Managing Your Law Firm's BrandAugust 2017
Establishing a unique, positive, and recognizable brand for your law firm is no easy task. There are so many law firms out there—and so many in every different niche or specialty—that standing out or being memorable can be a tough code to crack. However, if you don’t put effort into managing your firm’s brand, you let your competitors, or your clients do it for you. Certainly, you will never be able to control everything that anyone says about your firm, which means you will never have total control over your brand. Still, having some control is better than having none, which is why managing your brand is so important.
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To manage your brand, you first need to establish what you want your brand to be. While that task sounds daunting, it’s actually pretty simple. All you need to do to get started is spend some time thinking about your clients. Who are your clients? What do they need? And how can you give it to them? These are the three most crucial questions to ask when formulating a brand for your law firm. If you know who your customers are and what they want from you, you can build your brand around the simple goal of meeting those needs. Many firms assume that branding is all about authority. They put most of their focus on advertising the awards they’ve won or the experience their team brings to the table. They also invest a lot of time in establishing a visual branding style that looks professional, from logos to color schemes to font choice.
These factors are part of your brand, but you shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that they are your brand. When you are talking about your awards or experience, you are talking about yourself. A good branding strategy for law firms, meanwhile, is to focus on the client first and foremost. When a client comes to your website or finds you on social media, their first thought isn’t going to be “Now what school did this person go to?” or “How cool is this color scheme?” Rather, the burning question will be something more along the lines of “What is this law firm’s specialty?” or “Can this firm help me out of my current situation?”
With that thought in mind, try to shift the focus of your branding away from your trophy case and toward the clients. Use your mission statement to advertise the services you provide. Use your About Us page to tell clients why you can accomplish your mission and meet their needs better than other firms. Gear all your messaging—from your content pages to your slogan (if you have one)—toward the pain points that you can help solve.
Finally, roll that brand messaging strategy out across your entire marketing platform. Consistency is key to brand management for any business, but especially for the legal professional, where trust is often tenuous. Having a cohesive messaging strategy that spans online efforts, TV, billboards, and whatever else you have in your portfolio will promote trust and make your branding seem more genuine and authentic.