The Most Brilliant Solo Attorney Business Card We’ve Ever Seen (and Why You’ll be Jealous You Didn’t Think of It)

By Stephen Furnari - October 6, 2014
The Most Brilliant Solo Attorney Business Card We’ve Ever Seen (and Why You’ll be Jealous You Didn’t Think of It)

Standing out from the competition is a challenge for solos. Here are 7 Reasons why you should be jealous of this solo attorney business card that does just that.

One of the biggest marketing challenges for a solo or small firm attorney is figuring out a way to stand out among the competition. Often, the things we traditionally do and say in marketing materials to distinguish ourselves are largely meaningless to the vast majority of clients.

The reality is, most clients can’t differentiate between a 2nd or 4th tier law school, journal publications are unimpressive, and they have no idea what your “AV” rating means.

So when I see a marketing technique that is both simple and inexpensive to execute, and helps a solo get noticed,  I take notice.

Recently an attorney handed me the single most brilliant business card that I have seen in 15 years of law practice. The effort is nothing short of genius marketing.

Solo Attorney Business Card

Here are 7 reasons why you should be jealous that you didn’t think of this first:

1.  You’ll never forget this card.

Instead of focusing on paper quality, fonts or logos, Geoffrey Heffernan, Law Firm Suites Financial District client and energy regulatory attorney, took an entirely different tack.

He incorporated the typical business card contact coordinates into a mock “terms of use” agreement. The brilliance of it is that it speaks directly to his target clients (and the other attorneys who would likely refer business to him): people who must comply with government regulations.

It’s extraordinarily clever, and subtly funny.

This solo attorney business card is so unusual, that you will take immediate notice and will never forget it.

That’s good business for Jeff.

This solo attorney business card is something you'll never forget. Click To Tweet

2.  It shows a lot of creativity for an attorney who practices in the context of a rigid regulatory scheme.

Having spent most of my career advising clients on securities law matters, I totally understand the rigidity (and dullness) of a regulatory practice. Jeff’s area of concentration is energy regulation, particularly derivatives trading regulations in the energy sector, and the effects of the Dodd Frank regulatory scheme thereon.

Pretty dry stuff.

But Jeff’s unusual business card suggests another side to him that may be useful to his energy trader clients: he’s not a guy who simply tells clients “no, you can’t do something”, but that he has the capacity to come up with creative solutions and accomplish business goals within the context of a regulatory scheme.

This complicated messaging gets conveyed in a simple business card without Jeff having to say anything. Pure marketing brilliance!

3.  Love or hate Jeff’s business card, because of it, he gets more people to listen to his elevator pitch than you.

Some attorneys are sticklers for tradition and will hate Jeff’s business card. I have met a few. But I guaranty that if they meet Jeff at a networking event and he hands them one of his cards, they will at least be intrigued enough to learn more about him.

What more can you ask from a networking event interaction?

That was certainly the case for me the first time we met. I met Jeff at a Law Firm Suites networking party where there was a sea of other attorneys in attendance.

We ended up talking about his practice area for a long time. That night I introduced him to several other attorneys with connections to the energy sector. I also made a note in my calendar to circle back with him for an in-person meeting next time I was in town.

This happened all because of Jeff’s card.

4.  You’ll show it off to your lawyer friends.

Right now, I have a stack of Jeff’s cards in my briefcase. Honestly, I have more of his cards than mine.

Every chance I get, I show it off to one of my attorney friends. (As if you can’t tell) I’m obsessed with it.

I appreciate the genius of it so much, I’m writing this article about it.

This is all good for Jeff. He has greatly increased the number of people who are out there promoting his brand.  This is brilliant marketing for a solo attorney who usually operates as an army-of-one.

Some attorneys are sticklers for tradition and will hate Jeff’s business card. Click To Tweet

5.  It will compel you to learn more about Jeff.

Not only was Jeff’s business card the reason why I spent more time talking to him at a networking event than any of the other attorneys, I was compelled to follow up with him.

I wanted to know more about the person behind this clever marketing technique.  Since then, we’ve talked in person, have gone to lunch and have gotten to know each other on a more personal level.

All the things you need to do to build a referral relationship.

I met a lot of new people at the networking event where Jeff and I met for the first time. By far, he is the attorney I followed up with most, putting him in a great position to receive referrals or connections to referral partners when they come across my desk.

6.  You’ll never forget this lawyer.

Through my work at Law Firm Suites, I see hundreds of attorney business cards every month. After a while, it becomes very difficult to remember one attorney from the next.

Jeff is a nice, friendly guy, but in a room full of lawyers, he is no more memorable than any of his nice, friendly peers. But Jeff’s unusual business card sets him apart from the crowd.

It’s that one thing that you will always remember — that guy who has the unusual energy regulatory practice who also has that unusual business card.

That’s invaluable for Jeff, and will greatly increase the ROI on his networking time.

7.  You’ll never throw it away.

Once I get a person’s email entered into my contact management software, there’s no reason for me to keep their business card. But Jeff’s card was interesting enough for me to hold on to.

That’s good for him because every time I see it, I am reminded of him and what kind of work he does.

Regularly staying in front of prospective clients or referral sources is the best way to ensure that new business gets sent your way when it comes up.  And it is one of the most challenging things for solo attorneys to do on a consistent basis.

Jeff’s creative business card does this for him automatically.

About Stephen Furnari

Stephen Furnari is a self-employed corporate attorney and the founder of Law Firm Suites, the operator of coworking spaces for law firms. Through Law Firm Suites, Furnari has helped hundreds of attorneys launch and grow successful law practices. He is the author of several eBooks, including “7 Deadly Mistakes that Prevent Law Practice Success” and “An Insider’s Guide to Renting the Perfect Law Office”. Stephen has been featured in the ABA Journal, Entrepreneur, New York Daily News and Crain’s New York. Connect with Stephen on Twitter (@stephenfurnari).

2 thoughts on “The Most Brilliant Solo Attorney Business Card We’ve Ever Seen (and Why You’ll be Jealous You Didn’t Think of It)

  1. I don’t like it. I think it looks boring and generally suckish. No graphics, just text. For people like me who hate to read, that’s an immediate trash can verdict.

    • But don’t you see, Anna, that’s why it is so brilliant. The people who would purchase services from (or would be in position refer cases to) Jeff, who does energy regulatory work specifically related to derivative trading, would read this. The live and die by reading code.

      The fact that it doesn’t appeal to you makes makes Jeff’s networking activities that much more efficient (for both of you). You would both know right away that you can’t do anything for each other, thereby not wasting each others’ valuable time.

      We’re not a recommending that lawyers copy Jeff’s idea, but instead suggest that attorneys to make your firm’s marketing activities both appeal to your firm’s target audience, AND ALSO make your firm stand out from the competition. How can your firm do that?

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