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Commoditization is the action or process of treating something as a mere commodity and it is the biggest problem facing non-corporate attorneys today. Competition has begun to return to the legal industry, as graduating law school students quickly multiply. Many attorneys are being forced to lower their prices enough to hurt themselves and hurt their clients in the process. The lower an attorney drops his or her prices, the higher their required work load becomes and quality suffers.
Websites like Legal Zoom, Rocket Lawyer, and AVVO enable potential clients to very quickly compare the qualifications, prices, and reviews of competing attorneys. This fosters price shopping and the commoditization of professional legal services. An average client was once able to get a second opinion before committing to work with a certain attorney. Now, that same client can quickly compare and evaluate seven different attorneys at the same time, from the comfort of their home. Yet, a client can still only hire one attorney.
Some attorneys love comparison websites and get a lot of business from them. Others go the more traditional route of paying to advertise. Many attorneys do not appreciate online comparison tools because of their effect on the market. However, these websites are hugely successful with consumers. These are companies that are making a lot of money. Clients love them because they can now get all their information in one place. The truth is that AVVO, Rocket, Legal Zoom and similar websites know something most attorneys don’t know.
The secret is law firm marketing book publishing. E-book writing and publishing for law firms is not another SEO trick or growth hack. It’s not just a monthly marketing subscription plan that will start working automatically in just three months. It isn’t about spamming people, bothering potential clients, or sending tons of direct mail. It is not about promoting your firm in an unprofessional or an unethical manner that will cause a problem with your state or local bar association. A well-written lawyer marketing book doesn’t just get your law firm’s name out there. It shows potential clients that you are the kind of attorney who is willing to dedicate a significant amount of time to sharing your wealth of knowledge to benefit them and other members of the public.