Branding is key for any business to succeed. This is especially true in law. With so many firms competing for the same prospective clients, a well-developed brand can be the difference between landing clients and watching them go to a competitor. Could your law firm benefit from improved branding? Here is Attorney Business Consulting’s “Branding 101” for Lawyers, including a simple nine-step guide to successfully creating a brand.
What Is Branding?
Branding is a term which is often used in law firm marketing, but seldom really understood. Branding is far more than just a flashy logo or a catchy jingle on the radio. It is essentially the manifestation of your brand to the wider public. Put it this way, when you position your law firm, you leverage what you do best and what makes your firm unique in the industry. Branding can essentially be understood as the “external manifestation” of this positioning – how the general public views and identifies with your firm and your brand.
Why Is Branding Important?
In today’s online world, the importance of branding cannot be understated. In previous periods, firms needed to have a message that stood out from the pack. This led to the attention-grabbing, grandiose legal ads that we are all familiar with. Today, however, with the amazing array of online channels available, potential clients are the ones who are seeking out legal services.
Because of this, it is critical that firms create a brand which is true to its very essence. This means creating a brand that reflects not only the firm and its ethos, but also reflects the values of the community it is targeting. There is real equity in a thoroughly-developed brand which can have long-lasting results for firms.
If you don’t think that branding can have a big impact on your firm, here are some statistics which may prove otherwise:
- According to a study, 40 percent of all small firms don’t have a website. Having a well-maintained, SEO optimized website, full of curated content tailored to your potential clients’ needs, can be a game changer which can help you stand out from the pack.
- Twenty-seven percent of respondents to a 2017 ABA Tech report stated they had a client retain their services through a referral based directly on the quality of their social networking. Having a successful brand message can correlate directly to new clientele to your firm.
- Eighty percent of law firms who maintain a legal blog report obtaining new clients as a direct result of blogging.
These statistics lay bare the importance and effectiveness of creating a coherent brand for law firms of any size. In fact, small to medium sized law firms reported a greater than 50-percent success rate in retaining clients as a result of their blogging efforts.
How to Create Your Brand
Now that you understand the importance of a coherent brand to law firms of any size, it’s time to discuss how to create a brand for your firm. Creating a brand for your law firm may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are nine simple steps your law firm can take to help develop a winning brand:
- Identify the niche or specialized area of expertise your firm hopes to service.
- Define who your target audience is. Who are not only the prospective clients who hope to attract, but also the potential sources of referrals?
- Thoroughly understand the priorities and needs of your target audience.
- Identify the legal services and expertise your firm offers that are most relevant to the priorities of your prospective clients.
- Identify where your potential prospective clients turn to gather information. Which forms of media will they us to learn more about what your firm has to offer? Some examples of the types of places where potential clients may look for information include:
- Legal blogs
- Legal websites
- Legal industry conferences or seminars
- Social media
- Professional legal associations
- Referrals from friends, family or colleagues
- Radio or television advertisements.
- Once you have determined who your prospective audience is, as well where and how they gather their information, you need to start producing quality content that your prospective clients will find informative and will help to demonstrate your firm’s expertise on the subject. Some examples of the types of content your firm should be producing include:
- Blog posts
- Legal articles and white papers
- Research studies
- Informative videos
- Legal guides
- Once you have created content, you will need to track which type of information is achieving the best goals for your marketing goals. This means seeing which forms of content are having the best rates of return, engagement, inquiries, or similar. Be sure to adjust your content strategy accordingly based upon the analysis you receive.
- Make sure you stick to your plan! This is critical. Many people may become discouraged if results are not immediate, but creating a brand takes time and consistency. Be sure to keep all of your marketing tools up to date and your content consistent and produced at regular intervals.
- Finally, you need to stay current. The needs of your target audience may change with time. Always keep your finger on the pulse of what is important to them and change your strategy accordingly.
Do You Need Help Branding Your Law Firm?
Now that you understand the importance of branding for your firm, it’s time to put that knowledge into action. At Attorney Business Consulting, we’ve helped hundreds of lawyers take the next step in growing their firm, and we’d like to help you, too. As the premier law office management consulting agency, we can assist with every aspect of running your firm. Contact us today at (339) 337-2655 for a free consultation.