Your reputation in your local community is vital to your success as a lawyer. If you aren’t being proactive about that reputation, it probably isn’t what you want it to be. Array Digital can help you take charge of your reputation and ensure you’re branding yourself successfully as an expert in your practice area. Call 757.333.3021 or complete the online contact form to get started.
Branding is vital to the success of any law firm’s efforts. Yet many firms are unsure how to create a brand and what that brand needs to entail. Sometimes, they focus on building a brand for their firm and neglect other aspects of branding. As you work on building a brand for your law firm, remember that your branding needs to include a personal brand. This brand is an essential part of your online marketing as you strive to reach prospective clients and bring them into your firm. Here’s a closer look at how you can build that brand and weave it into your marketing efforts, and how Array Digital can help you do so.
Branding refers to the reputation a company has in the local community. For law firm branding, this involves creating both a professional and a personal brand around your name and your firm’s name.
In other words, your branding strategy involves giving yourself and your law firm a personality. When potential clients think of you, they think of that personality.
This is your law practice brand identity. It is the first thing that comes to mind when people think of you and your firm.
Many firms are aware of the need for branding and focus on branding for their firm as a whole, only to neglect their own personal branding. Because you, as the attorney, are the primary service offered by your firm, you need to focus on your personal brand even while growing your firm’s brand. This will create a persona that people feel they can trust.
While this might sound simple, the reality is that law firm branding, especially personal branding for an attorney, is not a simple process. Your brand message needs to be carefully constructed to fit your target audience, and then your marketing efforts need to revolve around that brand. This process requires careful planning and often the help of a marketing professional.
A better way to understand branding is by looking at what it is not. Law firm branding is not exclusively:
Your law firm logo could be part of your brand, and it should align with your brand, but it is not the essence of your brand. You need to think beyond graphic design and this basic marketing piece. Create a logo, but do not rely on it to encompass your personal branding efforts.
Taglines are short, punchy statements that highlight your practice area and your main value proposition. Taglines are helpful in your marketing, but they cannot create an entire personality and personal brand around you and a professional brand around your law firm. Use a tagline, but do not ignore other aspects of your personal branding.
If you practice family law, estate planning law, criminal defense, real estate law, or some other practice area, you should include that practice area as part of your branding in your marketing materials, but simply listing all of your legal services is not sufficient to build your personal brand. People need to know what you offer, but this is not a brand. Your practice area is basically just a definition of your service.
Your personal lawyer branding needs to include all of these and more. It needs to be an entire persona you create around yourself that people instantly recognize.
So why is having a strong personal brand so important to a law firm’s success? First, it helps people feel that they can trust you. When new clients know who you are based on your brand, they are able to feel that they can have confidence in the legal advice you offer. When they see your name or your face in the community, they instantly associate you with what they know about your brand and your law firm.
A strong personal brand helps legal professionals build loyalty with their clients. People want to work with professionals they feel they can relate to and understand, and that comes from your personal brand. It also builds a connection between you and your clients, and they start to view you almost as a friend.
When you take the time to build your personal brand, you can focus your marketing efforts on the right brand message. Having a consistent brand message keeps your marketing effective across all marketing channels.
All of this gives you an advantage over your competitors. Consistent personal branding keeps your name in the forefront of the mind of potential clients, rather than the name of your competitor. When a client has a need for a personal injury lawyer, your branding efforts will make your name the one they think to call.
It also gives you a driving force behind all of your marketing. Whether you’re planning a PPC campaign, content marketing campaign, building a social media presence, or even designing letterhead, you can direct your marketing agency to your brand to ensure everything connects to the image you are creating. Doing this helps keep your brand consistent.
Ultimately, your personal brand helps your clients in your target market recognize you, your law firm, and your legal services. It solidifies who you are and what you offer, all while giving you a consistent roadmap for your marketing efforts. This makes you appealing as clients seek legal help.
Lawyer branding does not happen by accident. You have to strategically plan to ensure you have a brand message that is consistent across all of your law firm marketing efforts. This consistency is absolutely essential.
