Opening Statements

Operators Are Standing By

Posted Oct 1, 2009 10:30 PM CDT
By Lynda Edwards

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Photo courtesy of "The Trust Factor."

Infomercials have been used to sell all kinds of things—pocket fishing rods, blankets with sleeves, teeny wire loops that double as hairstyling tools. So it stands to reason that something like an infomercial could help lawyers sell their services, says Los Angeles television producer Brett Duncan. Only don’t call it that.

Duncan and business partner Diana D’Itri have launched what they call “The Trust Factor,” a series of short legal information programs in which lawyers dispense free, general advice on a range of topics, including family law, business law, estate planning and bankruptcy. (They plan to branch into tax law and personal injury law soon.)

“The Yellow Pages have gone bye-bye,” Duncan says. “Lawyers need a different way to differentiate themselves. Twitter is too time-consuming for lawyers who want to brand themselves. Facebook is a great way to meet colleagues but less effective in reaching potential clients.”

The marketing vehicles began airing last No­vember in Southern California on Time Warner’s Video On Demand and Cox cable channels. They also can be viewed online via YouTube or on Duncan’s website at legaladvicelawyers.com.

Duncan says more than 2.3 million viewers had seen at least one episode as of June.

But the exposure does not come cheap. Duncan charges attorneys a monthly fee of $995 for a yearlong marketing plan that includes a “Trust Factor” appearance. He says he has a customer pool of 35 attorneys.

Despite California’s budget crisis and foreclosure woes, Duncan says the episodes on business and family law are snagging more viewers than bankruptcy. But stay tuned.

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