The success of your law business depends on your branding. Your branding refers to the unique promise you’ve made to your target audience and your company’s representation to the public. Furthermore, your law firm branding is an important part of your overall marketing strategy. To attract your target clients, you must harness the power of branding for lawyers or your law firm.
When you build your brand, you’re fostering your reputation for not only making that promise but keeping it as well. The stronger your brand becomes, the more willing people are to trust you and to pay for your services. In other words- your law brand is at the heart of everything you do. It’s what you do and how you do it, but, most importantly, it’s why you do it. It’s the color of your site, how you communicate and how your clients think of you.
The importance of branding for lawyers:
- A strong brand is authentic, transparent, and client-focused. As the result, it continuously builds trust. And if clients can trust you, they’ll be loyal to you. Furthermore, their influence will introduce new people to your company.
- According to recent research, around 89% of consumers stay loyal to brands that share their values. The only way to communicate those values clearly is through strong lawyer branding.
- Branding sets you apart from your competition. A strong brand is recognizable always being the center of attention.
- It helps you stay focused. With a clear brand strategy, you’ll stay focused on your firm’s mission and values.
- Finally, branding for lawyers encourages connection. A strong brand helps you connect with your clients on an emotional level, which inspires them to reach out.
We’ve summed up 9 steps for branding for lawyers and law firms:
1. Focus your brand on one specialization (niche)
For a start, concentrate on the specific thing that your brand will become known for. Be detailed and precise when explaining what your brand is and what you are offering. If a customer cannot describe what your brand does concisely, it means your branding is weak.
Start from the perspective of what you want to do, rather than what you can do. Often, there will be an overlap between what you can offer and the specific needs of your clients. In each major practice area (family law, personal injury, private client, and so on) there are multiple niche areas of specialism.
In family law, for instance, there is a difference between divorce and child residence and contact. Similarly, there’s a difference between how you market workplace accidents and clinical negligence. Therefore, come up with key messages that relate to a particular niche.
2. Set up your mission statement
Define why it is you chose this practice, this niche, and these clients. Also known as your firm’s mission, your why will be the ultimate roadmap for your brand and your business. For example, an immigration attorney might say their mission is to help clients achieve their dream of becoming U.S. citizens. Or a divorce attorney might say their mission is to help clients find the hope and support individuals need to create a new life.
Pursuing a mission leads to fulfilling, stimulating work and gives your work meaning. Meaningful, fulfilling, stimulating work is work that drives and inspires you and that you’re passionate about. A good mission statement is a fundamental communication tool and building block for modern businesses. It helps your company and clients understand who you are, what you stand for, and what differentiates you from the competition.
3. Define Your Ideal Client
To complete this step, answer the following question: Who do you want to serve? Start by creating a client persona– a description of the ideal client you wish to serve. List your ideal client’s demographics, motivations, goals, challenges, and pain points. Moreover, align them with what you have to offer.
Armed with this persona, you’ll be able to build your brand with your ideal clients in mind. Everything from your website content to the way you communicate will fit their expectations and feel personal to them. Without defining your target client and the potential size of the market, it’s difficult to formulate a marketing plan for your law firm.
Every potential audience has different hopes, needs, fears, and questions, and addressing these has a big part to play in convincing them that you are the right firm for them. Gathering this allows you to draft information aimed specifically at their needs and to devise a coherent marketing plan.
4. Discover Your Law Firm’s Values
Your values define your firm, from the way you design your firm’s culture to how you build your brand. They are the foundation your firm is built upon. To set your values, consider the goals your firm wants to achieve. Next, select values, that if followed, will help you achieve those goals. Once you set your values, communicate them through your law firm’s branding. As you make decisions on how your logo should look or how your message should come across on your website, remember these values.
5. Understand Your Unique Value Proposition
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is a statement that communicates the services you offer, how they solve your clients’ needs, and what makes you different from the competition. This UVP will be one of your most critical brand assets, as it will appear on your marketing materials and be the driving force behind how you interact with your clients.
To define your UVP, answer these questions:
- What services do you provide?
- Who do you serve?
- Which needs or concerns do those services solve?
- What makes your firm different from others?
6. Identify Your Brand Tone and Voice
Another key element of your brand is how you communicate. All communications you produce should have the same tone of voice. When your tone is consistent, your audience hears the same person speaking whenever and however they deal with you. This demonstrates that you’re reliable, consistent and that every part of their experience of working with you will be equally good.
In addition, your brand voice is your unique personality communicated through the language you use in your branding. Its purpose is to cut straight through the noise of the legal industry to your ideal client, grabbing its attention. Select two or three adjectives that describe your brand voice.
As you move forward, make sure your marketing materials and client communications are consistent with your brand voice. For example, if you’re an IP attorney trying to attract tech start-ups, you might choose a voice that showcases authority and innovation. If you’re a family law attorney focused on divorce and child custody, a voice that’s warm and welcoming yet professional might be best.
7. Create Your Brand Identity
After you’ve set up your law firm branding foundation, the next step is defining your law firm brand identity. Components within your brand identity will include:
- Firm name
- Color scheme
- Typography and fonts
- Marketing materials
- Stationery such as business cards
- Copy such as website and blog content
Start with your law firm’s logo, as it is one of the most commonly used brand assets. Once you have a logo, move on to select your color scheme and typography. Make sure the colors and typography you choose reflect your brand’s voice.
Color is an important part of brand effectiveness. A University of Loyola study found that color increases individuals’ recognition of a brand by about 80 percent. However, the impact of colors on consumers depends on the types of services your brand offers. Essentially, the colors you use should fit your offerings.
Nowadays, for most businesses, their website is their shopfront. An online presence that reflects your firm’s ideals, goals, and objectives through web design will help you score business success. Thus, ensure the design matches the expectations and level of sophistication your target market expects.
Visuals play a significant role in branding for lawyers. There are a number of ways to use your brand visuals, including printed materials like letterhead, business cards, brochures, and billboards. Moreover, include them in your social media marketing. When posting to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles, publish visuals that are relevant to your posts.
8. Develop an appropriate brand personality
A vital part of successful branding for lawyers is getting consumers to relate to your business on a personal level. This is impossible if your brand has no personality. Without personality, your brand is nothing more than a faceless corporation. By creating a distinct personality it becomes easier for consumers to engage with you and to connect on a personal level, thereby making it easier for them to trust your brand.
Personality can be developed through your marketing efforts, especially through the voice you use in your content marketing. However, make sure that the personality you foster is appropriate to your brand and to your audience. To create your brand personality, ensure your logo, colors, and marketing materials have a consistent look and feel. Furthermore, make sure all your marketing materials look consistent and professional.
9. Make your brand visible
All of the previous efforts you made in order to establish branding for lawyers have to be backed up with exposure. This is where your marketing efforts come into play. You’ll want to give your brand the best chance at exposure by implementing a variety of marketing strategies.
Therefore, include SEO optimization to increase your visibility on search engines. Focus on your social media marketing to increase your exposure among potential leads. Don’t forget to boost your content marketing or try traditional outbound marketing, like TV commercials or newspaper ads.
Your brand is more than your logo. It’s your firm’s culture. It’s what you say and how you say it. Furthermore, it’s your firm’s history and your firm’s future. Finally, it’s how you work and who you work with. Your brand strategy and design language form the basis for all your firm’s communications.
Visuals are a cornerstone of your firm’s overall branding efforts, and there are many different ways you can use your logo, images, and messaging to convey the value your practice and its attorneys offer to clients. Be sure to keep this in mind as you continue to develop your unique brand and reach out to legal consumers in an increasingly dynamic digital world.