If your legal tech business relies heavily on technologies such as artificial intelligence to benefit law firms and legal departments, you no doubt struggle to stand out in a sea of voices that sound exactly like your own. Most legal tech companies sound exactly like every other legal tech company. Everyone sings the same song about how much time, money and effort their technologies save law firms, legal departments, and their IT teams.
Prospects aren’t about to do all the digging necessary to uncover what makes you special or different. You have to bring that information to the forefront yourself, and the clever use of language is your sharpest tool for doing so.
Communicating with attorneys in a unique, creative, interesting voice is like waving a neon pink flag in a dull field of brown. This post shows how carefully crafted sentences and engaging writing help you stand out in a mundane crowd and why you so badly need to do so.
Words are powerful conveyors of meaning. They build trust and evoke desire. And, words can entice and win over legal professionals when they:
- Convey clarity and meaning through specificity.
- Connect emotionally through metaphors and similes.
- Empower prospects by making them the hero.
Legal Tech Marketing Rule No. 1: Discuss Benefits, Not Features.
The first thing your marketing content should do is help legal professionals envision all the ways your product or service will benefit them in their working lives.The first thing your marketing content should do is help #legal professionals envision all the ways your product or service will benefit them in their working lives. Click To Tweet
Barking off a list of tech features is about as informative as reading a list of ingredients for a cake. Go beyond listing features to show the value each feature brings. For example, say more than, “Our software offers topic clustering.” Offer a more informative description such as, “Discover common themes and related patterns in your data through topic clustering.”
“Benefits, not features” is Marketing 101. The even bigger issue is that discussing benefits is still not nearly enough to win over audiences in legal tech. That’s partly due to information overload.
Information Overload Changed How B2B Buyers Make Purchasing Decisions
Everything Google knows used to be kept at the library, a whole car ride away. People used to spend years studying, memorizing, and learning facts and figures. Before libraries, they shared campfire stories and sang ballads just to pass knowledge along to the next generation.
Now, you don’t even have to remember how to get to your doctor’s office. Not with ready access to a talking map through a simple screen tap.
Easy access to such a vast wealth of information has changed how B2B buyers evaluate products and services and make purchasing decisions. According to DemandGen’s 2018 B2B Buyers Report, buyers are putting a whole lot more thought and time into evaluating which products and services are best suited to their specific situations. When compared to the year prior:
If you don’t have content available for them to learn from, you’re eliminating yourself from consideration before the purchase decision-making process even begins.
The Importance of a Plethora of Content for Legal Tech Vendors
B2B buyers want content that shows you recognize their troubling issues and pain points and know how to help. DemandGen also reported, “Once a sales rep has specific knowledge about the buyer and their pain points, delivering relevant content that speaks directly to the company was ranked as “very important” by 76% of respondents.”
The best way to demonstrate how you solve legal professionals’ problems and improve their working lives is through online content such as white papers, case studies, videos, blog posts, etc. In terms of content and company websites, respondents of DemandGen’s survey said the following variables were “very important”:Demonstrate how you solve legal professionals' problems & improve their working lives thru content like white papers, case studies, videos, & blog posts. Click To Tweet
The importance of making a lot of informative content available to influence purchasing decisions is clear. But, that doesn’t make it any easier to stand out from the crowd. In fact, it makes it even more difficult because everyone is churning out vast quantities of content even faster than before.
And so the plot thickens! Yet, legal tech vendors still sound just like each other because, at its core, technology offers the same benefits to everyone.
Legal Tech Vendors are Pimping The Same Benefits
Another reason it’s so difficult to be heard above all the clamor is that everyone is working with technology that pretty much offers the same benefits:
- Save time, money, and effort, and
- Get improved accuracy and thoroughness.
Sure, the exact technological processes may differ. But, overall, the same general benefits result for every user. It’s not like we’re going to find technology that can read minds or deliver an amazing closing argument on its own, right?
I mean, right?
And so every legal tech vendor is hollering “Save time, money, and effort. Get more accurate results.” That’s the well-worn groove in the legal tech marketing album. (Here an “album” is an analog sound storage medium in the form of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. The groove usually starts near the periphery and ends near the center of the disc. Wikipedia)
Once you start discussing those benefits, you sound like every other business that uses tech to their advantage. Which is nearly every business in existence.
You’re just another obscure horn in the symphony. Nobody would miss you if you stopped playing.
But legal tech vendors can rise above the everyday noise.
The secret to being heard is using different, strong, engaging, perfectly poised language. Words, that is.
You might say, “This horse is good. It is fast. My price is fair.” All of which may very well be true. But, you’re never going to win more buyers than the seller shouting, “This swift steed runs 35 mph through the slop and rain. Strong and true, like a steel arrow, he never falters, never wavers from his path. And he can be yours for a song!”
