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Lawyers used to denounce and resist marketing and advertising. But, not anymore.

These days, many are eager to self-promote. And frankly, some are too eager.

There’s nothing wrong with enthusiasm per se. The problem is in how some lawyers try to capture attention.

The Problem

Too lawyers now use a marketing ploy I call “contrived enthusiasm.”

For example, they’ll write or say, “I’m really excited to announce [self-promotional accolade].”

They seem to have no idea of what this sounds like to a normal person.

It’s like George Carlin’s observation that:

“If a man smiles all the time, he’s probably selling something that doesn’t work.”

Cheesy sales people smile all the time, and it’s a strong signal of insincere self-promotion. Which most people find off-putting.

Social Media makes it worse

If you’ve been on Twitter, YouTube, or God forbid, TikTok, then you’ve seen some of the worst of it. For example, those who practice the art of “humblebrag.” (there’s even a book about this)

Look, we all understand the importance of marketing. After all, you can’t run a law practice without clients.

What I don’t understand is why so many lawyers are now adopting the lamest forms of self-promotion.

Probably, they don’t know enough marketing fundamentals to realize there are better ways to get attention.

Here’s the most important marketing principle to understand…

Don’t seek attention

Attention is only one part of the equation. But it’s not the most important part. And you need to consider how it melds with other aspects of marketing.

When you get attention in a way that marks you as insincere and superficial, it’s harder to build trust down the road.

Focus on trust

Building trust is the most important thing you can do to market your practice. And your reputation is foundation of how you establish and maintain trust.

So work on that foremost.

It’s easy to get attention if you’re shameless. But I’m guessing you prefer a good reputation.

If so, be wary about how you promote yourself — especially online where everything is preserved forever.

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