Getting potential clients to choose your law firm has never been more challenging.
Do a Google search for “disability lawyers in Phoenix, Arizona” and the results page announces more than 141,000 entries.
On the first page alone, clients can choose from more than 100 listings.
And you know in the Phoenix area there are plenty of ads for law firms on billboards, on TV or radio and in other places.
How do you cut through it all?
You use distinctive branding.
Branding helps someone looking for a lawyer narrow down their choices — and feel inclined to call you.
That narrowing starts with the feelings a potential client gets from your law firm’s brand.
But the challenge is, what is your firm’s brand?
One way or another, you’ve got one.
Either you control it, or the marketplace assigns a brand to you.
Intentional branding can make attracting new clients, cases and revenue much easier.
So let’s examine how to build a brand.
What’s Your Law Firm’s Brand?
BusinessDictionary.com describes branding as, “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer’s mind…Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”
Alex Ludwig, Senior Account Executive at Firmidable, says any branding effort has three ingredients:
- Visual and Written Identity
Branding is more than a new logo and color scheme for your letterhead and business cards.
It’s an expression of your organization’s values and beliefs.
Patagonia is an American company selling outdoor clothing and gear for sports like climbing, surfing, fly fishing and trail running.
Its mission statement is: “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Patagonia isn’t just selling products –– it’s selling its values.
Before they even buy, Patagonia’s customers are drawn to quality gear from an environmentally responsible company.
Your potential clients also want to feel connected to your law firm before they choose to work with you.
1. What Are Your Values?
Communicating your values is critically important to your law firm branding.
To make your branding work, you need to identify your brand –– what you value, what your clients value — then see where the two intersect.
You’ll create a more lasting and meaningful connection with clients through the beliefs and messages that flow from your shared values.
Professional consultants or marketing agencies know what questions to ask and can guide you through your branding process.
A specialized legal marketing agency like Firmidable understands specifics about your audience to help you identify where your values match.
The goal at Firmidable, Alex says, is to make sure the values your brand conveys are values you can stand behind every single time.
“If you have any doubt, you need to reconsider,” Alex says, “and discuss it some more.”
2. Your Law Firm’s Visual and Written Identity
After you’ve confirmed your firm’s values, you need to be sure you’re communicating them through your visual and written identities.
Your “visual identity” needs to match the tone of your values.
It includes any graphic elements used in marketing materials –– your firm’s logo, typefaces, photography, colors, iconography, signage and even your office space.
So a family lawyer dealing with sensitive issues might use a subdued but stable image, mindful of how clients come to a family lawyer in times of personal hardship.
Some personal injury lawyers might choose bold and assertive imagery that makes clients feel empowered and validated.
Other personal injury lawyers might want to convey the “good neighbor in the community” image, so their visual identity would reflect that tone.
Then your firm’s “written identity” should match both its values and visual identity.
Using the example of a family lawyer, his digital and traditional media advertising along with his website and social media would convey a soft but strong voice, inspiring confidence.
And a personal injury attorney would use language that reflects inner feelings of power, with a strong voice and focus on fighting for what you’re owed.
This is why you need to be clear on your firm’s values.
“Everything needs to build upon that base,” Alex says. “As the firm grows, so will the brand.”
3. Consistency Makes Your Brand Memorable
To make the most out of the work you put into your branding, you must be consistent in presenting your values, visual identity and written identity across all media platforms and even in how your staff greets new clients.
Consistency is what helps you land those clients.
Over time, the language and imagery of your firm creates an association in the mind of your audience, making people feel they know you even before they’ve ever worked with you.
So when they’re suddenly in the market for a law firm, they’ll remember who you are and what you stand for.
For logistical ease when you’re trying to ensure consistency, it can help to work with the same marketing agency for your messages on different platforms.
A great example of consistency in branding is Firmidable client Morgan, Collins & Yeast in Kentucky.
They use the same logo, the same slogan — “Kentucky Courage” — and the same look on their website, in their TV ads, on billboards, in text ads — and even on coffee mugs.
Alex says too many firms get impatient and try too many different things in too many different ways.
They end up sending confusing messages about their brand.
But with focus and discipline, a strong brand can mean a stronger firm.
Firmidable is a multi-channel marketing agency and consultancy for law firms. We know more than anyone else about how Americans choose their lawyers. If you’d like to grow your legal practice, call (504) 525-0932 or contact us via e-mail.