Branding Basics for Law Firms
Small legal practices often face hefty competition for clients in their regions. It’s essential to stand apart in order to get queries from clients who want to choose you to represent them.
Even if you are the best at what you do, the modern attorney has to follow some branding basics for law firms. Branding lets people know who you are and what you stand for.
In order for your practice to find success, you can’t keep your best qualities hidden. Law firm branding puts these qualities front and center so your target clients recognize you when they are looking for representation.
Why Does Your Law Firm Need Branding?
Branding achieves a few key objectives for any small business, including a law firm. It creates an identity for a business and helps clients remember you.
As part of a full-scale legal marketing strategy, it also provides for a consistent voice across online and offline platforms, from your website to your business cards.
To get started with branding, take a moment to consider your firm’s personality and focus. Then take that essential basis to flesh out the law firm brand’s visual elements and overall marketing strategy.
Your Firm Personality
As someone working in a small firm environment, you might not have a clear sense of your business personality; it might be something only others notice when they enter your office. This is the tone of your client interactions and your attempts to put them at ease. You might err on the side of full-suited professionalism or try to come across as a welcoming friend.
Identify your goals. Depending on the services you provide, your goals might be to help people through the stressful and emotional process of divorce; to support entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses; or to defend people who are facing D.U.I.s or other criminal charges.
Then take a moment to assess the values of your practice. You might value compassion, care, hard work, honesty, integrity, and justice. These values are going to be integrated into your brand voice, from your online marketing content to your law firm slogans.
The law firm’s branding basics also include your unique selling points as a lawyer. Think about what else you have in your toolkit that makes you stand apart from the competition. Perhaps you’re a family lawyer with a degree in social work or a small business attorney with an M.B.A.
All of these elements can come together to create your brand identity: “a family lawyer with training in social work offering compassionate legal representation,” or “a criminal defense attorney who believes in justice standing up for your rights to a fair trial.”
Your Firm Focus
Once you know who you are as a law firm, the next step in covering the branding basics is to set your sights on the ideal client. This is your firm’s focus. For example, as a family lawyer, you might want to target a few different groups:
- couples or individuals about to enter into a marriage or formal partnership
- individuals seeking divorce or separation
- parents seeking to modify or enforce a custody or support order
This list is not exhaustive, but it should be clear that each one of these groups has different legal needs. Your law firm might want to target all of them, but for branding purposes try to identify the people you see yourself serving the most. Your brand identity should welcome them specifically.
Conceptual Elements of Your Brand
With an idea of your personality and focus, practice a game of word association. This can help you to find the phrases that you want your branding to reflect. As you go on to do online and offline marketing, you might use these specific words in your taglines and blog posts.
- Divorce lawyer: compassionate, attentive, caring
- D.U.I. lawyer: reliable, experienced, dedicated
- Bankruptcy lawyer: business-savvy, nonjudgmental, confidential
- Criminal lawyer: justice, legal rights, advocate
These words are the beginning of your brand voice. Your law firm’s branding basics also include visual elements, or the design and look of your online and offline properties.
Visual Elements of Your Brand
Perhaps the central visual element of a brand is the logo. You can work with a marketing expert at Martindale-Avvo to help you design a logo that reflects the personality and focus of your law firm brand. Once you have the logo, put it on your website, your social media profiles, business cards, letterhead, and any other online or offline property that is connected to your name.
Keep in mind some elements when choosing a logo and developing a website:
- Color scheme. These should invoke the right tone, such as professionalism, compassion, or hard-edged advocacy
- Fonts. Take a quick scan of older websites and certain fonts stand out as antiquated and out-of-date. Choose a font that’s modern but still represents the tone of your practice.
- Images. These should follow the theme of your practice areas and overall tone, such as heart-warming photos of parents and children or an attorney in a business meeting
An image can give a quick and everlasting impression, so do your best to select photos that reflect the nature of your practice.
Elevate Your Legal Marketing With Martindale-Avvo
Martindale-Avvo is a comprehensive legal marketing solution that offers website services, online profiles, and real-time lead generation. Get connected with us today to help elevate your law firm branding.