Building a Sustainable Brand for Your Law Firm: Retain More Clients and Outperform Your Competition.
3 Reasons Why Branding Matters.
Brand development and management is a complex process. With that in mind, it is a good practice to identify the goals of branding before committing time and recourses to this process.
This is WHY a strong brand is important for your legal practice:
- A strong brand will help your law firm get more clients organically and through the word of mouth;
- A strong brand will increase the conversion rate of your paid direct response advertisement;
- A strong brand will make your legal team look good in front of your industry peers.
Brand Personality vs. Personal Brand.
There is a difference between building a personal brand and a corporate brand. For solo practitioners and small law firms, the line between the two is often faded because the practicing lawyer often ends up being the face and “the body” of his or her practice.
However, the bigger your law firm gets, the more thoughtful you need to be about developing an independent brand for your firm.
While your corporate brand is not the same as your personal brand, it, nevertheless, can and should have its own personality.
- What does your brand stand for?
- Is your law firm “local and friendly?”
- Is it “boutique?”
- Is it a “powerhouse” law firm?
Depending on your vision and on what your prospective clients respond to, you should consider developing a personality for your corporate brand and incorporating it in your marketing materials and communication strategy.
Why Waiting Is Risky.
Some lawyers think that they should initially focus only on direct response marketing that brings the immediate and measurable leads and conversions. They may also think that because branding does not provide the same level of measurable and immediate response it is less important and urgent to allocate recourses and time to it. In other words, they think they can wait to build their brand.
However, if you don’t take control of your brand image as soon as possible, it will start living a life of its own.
Your brand image and reputation will be left in the hands of your current and former employees, clients, and industry peers.
You don’t want to let that happen.
You need to ALWAYS control the narrative so that you can predict, direct, and manage your brand image and reputation in a way that is most beneficial for your legal practice.
3 Key Elements of Your Brand Development.
N1. Who is your client?
Brand building starts with the client. Your practice won’t grow unless you have new and returning clients, so it is wise and important to build your branding efforts around the persona of your client.
- Who is your client?
- Where does he or she live?
- Is he or she single or married?
- What is his/her household income?
- What is the biggest pain in his/her life?
- What keeps him/her up at night?
- Who does he/she want to become?
You need to know your client as well as you know your spouse or a close friend. And you need to tailor your brand image, story, and personality to your client.
N2. Tell a story.
Does your law firm have a story to share?
Is it a family business that you have built with your spouse?
Did you leave a corporate world to start your own practice so you can give your clients more personal attention?
Or maybe you left a defense firm to help people.
Are you focused on customer service?
Or maximizing recovery?
What your law firm is all about?
Every person has a story and every business has a story. People connect with stories. Tell your story.
N3. Consistency is the key.
As your practice grows you will find yourself communicating with your prospective clients via various channels. That may include your website, your social media, your TV or radio interviews, publications, video content that you may be putting out on YouTube, your customer service department, or call center.
The key to maintaining your brand is staying consistent across all of these various channels.
- Stay visually consistent with your presentation.
- Educate your employees about your brand messaging and values and make sure they communicate these values when they talk to people about or on behalf of your brand.
Your Paid Ads Will Perform Better If You Have a Strong Brand.
How do your branding efforts reflect on your direct response advertising campaigns?
Branding is essential to improving your conversion rates and maximizing your return on investment from your direct response advertising. Your branding efforts may impact whether your potential clients will find your direct social media, TV, or other ads trustworthy and, as a result, will follow through with the intake and sign-up process.
A strong brand will transform your prospective clients from strangers to fans of your firm. That will result in a much higher conversion rate and a more efficient intake process.