You are one of over 1.3M law firm in the United States, and you are struggling to grow your practice, have you asked yourself why? Why are clients not flocking to your door, begging you to work with them? Let us assume you are a good lawyer who has been practicing for several years and you are well known around town by all the locals. Now, think about how many other lawyers in your market can check all the boxes above plus a few more that may not be on your resume; unsettling isn’t it?
Lawyers have to consider branding. Essentially, your brand is your identity as a law firm. It defines what separates you from other law firms and gives your team purpose and direction. Clients want to know this information. It’s nearly impossible for them to tell the difference between one law firm and another. That rings true for any specific professional industry.
This relates to two of the other modules that we have discussed: niching down and referral marketing. But the question isn’t who do you want to be as a practitioner. The question is: who do you want to be as an advocate?
That question is crucial because not only does it give those who work under you a sense of purpose, but it also tells your clients about your approach to the practice of law.
For instance, you might consider yourself a fighter who pitches their firm as fighting tirelessly for their clients. You might consider yourself an empathetic advocate for your clients, helping them through a difficult time. You might play the lawman, who is going to hold another party accountable for their misdeeds. All of these are tried and true approaches to setting up your law firm with an identity.
The problem for attorneys, of course, was their reluctance to advertise their services on television or at all. It made it difficult for attorneys to reach out to their ideal client. Much of what potential clients knew, they knew only because of referrals. Nonetheless, every law firm does have a distinct personality and approach to practice. This needs to be clear to your clients one way or another. It helps you differentiate yourself from others.
Digital Advertising is a Medium Law Firms Don’t Find Unseemly
While billboards and television still seem like going blue to most law firms, content marketing, primarily through the internet, has provided an effective marketing strategy that doesn’t embarrass the firm. As we’ve said before, positioning yourself as a thought leader in your field is an especially successful technique for establishing yourself in the market. It can also help you establish your brand.
In fact, the digital landscape has established a much larger surface for attorneys to establish their brand and it helps to do some of the work of referral marketing. Now, law firms have websites in which they can talk about their values and their mission directly to their customers. They have social media sites which can help them to disseminate this information.
So what are some of the keys to improving your brand and your message?
Trust and Authenticity
If there’s one phrase that crystallizes the modern approach to self-promotion, that would be “fake it till you make it.” If you want to be the most successful personal injury attorney in West Palm Beach, then you must present yourself that way at all times. Authenticity is an affectation, and it is incredibly important. But it’s about showing how successful you are. You can’t simply say “I’m the best.” Not only is that ineffective, but the ABA doesn’t like it either.
In other words, it’s about exuding success but not directly referencing it. You have to be comfortable promoting yourself and comfortable about asking your happy clients to help you in the process. In other words, you have to ask them for ratings and referrals.
Another key to this process is hiring a professional photographer who will take candid and posed shots of you and your team for your law firm’s web page.
Then you’ll want to talk about the characteristics that make you and your law firm unique. Here, it helps to have a single phrase that crystallizes precisely what your law firm is all about.
Using Social Media
Social media is a great place to sell your services. A good percentage of interested clients will look into your social media pages on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Here, you can share blog posts, thoughts concerning various lawsuits, thoughts on legal trends, thoughts on proposed legislation, and major successes in lawsuits that you have tried. It’s an incredible resource that humanizes your law firm and allows you to establish your identity or brand. It establishes a timeline of experience and a history of success.
Social media should be used as broadly and widely as possible. This includes sites like Instagram that may not necessarily be employed by many law firms.
Now, more than ever, branding as a marketing strategy is available to law firms. Since most clients cannot tell the difference between one law firm and another, it helps to show them who you are on your website, social media pages, and even in person when introducing yourself. Branding may feel like a marketing term, and it is, but law firms need to establish a sense of identity. It lets their clients know who they are in relation to the competition. It’s hugely important when competing in the market.
That means thinking beyond your niche and consider your approach to your practice. It means asking the question: who am I as an advocate? If you want to chat with me about your branding and how we can help, click here to select a date and time.