Generating Content for Trademark Client Acquisition
Alt Legal Team | March 09, 2023
A perennial question for IP and trademark practitioners is: how can I attract more clients? We’ve produced extensive content about how to market your law practice, but one marketing tactic that can be particularly effective is producing relevant, informational website content geared toward your target clients. By regularly producing helpful content, you position yourself as a knowledgeable expert so that when it comes time for a potential client to seek legal services, they turn to you. Moreover, when you develop a content-rich website, you draw more visitors to your site, where they can explore your primary service offerings. Additionally, if you can establish a regular publication schedule (once a week, once a month), it can help set expectations among your audience and help you to build a substantial content library over time.
Here are our top five tips for creating great trademark/IP content that will attract the types of clients that you want.
Tip #1: Keep the topics basic.
You might think that content needs to be very sophisticated and discuss substantive points of law. Some clients will certainly be interested in that type of material, but generally, most clients who do not have any background in IP law will appreciate more basic, foundational content. As Kyona McGhee indicated in her Alt Legal Connect session, Market to Your Heart’s Content: Creating content to generate business, you can even present information that you think everyone knows. This information might seem obvious to you as an expert, but it is not obvious to those without a legal background, or even those who just do not have experience with IP law. Consider topics like the difference between trademarks, copyright, and patents; registering a name as a trademark; how to choose a strong trademark; and priority rights when it comes to common law trademark use.
Tip #2: Discuss trends and relatable IP matters.
If you notice trademark filing trends—like rising application numbers, an increase in failure to function refusals, or increases in metaverse, NFT, and crypto-related marks—these are important things to point out. Writing timely, relevant material will show your audience that you pay attention to what’s happening in the market and that you have your finger on the pulse. You could also write about celebrities filing and registering trademarks or disputes involving celebrity trademarks. These topics tend to resonate well with a non-lawyer audience as they are entertaining and relatable. For example, potential clients could be interested in Lizzo winning her dispute with the TTAB over her 100% THAT BITCH mark, or LeBron James’s unsuccessful efforts to trademark TACO TUESDAY, or Giannis Antetokounmpo’s trademark filings for marks like STAY FR34KY. Learning about real-life examples of trademark issues involving well-known public figures helps a non-lawyer audience better understand how trademark law applies to their businesses.
Tip #3: Provide warnings about trademark fraud.
The USPTO will occasionally release notices that bad actors are targeting trademark owners with fraudulent communications, trying to engage in phishing scams or elicit payments for unnecessary legal “services” and trademark office fees. You can learn about these fraudulent schemes by signing up for USPTO notices, specifically Trademark Alerts. Potential clients will appreciate getting a head’s up from you that these scams are occurring. Many of the scams are difficult for a layperson to detect, so those unfamiliar with trademark practice before the USPTO will really appreciate you helping them understand what is and is not a legitimate notice.
Tip #4: Keep the format simple.
While you provide serious, professional services, the tone of your content does not need to be so serious. Keep it professional, but avoid legal jargon and eliminate legal citations. When writing content aimed at potential clients, think of yourself as a translator between the complex language in laws, cases, and on government websites, and the everyday language that a non-lawyer audience will understand. Being able to explain legal concepts in a relatable way will show potential clients how well you can communicate and what they can expect from you should they retain you.
Other ways to ensure clarity in your communication is to:
- Keep articles short and concise (500-2000 words).
- Use formatting that is easy to digest – lists, Top 10 articles, bullet points, etc.
- Break up articles with relevant subheadings, imagery, charts, graphs, or infographics.
Tip #5: Answer common questions.
Use blog posts as an opportunity to answer frequently asked questions. Not only is this helpful information for prospective clients, but it’s also very good for SEO. When prospective clients search the web for particular questions or topics, if your article contains the right search terms, it will attract readers to your blog to learn more. You probably have your own lists of common questions, but you can consider answering questions along the lines of:
- How long does it take to register a trademark with the USPTO?
- Should I file a trademark before I register my LLC?
- How much does it cost to register a trademark with the USPTO?
- I have a domain name – what more do I need to do to secure my trademark?
- How can I come up with a unique trademark and logo?
Since these topics have been written about extensively, it’s important that when you answer these questions in a blog post, you add your own creative spin. To do this, you can incorporate some real-life examples if you can get permission from clients (or anonymize their stories and use them for illustrative purposes). You can also discuss various approaches that lawyers might take and what you recommend based on varying circumstances. This will help prospective clients better understand how you work. Lastly, with these types of articles, it often makes sense to include a call to action (CTA) which is essentially a way for a prospective client to take the next step towards retaining you. The CTA might be something like:
- “Click here to schedule a 15-minute call with me so I can discuss USPTO registration options with you.”
- “Click here to download my firm’s fee schedule for registering a USPTO trademark.”
- “More questions? Send me an email!”