That's what I felt like last night. I filled in for a friend as a speaker at a seminar for potential home buyers downtown at Acorn Housing
in Chicago. They're a HUD
certified housing counseling agency.
And not to be immodest, but I was probably the best speaker in the house. It's something I enjoy doing and I do a lot of it. Really, written and oral communication along with a good memory for trivial facts (often involving sporting events from the '80s) are my three strengths so not a big surprise.BUT
, compared to the other speakers, my "materials" sucked! It's true. The speakers other than myself were a mortgage lender, real estate agent, and home inspector. The home inspector had a great power point, a shirt and hat with his company's logo, and very well-done glossy brochures with a $25 savings coupon. The lender and agent had some brochures with overview information about the home buying process along with business cards. And there was little old me with only my plain old business cards...Blah!!!!!
I wondered what lawyers with real regular speaking gigs would suggest and/or what are they giving away at speaking engagements? My speaking engagements are just inconsistent enough that I think I sort of excuse not having good take-away materials.
What are effective marketing take-away materials that you can handout at speaking engagements or use for general marketing when you're getting solicitation calls asking about your firm or services? I don't think just directing ones attention to your Website is enough...especially at the speaking engagements I think people want materials to bring home.
What do I/you need?BETTER Business Cards
. I can't conceive of a lawyer who doesn't have business cards but I think there's room for improvement with my card. On my card I have our Firm's name, my name, e-mail address, office locations, and phone/fax. I don't have practice areas or blogs listed. Other than perhaps some aesthetic improvements, I think those two additions must be made. A recent post
from Ernie The Attorney on the subject.A Firm Pamphlet/Brochure
. I see some firms with these but not all. It's a simple take-away item that simply provides more overview information than just a business card...describe Firm history, staff, practice areas, ect.Firm Logo
. I think this is a great way to differentiate yourself from other lawyers. I think if properly done this can really make you look cool and sophisticated, rather than the tattered mismatching stuff I see from most small firms. I'd estimate only 10% of firms (big and small) have any sort of logo. I don't think this has to be crazy expensive either...work around a name or letter, just some consistent branding."How-To" information sheets/pamphlets
. I think for say the 5-10 legal procedures that I do a lot, I should have this sort of information sheet...explain buying/selling real estate, leasing, evictions, divorce, adoption, parentage. So now I've spoken and I'm giving you even more information about a topic (plus my contact info. of course).
Seriously, you might be the smartest person in the room with all the education but I'm not sure that the average layperson isn't more impressed with the cool logo, hats/shirts, and glossy pamphlets.