Friends Legal are on the shortlist for the British Wills & Probate Awards’ Best use of Marketing and Social Media award category. This is a huge honour for the company, and a key acknowledgement of approach in bringing our By Your Side service to the Scottish market.
We came to the Probate/Executry market in January 2021 from being a firm dealing with just Personal Injury Claims and Dispute Resolution. We saw a need to evolve the end of & later life legal services available to customers, by making them more affordable, accessible, and transparent – all key messages in our marketing. This part of the private client market is very dated in Scotland, we wanted to bring a new ethos, as well as innovative technologies, to challenge the industry and in turn offer fair pricing to customers.
What is the award for?
The category – Best Use of Marketing & Social Media – looks at all aspects of how a firm or legal supplier markets itself and how it has created an effective online presence through which clients can reach them using marketing and social media. The criteria to be considered for the award includes:
- Show exceptional originality and innovative thinking within a marketing campaign.
- Prove success through improved client awareness, knowledge, and profitability.
- Demonstrate outside the box thinking, surpassing the campaigns of competitors.
What marketing did we do?
We created an agile, multi-faceted marketing strategy to launch our new brand, encompassing a visually dynamic, animated family. This was supported by a new website, extensive TV advertising – something not common with legal firms – social media, and digital marketing. At every touch point, we advertise our truly fixed prices. We’ve also offered a myriad of customer access points, such as video conferencing, that we will continue to use past the pandemic.
Our TV advertising, which we hope you saw, consisted of 3 different stories, all representing different stages of life our services can help people with. Aside from our core advert, playable below, we also produced an advert for Wills, following a young one learning to ride a bike, and an executry ad, showing a man dealing with the loss of his mother.
Social and digital advertising has also been especially important to us. We have had a very active discourse on our Facebook page, particularly around Power of Attorney. We’ve also had a lot of activity from our display advertising, reaching people we feel may need our services but aren’t sure where to turn.
We’ve also produced several online guides and FAQs to help educate people on the processes involved with later-life services. We’re particularly proud of our “What to do when losing a loved one?” guide series that features an interactive option for the presence of a Will and how it affects their situation.
Why do we deserve the award?
One of the ways we have challenged competition was to offer a clear pricing model, something almost no other legal firms used.
We tackled originality and out-of-the-box thinking by using an atypical visual style, that worked with our existing brand, which we applied to television advertising, and digital marketing, both visuals mediums that solicitors tend to approach in a dull, uniform fashion. We brought that all to a brand-new website, which we’re happy to say we get a lot of compliments on. The bright, dynamic, and airy style is tad more optimistic than gloom you might see around.
For brevity, one of our many key approaches is communication. There are issues with terminology in Scotland’s private client market – do we call it probate or confirmation? – as well as tone. The typical approach of being stuffy and deliberately vague we feel inhibits good customer service and understanding – we want customers to be clear what the service is and whether they actually need it, not just because it would make us more money. This is why we launched By Your Side’s Afterlife Legal Services with three distinct service levels: Helping Hand, for DIY guidance on small estates; Obtaining Confirmation, just to get permission from courts to manage a deceased’s estate; and Full Estate Administration, for when customers want every aspect of the executry process to be handled. All these services are offered at market leading prices.
Our team got together to help deliver our marketing strategy, as well as some external firms to deliver our advertising to television, it was a real group effort.
When will we know if we’ve won the award?
This is the very first award Friends Legal has ever gone for, so we’re very excited; albeit a little anxious! We have some very stiff competition from 3 large, much more established UK firms. We’ve also gone for the Innovation Award, and Young Practitioner of the Year Award for our very own Amy Wardrop, who heads our By Your Side department.
Not all categories have been shortlisted yet, however, the award winners will be announced at the BWAP hybrid ceremony on Thursday the 21st of October in Birmingham. The event will be live streamed, and our team will be sending an envoy down to represent Friends Legal; provided the situation with COVID-19 doesn’t take another turn for the worse.
We’re very hopeful to win the award, but whatever the outcome, we’re happy to say that we consider our approach a success, especially since we’ve never offered private client services before. Our team has grown exponentially, and we’ve completed work for hundreds of new clients. Especially with our Power of Attorney service, where we’ve taken the complexity out by offering exclusively Full POAs at a very competitive price.
Want to work with Friends Legal?
If you’re interested in using any of our services, get in touch on 0333 3580 583 for a no-obligation, free consultation for your situation. If you want to protect your family, or tie up an estate, we’re by your side.