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Top of mind awareness (TOMA) for lawyers

In marketing, there used to be the Rule of Three—it took three touches on average before you associated a brand with the product they sold. 

In the internet age, the number of products and ads have increased so much, the ocean is so bloody and competitive, studies suggest it takes more than twenty-eight touches to form that same brand association. 

But if you do make that brand-product connection, you enjoy coveted “top of mind awareness” (TOMA). 

TOMA is how quickly a brand or a product comes to a consumer’s mind.  


When you think of athletic shoes, who comes to mind? Nike? Reebok? Puma? Adidas? 

There are thousands of brands, but you recall just a few. 

When you think of beer? Kingfisher? Beera? Macdowell? Budweiser? Carlsberg? For every brand you can recall there are hundreds you don’t remember.

Online food ordering? Zomato or Swiggy?  

Soft drinks? Coca-Cola? Pepsi?  

10 minute grocery delivery? Zepto or Blinkit?

Criminal lawyer? Ram Jethmalani? Ujjwal Nikam? 

Constitutional lawyer? Harish Salve? Kapil Sibal? Mukul Rohatgi?

Probably the brands you come across very frequently are TOMA.

Brands make a lot of effort and spend money to stay at TOMA.

Of course – law firms or individual lawyers can also build brands.

And the path is no different – while you can’t advertise, you can still create TOMA by creating many regular touchpoints with your potential clients!

But how? That’s a million dollar question. If you created TOMA for just 1000 people around you:

  1. They will approach you when they have legal problems
  2. They will refer you to others around them who need legal help
  3. They will contribute to positive buzz about you in the industry and in your target client group

Of course you can have more than just 1000 people for whom you are the TOMA lawyer.

Here are 5 field tested ideas to create TOMA effect (you should try to do just one not all 5):

  1. Create a weekly newsletter in your area of expertise that keeps your leads and older clients updated about information that they would want to know (for example, factory owners would want to know about changes in regulations, taxes, incentives, government schemes, similarly if your clients are doctors they may want to be kept updated about changes in laws related to medical negligence and regulation of clinical establishments). By showing up every week on their email inbox you achieve TOMA.
  1. Post regularly about your life as a lawyer on social media handles. Insights, opinions, daily courtroom and chamber drama, everything that serves as a reminder that you are a lawyer can be posted and helps to achieve TOMA among those who follow your accounts. 
  1. You can create online communities on Facebook, WhatsApp or Telegram for your audience or leads and old clients. You can regularly share updates, insights, opinions or hold polls. These would serve as a continuing reminder of your brand and expertise. 
  1. You can also create a weekly podcast. You can address FAQs that are relevant to your audience in these podcasts. You can also invite other lawyers and create a bigger audience pool. Facebook lives or short instagram videos also work for this, however a live audience is always more easily influenced than someone watching a recorded video. 
  1. Hold weekly online webinars for your audience. Those who find it feasible can also hold offline events. This serves very well in achieving TOMA. 

You do not have to do all 5. Doing just 1 may be good enough to achieve your goal.

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