Often, law firms tend to skip the basics when they’re opening up a new practice. Yes, you may pay someone to create a logo for you, but that’s generally the extent of thought that goes into many law firms’ branding. And if you ask attorneys what their brand strategy is or how they maintain their law firm’s brand, you’ll often get a blank stare. This isn’t a good sign for your law firm’s branding. Perhaps it’s time for an audit of your law firm’s brand. With a strong brand identity, your law firm is better able to position itself in the market place and increase the effectiveness of its attorney marketing.
Elements of a Strong Brand
When it comes to establishing and maintaining a strong brand, many law firms are clueless. Attorney marketing is unfortunately not intuitive, so attorneys can get a little lost in their pursuit to be the best. And we want you to be among the best in your field, or at least we want consumers to believe so. Let’s discuss the various ways in which your law firm can establish a strong brand:
• Design a unique website. When people log on to the internet, what do they find? Do they see a website with a design that accurately represents your law firm and your firm’s values? If not, your brand could be suffering. Many attorneys are tempted to go the route of stock or generic websites, thinking little about their web design. Unfortunately, using a template or a stock website doesn’t help to differentiate your law firm from the pack. Nor does it help to present your law firm in its best possible light. Take the time to establish something unique to tell potential clients and the world who you are. After all, your law firm isn’t representative of generic stock photos of people posed near law books and glass windows. Instead, take the opportunity to personalize your brand and to communicate your law firm’s worth and value in its unique designs.
• Claim your social media. If your firm has yet to create a social media account, your attorney marketing and your brand may suffer. Social media is a great way to introduce your brand to millions of potential clients in one space. Often, consumers search these networks for businesses and if your law firm isn’t present, this can tarnish your brand. Put yourself where the people are. Choose a cohesive and complimentary social media design which reflects what you put forth on your website. Use social media as a method for communicating your law firm’s brand to the public and for sharing your attorney marketing content.
• Write your own blog. It’s easy for law firms to pay companies to do their attorney marketing for them. But if this is your strategy, you should have something out there in your attorneys’ own voice, reflecting their expertise. The law firms that do this the best maintain blog presences on sites like Avvo, showing off their Associates’ knowledge of the law. This can both personalize your brand and it can establish your law firm as a knowledge leader in such a fiercely competitive industry. Leverage the power of your attorneys’ experience to bolster your brand.
• Advertise smartly. Often, attorneys take out ads which they think makes them look cool or unique. And often, they become little more than a reason to make fun of these law firms. But what is the alternative? Generic advertising? The key is to advertise smartly. Hire a firm that knows how to position you in the marketplace, that can communicate your law firm’s value and experience in an advertisement that won’t turn off clients. Hire a firm that can write great copy and brand your law firm that industry superstar that it wants to be.
• Work the press. How do consumers know certain businesses are the best? Because they tell them they are. Clients won’t know much about your law firm if you don’t publicize your news. By publishing your law firm’s news, you can establish a strong brand known for high dollar awards, fierce trial experience, or its place as a community leader. The possibilities are endless to position and align your brand properly through the power of press.
• Focus on your reputation. Often overlooked, reputation establishment and management is a key component of your law firm’s brand. When people ask their friends, log on, or look you up in Martindale Hubble, what do they believe about your law firm? A law firm’s reputation is a key component to a successful brand.
Branding isn’t an intuitive skill. And when it comes down to it, every interaction your law firm’s staff has offline and online is a further reflection of this brand. How your staff speak about the law firm, the things they say at events, how clients discuss them in social media all matters. Your pictures, your logo, website, everything all ties into these communicated values and experience. If your law firm is looking for a crash course in branding, call eLaw Attorney Marketing today to gain results.