How to Build a Law Firm Brand: Legal Brand Marketing
How to Build a Law Firm Brand: Legal Brand Marketing
When looking for a law firm to answer their legal needs, people want a law firm they can trust. How will your law firm stand out to potential clients, attracting them to you rather than your competition? In a single word: branding.
What Is Law Firm Branding?
Your law firm branding is a representation of your law firm’s personality, values, and mission, as accomplished through visual elements. Your brand is an intangible communication with your audience—who are your prospective and current clients—about your promises to them. Your law firm branding attracts your audience and appeals to their needs while balancing your own values and image as a firm.
Your law firm brand should use visual images and design to communicate your individualism in the field of law. Legal brand marketing helps to build your brand.
Being a lawyer with a strong brand means standing out in your clients’ minds. Legal branding will help you:
Communicate your values
Project strength in your visual presence
Express your promises to your clients
Show your individualism in the field of law
Your law firm brand is who you are—collectively—as a law firm. With the help of a marketing team, you can build your law firm’s brand to both stand out in your community and build a solid foundation to express your firm’s mission and values.
Brand vs. Brand Reputation
Your law firm branding is not the same as your reputation, although they are closely linked.
The primary distinction between your firm brand and firm reputation is this:
Firm Brand is the promise of values and what your clients should expect from you. Your brand creates a tone about who you are and what your clients will be promised when they work with you.
For example, if part of your mission statement is “personal attention,” you should create images and color schemes to visually showcase your firm’s comforting, welcoming presence. Using visual elements will set that expectation for your clients without necessarily directly telling them your mission. And in case they do read your mission, stay consistent with that dialogue by conveying your mission through visual elements.
Firm Reputation is the results you have already accomplished as a law firm. Your reputation is really the measurement of your past success. You can use your firm’s reputation to help your search engine optimization (SEO) and to bring people in, attracting them by highlighting your past wins.
As you can see, a brand is more present and future-oriented; reputation is proving your success via your past. These two are different but can be used to support each other. If you can drive traffic to your website and your law firm based on your reputation, your brand can make or break the potential client’s experience. They will decide to continue with your firm or not based on your personality.
What Is Brand Identity?
When working with lawyers, we often get the question “what is law firm branding?” It’s a question that is important to your firm, yet can be so intangible. Your brand identity is who you are as a law firm. Your law firm branding should be used to:
Build trust with your clients
Visually communicate your values and mission
Participate in community dialogues
Show your individualism in your field
Your brand identity should evoke an emotional response. Whether it’s you thinking about your own brand, one of your paralegals, a current client, and/or a community member, your brand can and should create an emotional response about who your firm is.
We choose “who” carefully because your brand allows your law firm to take on a persona. Your law firm is not just a building; your firm is made up of people who have lives and care about your clients in unique ways. Your brand is the atmosphere cultivated at your law firm by the community within your firm.
Another key aspect of your brand is that it does not hang up the phone at 5:00 p.m. Your brand is a continuous, consistent identity. Law firm branding allows your firm to have a personality at all times. Whenever a lawyer from your firm presents themselves to anyone, your brand is represented. For this reason, it’s important to establish your brand across the board, with a communal understanding of who you are as a firm, so that everyone can be on the same page about your brand and who you are.
A Logo Isn’t Your Brand
Although your logo is a visual component that supports your brand, your logo is not your firm brand itself.
Your logo is important, but your brand runs much deeper. Your brand is the response people have to seeing and recognizing your logo.
A logo is a great tool that can be used for recognition. However, knowing the difference between your brand and logo is crucial for expanding your brand. Do not confine yourself to your logo. Rather, use it to help build your brand. When people recognize you based on your logo, what are they thinking and feeling about your firm? That’s the biggest difference between brand and logo.
Why Should My Law Firm Focus on Building a Brand?
A brand is a representation of who you are, what you stand for, and the experience your audience will have when they interact with you. Your brand makes you stand out. Legal brand marketing makes you unique and gives you a personality in a sea of other law firms.
When you put energy and effort into building your law firm brand, you are investing in both your future as a law firm and the trust you can build with your community members.
When people in your community recognize your brand, there is a basis of trust that can be cultivated. Your brand is associated with something in their minds. When you focus on building your brand, that something can be a positive, trusting relationship—meaning they know they can come to your law firm for their legal needs.
Building trust is one of the most important components of building a brand. Trust establishes your credibility in your town/geographical area, in your legal speciality, and in your relationship with individual clients. When people trust what you have to say, you become more of an authoritative voice in the area of law in which you specialize.
Let’s look at an example of trust and credibility in branding—Apple. Their products’ qualities drive their prices. According to Forbes, Apple’s brand value is $241.2 billion, with a one-year value change of +17%. And why? Because through their marketing efforts, they have established trust with their audience.
When you establish trust, people end up paying for your brand. Legal branding has the power to attract prospective clients, keep current clients, and impact your pricing rates. Branding means that you don’t spend money for a service, you spend money for a brand. People spend money on brands they trust.
Creating Your Law Firm’s Brand
You now know the importance of building your brand, so let’s take a look at the process of actually building it. Building a firm’s brand is a process that takes intentionality and time. When asking the question “How do I create my law firm’s brand?” knowing a few foundational components to law firm branding is always helpful!
Find a Unique Voice for Your Legal Brand
Your brand voice is how you speak to your audience, both through actual speech and through intangible communication.
Finding your voice means that you are going to use words, tone, diction, and syntax to communicate who you are as a company to your audience. Some questions to consider include:
How do I want people to view my law firm?
