My Shingle

You Get the Clients You Market For

by Carolyn Elefant on August 30, 2006 · 16 comments

in Dealing With Clients, Marketing & Making Money, Marketing Lessons

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Via Ernie the Attorney comes this link to a provocative You Tube ad by Florida divorce attorney Steve Miller (posted at Denise Howell’s new fun blog).  After insulting paralegals, overpriced downtown lawyers and court clerks, Miller invites clients who want to escape “the hellhole they call a marriage” to visit his website, pay up and “get on your way to getting rid of that vermin you call a spouse.”

Personally, I’m not sure why Miller chose to market to angry or disgruntled clients, because he doesn’t have to.  As Miller’s website makes clear, Miller competes aggressively on price which I’ve always believed is both a credible and necessary approach
not just for lawyers, but for clients priced out of the legal services
market.  But by attempting to appeal to people who call their spouse
“vermin” or refer to their marriage as a “hell hole,” Miller virtually
guarantees that he’s going to attract clients who are unreasonable and
uncompromising.  These clients may think of their spouses as vermin
when they call to retain Miller, but I’m guessing that by the end of
the case, they’ll be referring to Miller as vermin as well.  Sometimes
you get the clients you deserve.

Still, though Miller’s approach isn’t one I’d adopt, I don’t advocate
regulation or restrictions on his ads.  The ads aren’t deceptive;
consumers who hire Miller know exactly what they’re getting, which is
more than can be said for many other types of law firm advertising.
Let the market decide the fate of Miller’s ad campaign (presumably, Miller will pull the ads if ineffective), not the bar.

(Final note – Matt Homann posts another unconventional divorce ad here).

  • http://www.jacobson.co.za/2006/08/stretching_the_limits_of_legal.html Jacobson Attorneys

    Stretching the limits of legal marketing …

    There is a thread going around the legal blogosphere about the marketing tactics some law firms are employing…. One example of a particularly edgy ad is this video which was posted on YouTube by Steve Miller, a trial lawyer in Florida and Massachuse…

  • http://www.jacobson.co.za/2006/08/stretching_the_limits_of_legal.html Jacobson Attorneys

    Stretching the limits of legal marketing …

    There is a thread going around the legal blogosphere about the marketing tactics some law firms are employing…. One example of a particularly edgy ad is this video which was posted on YouTube by Steve Miller, a trial lawyer in Florida and Massachuse…

  • http://www.jacobson.co.za/2006/08/stretching_the_limits_of_legal.html Jacobson Attorneys

    Stretching the limits of legal marketing …

    There is a thread going around the legal blogosphere about the marketing tactics some law firms are employing…. One example of a particularly edgy ad is this video which was posted on YouTube by Steve Miller, a trial lawyer in Florida and Massachuse…

  • http://www.jacobson.co.za/2006/08/stretching_the_limits_of_legal.html Jacobson Attorneys

    Stretching the limits of legal marketing …

    There is a thread going around the legal blogosphere about the marketing tactics some law firms are employing…. One example of a particularly edgy ad is this video which was posted on YouTube by Steve Miller, a trial lawyer in Florida and Massachuse…

  • http://njfamilymotions.typepad.com/blog/2006/08/super_lawyers_a.html New Jersey Family Law Blog

    Super Lawyers are not yet dead in New Jersey

    Following on from the recent opinion by the Committee on Attorney Advertising to ban New Jersey lawyers from using the designation

  • http://njfamilymotions.typepad.com/blog/2006/08/super_lawyers_a.html New Jersey Family Law Blog

    Super Lawyers are not yet dead in New Jersey

    Following on from the recent opinion by the Committee on Attorney Advertising to ban New Jersey lawyers from using the designation

  • http://www.jacobson.co.za/2006/08/stretching_the_limits_of_legal.html Jacobson Attorneys

    Stretching the limits of legal marketing …

    There is a thread going around the legal blogosphere about the marketing tactics some law firms are employing…. One example of a particularly edgy ad is this video which was posted on YouTube by Steve Miller, a trial lawyer in Florida and Massachuse…

  • http://www.jacobson.co.za/2006/08/stretching_the_limits_of_legal.html Jacobson Attorneys

    Stretching the limits of legal marketing …

    There is a thread going around the legal blogosphere about the marketing tactics some law firms are employing…. One example of a particularly edgy ad is this video which was posted on YouTube by Steve Miller, a trial lawyer in Florida and Massachuse…

  • mythago

    I suppose he is hoping that he will get clients who are happy to pay whatever legal fees are asked if they think it will translate into harassment for their ex-spouse.

  • mythago

    I suppose he is hoping that he will get clients who are happy to pay whatever legal fees are asked if they think it will translate into harassment for their ex-spouse.

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