• Cooper Shattuck

"Way Back in the Day": How Legal Marketing Has Changed


We are proud to sponsor a one-time FREE performance of The Actor's Charitable Theatre's production of Broadway's Bright Star, inspired by a true story and featuring the Tony-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, on Sunday, July 25, at 4:00 p.m. at the Bama Theatre in Tuscaloosa, and you are invited!

The play has many poignant themes, but it is, at its heart, about the power of the story. One of its lead numbers is, “If You Knew My Story.”


In this series, we have discussed and shared our story and talked about the importance of your story. Now, let’s discuss why and how you need to tell it.

Another powerful song in Bright Star is, “Way Back In The Day.” The musical’s story is told through flashbacks to the 1920s from its setting in the 1940s. Way back in the day, most lawyers didn’t have to spend much time, energy, or money on marketing. Regardless of the practice area, doing a good job and word of mouth was usually sufficient to get people to the door. Oh sure, some ventured beyond the basic Martindale-Hubbell listings to enhanced or premium listings there, and others invested in augmented entries in the Yellow Pages or even (gasp) advertisements there. But those days are gone. The marketplace is now more competitive than ever before and there are many more ways to inform consumers of the services offered.


While lawyers have begun to realize the importance of marketing, they have been frustrated in their efforts. Traditional advertising agencies have gradually shifted to digital advertising, with some struggling to add website design services to their offerings. Many advertising agencies are good at advertising but not necessarily at big-picture, strategic, all-encompassing marketing. Many technically savvy web designers are great with code but ineffective communicators. And none of these professionals understand what lawyers do, or what all they do, and how they do it, much less the rules that apply to their efforts in doing so.


One of Bright Star’s final numbers is, “At Last,” which aptly summarizes what we have heard from so many of our clients. Finally, someone who will listen, who understands what we do, who can help us create a strategic marketing plan to expand what it is that we want to do, and who can effectively communicate our message to our target audiences so that they will consider us when choosing or recommending legal services. In other words, here is someone who can help us tell our story.


We started Cartography Consulting to help people tell their stories. Telling them gives potential clients the opportunity to make a connection. Stories are the most effective means of connecting with potential clients, yet few incorporate them into their marketing efforts. This doesn’t mean that your marketing material should be a sappy, heart-wrenching biography. It simply means sharing more than the basic resume information or the same rudimentary practice descriptions that your competitors share.


We work with our clients to identify what makes them unique. We build a brand and a strategy based on that distinctiveness. We then implement the strategy with engaging words and graphics. We help get folks to your door. Then you can do your thing. You can practice law. It is a noble and honorable profession – a calling. Wouldn’t you rather spend your time actually practicing law than marketing? Don’t you want to have the ability to engage in the practice to the fullest? We are here to help. Let us help you tell your story so that you can continue living it.