Do I want to be professional? Casual? Welcoming?
What are some keywords I want to be associated with my brand?
How does my brand come off when talking to others?
Successful lawyer branding means your brand’s voice needs to be consistent across all channels. That means whether you’re doing a 280-character Twitter post, a 3,000-word blog post, or a short snippet in a newsletter, you need to have the same voice every time. When you have consistency, your brand’s voice becomes more and more recognizable.
When you build your unique voice, you need to represent your values and keep your audience in mind. Remember, your brand is here to establish trust with your audience, which means you want to communicate with your audience in ways they can understand. For example, you’re not going to use language and trends found on TikTok if your audience doesn’t use TikTok. The same way as a five-star resort will probably not use jargon that teenagers use because, more often than not, teenagers are not the target audience of a luxury spa.
To review some key points, your unique voice represents your “adjectives,” or how you want people to describe your brand, and is used to align different conversations you may have with your target audience.
Communicate the History of Your Legal Brand
So much of your brand is the why you do what you do. One way to pull at the heartstrings is to tell your story, especially if it’s one of compassion and humble beginnings. You have a value statement; building your brand includes describing why those values are your values.
Sharing your history is also another way to establish trust. Your law firm didn’t just come out of nowhere. It took hard work to build your firm. Telling your story humanizes your brand, showing people the person-side of the firm itself. When people can connect to you, you establish a bond. When aspects of your story involve components that your audience also values, you share a commonality which can further deepen their trust.
Communicating the history of your firm brand means spotlighting the reason why you are practicing law in the first place. The explanation of your law firm can be used to draw your audience in. Every law firm has its own creation story. Communicate yours to relate to the people who are in need of your services.
Answer the Question: “How Is Your Law Firm Different?”
Take some time to really sit down and ask yourself how your law firm is different from your competition. Knowing the unique attributes that differentiate you is a great starting point to law firm branding. Your individuality is what people can get from your law firm that they cannot get from anywhere else. Once you know what that strength is, you can amplify the exclusivity of what working with your law firm will be like for your clients.
Your brand obviously helps you stand out from your competition, and it needs to be rooted in truth. With legal brand marketing, you are publicizing your distinctiveness that shows potential clients how they will be treated when they work with your law firm. No matter what your values are, your clients will expect that during their experience. Your brand is an introduction to who you are, so your law firm branding should come from a place of honesty about what sets you apart from the crowd.
Amplify the Voices of Brand Advocates
One of the best ways to build your brand is by having people talk about it. It’s another component of storytelling. When community members—especially those with outstanding merit—stand by your brand, prospective clients know that those people trust your brand, meaning the rest of the community should too.
When people promote you through positive speech, Google reviews, testimonials, and more, their voices help spread your brand. People have the tendency to trust what others in their community have to say. Having clients on your side is one way to have your brand cover a wide area, both online and in your city.
Law Firm Branding Examples
When the lawyers of Wilson Kehoe Winingham (WKW) came to us with their firm’s mission of restoring lives and their history of having been burned by a different marketing agency, we knew that a rebrand needed to happen. We helped WKW build a brand that matches their true values of trust and justice. During the brand creation and website rebuild process, we got to know WKW, and ensured that their brand matched the quality of their firm. The result of this legal branding and other marketing efforts was an influx in traffic, intakes, and cases.
Actionable Suggestions for Your Law Firm Brand
Building your brand involves more than checking off a to-do list, but having a starting point for how to create your law firm’s brand is always a good idea! When building your brand, think about these tips.
Consider Live Chat for Your Law Firm’s Website
Live chat is a great way to build trust with potential clients. When you include live chat on your law firm’s website, you give potential clients an opportunity to start a dialogue with your firm. It also shows that you are an accessible law firm and take people’s time and abilities into consideration.
Use Your Law Firm’s Color Scheme to Your Advantage
Colors are a valuable aspect of law firm branding. Colors elicit emotion and are associated with people’s pasts. When thinking about your law brand marketing, make sure you choose a color scheme that reflects who you are as a brand. Visual elements are a huge part of branding, so you should use colors to assist in your storytelling.
Colors and color theory are a continued topic of research with no solidified answers. For example, in one study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, research showed that the color red can undermine positive performance in sports. Red can also be used as a form of attraction and has been used to influence perceptions about food—think Coca-Cola. And other studies have found that the color blue is most often associated with a brand’s trustworthiness.
There are so many colors out there, and the associations people have with them are personal. But when used wisely and with intent, your color scheme can evoke the message you want to share with your audience.
Become More Active With Your Brand’s Social Media
Your social media platforms are another tool for your law brand marketing. Social media should be just that…social! Post about your staff and give your audience visuals of who you are before they even set foot in your office. Social media is also a way to engage with your audience, get to know them and their needs, and show them who you are.
You can also use social media to promote other facets of your brand, such as your law firm’s blog and website. Your social profiles are another component of your brand itself, so being and staying active on social can help build and promote your law firm’s personality.
Hire a Professional to Build Your Brand
We understand that this is a lot to take in. Building your brand is a constant activity that does take energy and intentionality. Even planning to build your brand takes work and research. Thankfully, law firm branding is not a task you have to tackle alone. Metric Marketing is here to help you every step of the way.
Our marketing team works together to create brands for law firms that are rooted in each firm’s unique ideals and values. If you have any questions about building your brand, need assistance with promoting your brand, or you just have some general law brand marketing questions, reach out to us today at (734) 404-8714 or by fill out our online contact form. We look forward to connecting with you!