It’s all in the positioning.
Which brings me to the first way words can be used to your advantage in marketing: Specificity.
Specificity makes your ideas concrete.
For example, the word “fast” is relative. A tortoise is fast compared to a snail. What are you saying, really, when you suggest a product or service is “fast”? It’s hard to pin down exactly what the word should mean without a point of reference.
By saying the horse is so fast it can run 35 mph through slop and rain, specificity conveys a clearer, more accurate message about what that horse can really do. The reader is informed well enough to be able to envision the benefits.
Case studies are excellent for pulling out exact numbers. Once you’ve saved a client a specific amount of money, use that number in other content. Perhaps you can refer to percentages or hourly savings.
Any time you use words like the following ones, look to see if you can find a real-life situation to exemplify the point you are making:
You get the idea. These are trigger words that indicate an opportunity to use concrete references that paint clearer pictures of benefits. And if you don’t have real-life case studies or examples, there are other ways to convey your message. Sometimes, a well-placed simile or metaphor can convey more meaning than any number.
Metaphors and similes are the spice of life.
Metaphors and similes are little assassins that cut out boring language and bring color and life to dull topics. They make topics relatable by evoking similar emotions through a like comparison. What’s more, they provide wonderful opportunities to differentiate your brand through flair and personality.
Metaphors and similes may be witty, funny, stark, grim — whatever takes your fancy and serves your purposes best at that moment. They are ever-so-welcome distractions from the hum-drummery dullness of dry topics like technology.
Because they can be so powerful they must also be used sparingly. A metaphor or simile in every other sentence is too much icing on a cake.
Used in the right proportions, metaphors and similes bring prospects closer to buying because they do such a good job of eliciting emotions. Though legal professionals may be one of the most logical audiences on the planet, they’re still people. And emotions open wallets faster than logic.
You may reach a prospect by saying, “We know you’re overwhelmed.”
But, you bring them closer to feeling understood and wanting the relief you offer when you say, “You’re expected to hit the bullseye even though you’ve been blindfolded and spun in circles. We’re here to steer you forward safely.”
Yet, even then, you’re still not using language to its highest and best abilities. Because saying, “We’re here to steer you forward safely” misses a wonderful opportunity to make the reader a hero.
Empower Prospects by Making Them the Hero.
It’s so tempting to rush in and save the day. You’ve done all the hard work of understanding your prospects pain points. You’re relating to them on a more appropriate emotional level. You’re engaging them with more interesting content.
Clearly, it’s time you swoop in, rescue the damsel in distress, and bask in the crowd’s admiration, right?
Nope. Your prospects and clients need to be the hero in their own story. Make them feel like a knight in shining armor rescuing their business from distress and destruction.Your prospects need to be the hero in their story. Make them feel like a knight in shining armor rescuing their business from destruction. Click To Tweet
They can feel like a hero in many ways. Exclusivity is one. For example, Apple is genius in their marketing that makes buyers feel elite. Buyers who are first to have the sleekest new iPhone in hand feel smarter, more chic, and above ordinary riff-raff.
It’s fair to say that many legal vendors would kill for Apple’s hard-won reputation. While you certainly can aim to achieve that level of exclusivity, there are easier, more immediate ways to make a reader feel like a hero.
Every time you want to say how great you are, put your clients in your position instead. Give them the glory. You may want to shout out, “We’re here to guide you!” But it makes the reader feel much more powerful to read, “With the access and control you need, you cast aside the blindfold and are empowered to guide your company toward success.”
Like everything else in marketing, it’s about the client and their perspective. Not you. Not what you think or feel. You’re there to simply lend a hand while clients and prospects determine that partnering with you is the smartest thing they can do.
It’s simple. Take yourself out of the picture. Quite literally, every time you want to suggest you or your product creates a benefit, spin it so that it’s them who are taking the action to create the benefit.
NO: Our software eliminates duplicate files.
YES: Get your time and sanity back by eliminating duplicate files.
NO: We shave hours off review time.
YES: You’ll be the favorite person in the room when you shave hours off the review time.
It’s such a simple adjustment, really, but when subtly used throughout your content, it has a powerful effect of putting readers in control. When readers feel in control, they are much more likely to take action. When taking action feels like rescuing the company from certain downfall, the idea feels irresistible.
Make Legal Tech Clients Want to Stay Awhile
Needs may drive prospects to your door. But, ultimately, you’d like them to take their shoes off and stay awhile. The only way that will happen is if you elicit their desire to do so. For that, you need the power of words.
Writing is a powerful medium through which to evoke confidence in your service or product, share the nature of its benefits and capabilities, and impress readers with pricing and other values. Whatever value proposition you want to promote, words, language choice and style strongly influence how it’s perceived.