The Benefits of Branding in the Legal Sector
Due to the often sensitive nature of your work, the thought of a flashy brand for your law firm may feel almost inappropriate. However, the thing about good branding is that it fits the mould of your practice’s values and beliefs, channelling your company’s stand out components rather than turning it into something it’s not.
A brand is your firm’s identity. Yes, it’s your logo but it encompasses so much more than that. It’s your office space, the colour scheme on your website, how you interact with your clients and your co-workers — both online and in the office. With this in mind, what is it about your firm’s values, beliefs and culture that makes you unique?
According to a survey by a management consulting firm for legal organisations, Altman Weil, when asked if their law firm “projects a distinct and compelling value that differentiates them from other similar firms”, half responded that they did not.
A law firm is still a business, and in order to flourish, companies require growth as part of their overall strategy—branding matters for your law firm. Below, we outlay a few of the ways you can benefit from smart branding.
The legal sector is a saturated market. In Australia, according to the Law Society, in 2016, 15,539 law firms were recorded. This was a 46 per cent increase since their last records in 2011. That equates to a lot of competition.
In an increasingly saturated and competitive market, failing to stand out in the crowd can become an issue. Even larger firms, with well-established reputations, are not immune. According to New York marketing firm DeSantis Breindel, well-known firms like Baker McKenzie and Goodwin recently underwent brand overhauls, with the intention of distilling their identity into a unified, compelling and memorable front.
People generally don’t need a lawyer every day, so how do you manage to stay in the back of someone’s mind until they’re ready to seek you out? Good branding will help imprint your business in the minds of future clients. Your brand can act as a first impression, representing you and your firm to potential clients before meeting them. This helps to ensure continued business down the track.
Coupling good branding with good marketing will further cement your memorability. Your firm needs to be waiting in the wings, obvious and willing to help, but not in the way. Think about when you need to find a powerpoint; somehow you always manage to easily spot one, but when you’re not searching for it they remain unobtrusive.
Trust is a major part of establishing a successful law firm, whether you are a sole practitioner or a giant corporation. It’s in the nature of the business—not only are you dealing with clients’ sensitive information but often their livelihood as well. A successful brand can instil trust. Establishing a brand posits you not only as highly credible but as an expert in your field.
Once your brand is established, you can further strengthen your credibility through proven marketing campaigns, to showcase your expertise. Marketing can include blog content, social media campaigns and building backlinks, all of which can prove useful tools in connecting with prospective clients. Regular blog posts or articles let readers know you are thinking about what’s going on in your field—your finger is on the pulse of legal matters—and indicates you are not only willing to engage with your clients but also to help inform and educate them. Having a strong brand will assist you in shaping your content. It will guide you in terms of a solid framework for your content, the tone of voice you should be using, as well as which platforms it’s best conveyed.
Strong content also generates good SEO (to find out more about SEO, check out our article here) which will see you ranked highly in Google search results, making you more visible to the clients you want to work with.
Attract the Clients You Want (and Hold Onto Them)
A good brand emotionally connects you with your target audience. To strengthen this connection, when using written communication, particularly on your marketing campaigns, don’t forget to use an engaging writing style that reflects your brand. Bios are one great place to establish your best and unique qualities while also ensuring you remain approachable and relatable.
Great branding can also help you avoid a watered-down image. A strong brand will help filter the right type of client to your business. Narrowing your scope will allow you to tend to your chosen demographic more effectively, building sturdier foundations for your firm, resulting in you getting to do more of the work that you love.
Do Work that Inspires You
Attracting the right type of clientele generally leads to work that interests and inspires you. Working in areas of interest usually results in better work. Better work means more referrals and more trust from your clients — your memorable brand now reinforcing your client’s memorable experience. As you can see, we’ve come full circle!
Whether you are a sole practitioner or a giant corporation, nailing your branding can be integral — not only the success of your business but also, on a more personal level, to the amount of pleasure you get out of your work. A masterful brand can attract the right clientele, for the appropriate type of work, ensuring you are exercising your best skills and building credibility while you’re at it!