In the last installment of our Marketing Your Firm series, we talked about branding. A brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company and how it relates to its customers, staff, partners and investors. An organization’s brand can encompass its name, term, logo, symbol, design, or combination of all of these.
Once you have defined your firm’s brand by surveying client perspective, internal perspective and marketplace perspective, integrating your brand into every public interaction is vital. “You only have one value proposition, and you want it to stick in your customers’ minds,” says Adam Klinberg, co-founder of a California marketing agency. He continues, “BMW is the ‘ultimate driving machine.’ Apple customers ‘think different.’ Nike’s message, ‘Just do it’, is ubiquitous with the brand.” Current and potential clients will form an opinion about your firm one way or another. Integrating your brand into interactions with them lets you control the message they are getting.
Any good branding plan must start internally. You and your staff must live your firm’s brand each day. Every client interaction should reinforce it more. For example, if your brand is “the lawyer you can trust”, then begin talking with your staff about what it means to be trustworthy. Create a set of firm values like honesty, dependability, reliability and responsibility. Use these values to help evaluate your employees.
Moving outside your office, start to think about ways to communicate your brand in personal interactions in the community. Sponsor organizations and events that fit with your brand. You can even volunteer to host or present. Hold events of your own where you can showcase your firm’s brand and personality. Our example “trustworthy” firm could back an organization like the Girl Scouts, who teach honor and responsibility to young girls.
In this modern age, the community lives as much online as it does face to face. Your digital presence should scream your brand. Feature your brand prominently on your website, maybe even with its own page. Center your social media presence on the picture you want to paint of your firm.
It goes without saying that your brand should be evident on every (non-litigation related) document that is produced by your firm. This includes business cards, brochures, letterhead, postcards, thank you notes, folders, emails and other electronic communication.
Finally, think about an active paid marketing campaign based on your brand. Print ads, billboards, TV and radio ads are all great ways to let the public know who you are and what you stand for. A billboard for our example firm could feature a quote by a client thanking them for handling their case with professionalism and class. As is the tradition in many areas, some attorneys choose not to advertise. Even if you don’t pay for advertising, you can still find ways to get your firm in the media. Volunteer to serve as an expert for a call in radio show or write an article for the newspaper.
In our next Marketing Your Firm post, we will talk in depth about developing your firm’s website into what may be your best marketing tool. Until then, happy marketing!