The Street Smart Law Blog

Writing 2
  • Frederick L Shelton

A 1 Minute Read, That Will Make You Better at Marketing & Recruiting

HOW TO USE THE "AIDA" FORMULA The AIDA Formula for writing content was developed by the "Mad Men" (short for Madison Avenue Marketing Men) of the 1960's and still applies today. It goes like this:

Attention Interest Desire Action First, get their Attention: If your ad, post or email, doesn't get the viewers attention in literally one second, they're not going to continue reading. For example, I work with high end business lawyers (the salary ONE day out of law school is $215K and we often have candidates making seven figures). But they are notoriously overworked. We're talking three wives and two heart attacks by the age of forty. So my headline might be something like: Imagine Making the Same Money and Working 40 Hours a Week? It's Possible. Okay I've got their attention. But now I need to keep their interest. So the next line or two might continue the Headline Theme or be a Legitimizer. It could be something as simple as "This is real. You've just been sold on the idea that working yourself to death is the only way to succeed in Big Law" (these firms can range from several hundred lawyers to several thousand, world-wide).

Continuing the theme or Legitimizing a Bold Statement, creates more interest and hopefully, will build Desire (the desire to work less and still make several hundred thousand dollars or more!) Finally, I could end with something like this: "It will take five minutes or less to find out whether you could be living a different lifestyle. Would you risk five minutes to have 20 more hours a week with your family and friends? (646) 485-4000 or "

in this case, it's a Risk vs. Reward Call to Action. The risk is small (5 minutes of their time) and the reward could be great (a better life!) Also, a visual is always going to get more clicks than text alone (on average 20x more clicks!). For example, my daughter took a pic of herself (above), having a drink on The Las Vegas Strip.

That "impression" (what Social Media Marketers call memes for business) got a lot of clicks and the ad got a few resumes. Given that a resume in our niche, can result in an average fee of $70K, that ad made for a nice, one hour investment of time. This can be applied to pitching for legal or other professional work, writing job ads or just about anything. Get their Attention. Keep their Interest. Build Desire to work with you. Create a Call to Action that will gain you a client, new hire etc. AIDA. Keep that mind when writing content, ads etc. and you'll fare well.

Frederick Shelton is the

CEO & President of Shelton & Steele

He can be reached at