Once you determine what your brand message is, keep everything consistent. From your logo design to the way your staff answers the phone, you need to deliver the same message that outlines your core values and personal brand. Whether you are striving to be authoritative and solemn or are fun and engaging, deliver the same message with every interaction.
Your brand should encourage people to view you as an authority in your practice area. It should have a friendly or professional tone, depending on your goals. Define it, then weave it into everything you do.
So how can you create a law firm brand that you can use to consistently market, especially in the digital world? Here are the steps to take to define your law firm’s brand.
First, start with the basics. Ask yourself why you do what you do? What is it about the particular practice area you are in that drives you? Write down the answers to these questions, and then refer to them as you fine-tune your brand.
Next, define your target client. You need to know who you are marketing to so you can tailor your marketing efforts to what they want to hear. Sometimes, your main message will adjust because of the needs of your target client.
For example, if you are a personal injury law firm, you are going to need to have a personal brand that is compassionate and caring. You are marketing to people who are hurting, and that needs to come through in your marketing. If you are a real estate law firm in New York City, you are going to need to have a personal brand that appears successful and highly professional. You are marketing to people who are going to spend a lot of money on real estate, and they need confidence that they can trust you.
Now you are ready to identify your core values. What values drive your service? Examples of core values for law firms include:
Your core values will be unique to you, so take some time to really measure what matters to you and write it down to direct your marketing efforts.
Once you have a list of core values, then you need to create a value proposition. This is a one or two-line statement that indicates exactly what you offer to your client. It summarizes your brand message into one concise statement. Take time here, because your value proposition is going to impact your marketing in many ways.
A brand’s voice is the personality behind your communications. It is how you say what you say to your clients. It is an essential part of your brand because it shows up not only in your conversation, but also in your newsletters, social media posts, podcasts, and even office communications. It shows up in everything you publish.
A brand’s voice can be:
Only you can determine what voice is right for your firm, but most law firms will want an air of authority. You may decide that two or three voices apply to your brand, and that is fine. Just make sure you know what your voice is and use it consistently.
The best way to create a consistent voice and branding message across all of your marketing efforts is with a style guide. A style guide is a document that guides your marketing team as they create your marketing materials and content. It will include details about your voice, logo, image requirements, color scheme, and anything else that is important to you in your marketing. You can even add things like words you do not want to have used, grammar guidelines, and font requirements.
Keep your style guide as detailed as possible. Then, give it to anyone who creates content for your law firm. This will ensure that your personal and professional branding stays consistent, regardless of who is creating something for you. Whether you are hiring a web design professional, an SEO expert, a logo designer, or a content marketing pro, you can hand them your style guide and make sure that things remain consistent.
Once you have done the hard work of creating your brand style guide and defining your voice, you need to stay consistent. Everything you create, whether offline or online, needs to have the voice you want.
Branding is not easy and it does not happen naturally. When you are already busy working with clients, adding another thing to your plate can feel overwhelming. Array Digital offers help for law firms that have an interest in solidifying their brand but struggle to know how to do so consistently.
As a lawyer, you may lack the marketing knowledge to brand yourself well. We come alongside to assist, bringing in our detailed knowledge of marketing, web design, SEO, and PPC advertising, as well as branding, to help you create consistent marketing materials that work.
We have a team of marketers who understand both the legal world and the digital world of marketing. We put that knowledge together to help you fine-tune your marketing efforts so you can get more referrals and enjoy a greater return on investment for your overall marketing efforts.
By partnering with Array Digital, you can focus your attention on meeting the needs of your clients while we focus our attention on helping you build your brand and market it to your target audience.
You need the right professionals in your corner to help you with your attorney branding. Those professionals are at Array Digital. Let us be your partner in reaching your law firm’s clients with effective branding.
Request a free consultation today to discuss law firm branding with the professionals at Array Digital. Call 757.333.3021 or complete our online contact form to speak with an experienced digital marketing expert today at Array Digital.
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