benefits are so much better.
Features vs. Benefits
A feature is anything that makes your product or service better than your competitor’s. A benefit, on the other hand, is what those features do for your client. It’s the way your service makes their life better.
For a business, it’s easy to see these as two sides of the same coin. After all, if the new iPhone 6 has a really advanced battery (feature), that’s why it gives extra hours of usage without plugging in (benefit). The feature and the benefit are practically the same thing.
But there’s a crucial difference between features and benefits that makes them very, very separate animals. The difference is that a feature is something about you—about your product. A benefit is something about the customer. It’s something they get to enjoy or profit from firsthand.
Most iPhone customers don’t really know much about batteries and they probably don’t care how the fancy new one works. All they care about is not having to worry about charging their phone. Like it or not, the same applies to most law firm clients. They really don’t care about the prestigious internship one of your attorneys started her career with. They may not even care what law school you went to. That stuff only matters if it helps their case.
You’ll sell more iPhones if you talk about longer battery life than if you talk technical specs. Likewise, you’ll bring on more clients if you can take your features—your education, experience, and achievements—and turn them into benefits. You have to tell your client not only that you’re experienced, but how that experience is going to help them.
Turning Features Into Benefits
The good news is that virtually any feature translates into a benefit for the client. In law practice, here are some of the features we often tout:
- DA work
- Extracurricular activities during law school
- Years of experience
- Areas of specialization
But here are the types of benefits clients are waiting to see:
- You have a high chance of winning their case
- You’ll save them money
- You’ll make more money for them
- You will help them understand their case
- You’ll return their calls
You can see why these benefits would seem more immediate and important to someone who needs a lawyer. They directly address the client’s fears and worries. Each practice area also has smaller, more specific benefits: we’ll help you get your driving privileges back, we’ll get you worker’s comp benefits immediately. The more you talk about benefits, the more appealing your representation is.
You can also take some features and explain why they’re actually benefits. If you’re a criminal defense lawyer, your client may not care that you used to work for the DA’s office. But it becomes a benefit when you say, “I worked as a prosecutor for ten years, and I know every tactic they’ll use against you.”
It’s not that you can’t mention features. Features include all the credentials you have, and they do matter. But they don’t matter nearly as much to clients as they do to fellow lawyers. A client tends to only care about your credentials in retrospect, after you’ve convinced them you can help them. If they have to justify the cost of hiring a lawyer to their wife, they’ll say, “He went to Harvard Law School!” But no one will hire you just because you went to Harvard Law School.
Most law firm websites lean far too heavily on their credentials, using experience and education as a proxy for chance of success. That doesn’t speak to the fears your clients have. It’s a very weak assurance when they’re facing pain, lost work, jail time, or a divorce. What sells your services is your ability to relate to their problem and their pain and to paint a picture of a solution for them. All of that involves talking about the benefits that your firm will bring to their life.
If you want to see more new business come from your website, go through each page and make sure that it emphasizes the benefits you bring to your client. Your phone will ring.
Want help with your firm’s website? EverSpark offers a FREE digital marketing consultation. Contact us and get your consultation today.