Avoid Bridgegate Swindles!
“Hello, I would like to talk to you about an exclusive investment. I would like to offer you the opportunity to buy this well-built bridge in a high-traffic area overlooking a beautiful waterfront vista. This bridge is used by thousands of vehicles and pedestrians every single day. Think of all the money you could make from tolls! But you’ll have to act fast–because so many other people are clambering to buy this bridge. This opportunity won’t be available for long!”
George C. Parker was one of the greatest con men in American history. He repeatedly sold landmark properties such as Madison Square Gardens, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.
His methods have passed into popular culture, giving rise to common phrases such as “and if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you”.
I invite you to ask yourself if you have recently encountered any modern-day bridge salesmen.
Bridge To Nowhere: Are You Investing In Your Law Firm Brand? Or Paying To Build Someone Else’s Brand?
One thing that REALLY bothers me about the business model of many attorney marketing solution providers is that they don’t build individual attorney or law firm brand equity.
As I discussed in the blog article entitled The Legal Marketing Matrix, contributing articles, videos or blog posts to a legal-focused infomediarory website increases the searchability and/or credibility of that site, not yours.
Similarly many other types of lawyer marketing programs, particularly attorney referral services and “group advertising” programs, do nothing to build awareness of your law firm’s brand.
In other articles on my website I go into great detail about this problem. Today, in order to drive the point home, I ask you to consider these scenarios and questions:
Would you buy or build a big, beautiful, multi-million dollar mansion that was located on land that you couldn’t purchase (aka you could only lease the land)?
The cost of leasing the land can increase each time your lease is renewed. You would not be allowed to resell the house. However, as long as you continued to pay rent on the property you would have exclusive use of the land—but only until the land-owner decided to do something different with the property or decided to sell it.
What if the home purchase agreement contained language that stated that the land-owner could sell out from under you at any time for any reason with little or no prior notice?
What if it went on to say that if the land were sold (without your consent) you would have to vacate immediately and leave the house and all its contents behind?
What if you were still responsible for all improvements, maintainace, upkeep, taxes, etc. for the house and the land?
What if, for the time that you reside in the house (that’s on the land you don’t own), the land-owner was entitled to take any items on the property (for example your laundry from the clothes line; the food in your refrigerator; or your furniture) and sell them for a profit without compensating you in anyway?
You are an intelligent person. And you have a law degree. You would never agree to such an outright land swindle! Would you?
After college did you share a house or apartment with a bunch of other people? Didn’t you get angry when your roommates would eat food that you bought? Didn’t you hate it when they stole your clothes? What about when they borrowed your car without asking and then didn’t even have the courtesy to give you money for gas? Weren’t you pissed off when you found out that some of the housemates paid less rent than you or no rent at all?
Of course you were pissed off!! That’s why you worked like hell do you could afford to get your own place.
But then paying rent started to feel like flushing money down the toilet. So you saved enough for a down payment and bought your own house. Because you wanted ownership. You wanted value. You wanted equity.
So why are you allowing yourself to be used and swindled when it comes to your law firms’ legal marketing?
When are you going to step up; take responsibility; and OWN IT?!
Again, an attorney that ‘invests’ in referal services, legal infomediarories, and group advertising programs is spending dollars to increase the visibility and build awareness of a brand that is not their own.
It’s no investment.