A couple of months ago I got a ticket on route 80 in New Jersey.

This is my least favorite highway in New Jersey, because cops are hiding at multiple points and it’s very easy to go over the speed limit.

I got pulled over because I was going above the speeding limit and I didn’t wind up getting a speeding ticket, but I did get a different kind of ticket, which resulted in me appearing in some public registers in New Jersey.

To my shock and dismay, I received a number of letters in the mail from law firms telling me that I needed to seek immediate legal representation. The letters were almost identical from three different law firms.

The letters were on official form letterhead, were formal in tone, and outlined all of the bad things that would happen to me if I didn’t get legal representation.

I was really surprised that law firms still market themselves like this and thought I could make it a teaching moment because I think it’s just bad marketing.

The letters basically said that I was in danger of losing my home, ruining my credit, having my insurance premiums go up and maybe even going to jail (!). All because of the traffic ticket. It’s kind of alarming and absurd.

I guess this kind of marketing works for some people?

I found this fear-based marketing to be completely the wrong approach when hiring outside counsel.

Instilling the fear of god in me does not motivate me to make a buying decision. Not at all actually.

I want my lawyers to be on my side and advocates and gentle.

Of course they didn’t know what I did for a living when they sent me these letters, but I thought I would make it a teaching moment that antiquated marketing tactics like this are ineffective.

A much better approach would be to provide content of value and offer helpful guidance.

These firms need marketing help so maybe I should offer up my services to them!

I explore this topic in more detail in this video.