Let’s Get Legal: How Law Firms Can Build Their Brand
Your firm’s brand identity creates a story prospects tell themselves before they retain your services
Law firms do not grow by referrals alone. There has to be an accelerator in the acquisition engine, and successful firms have discovered that it’s telling the story of your brand. It’s successful because storytelling is a powerful and effective way to communicate.
Our brains evolved using narrative thinking. Everything our brains process is in the form of a story and the premise of every story is cause and effect. Prospects who don’t know your firm need to understand the problem you can solve for them before they become receptive to your solution. The problem, after all, is what you both share.
The story you tell – your “why” – is a communication of your brand. Your firm is a group of professionals who represent that brand. What does your group represent? Here’s how to uncover and communicate it.
Unique value proposition
How do your clients describe you? What do they say when you ask them to explain what’s different about you compared to other law firms? This is often the best way to define your unique value proposition.
Few businesses are truly one-of-a-kind. You likely share several singular characteristics with competitors. What happens, though, when you combine several unique characteristics?
Determining what singular aspect, or what combination of one-of-a-kind aspects, rewards you with a defensible unique value proposition (UVP). It’s the foundation of your brand because it communicates why you are different from other law firms.
Your UVP is what your firm does better than anyone else. And you do it consistently better than any other law firm. Your team lives in a procedural world, so you may be tempted to focus on how you do this unique thing. Choose to focus instead on the human condition achieved by prospective clients who will retain you. What is the end-state?
Apple sells simplicity and elegance, not computers and smartphones. Tesla sells status, not vehicles. Walmart has done an admirable job of repositioning itself as selling frugality and sensibility, rather than discounted department store items.
This end-state is the “why.” It’s the proposition of your value. When you tell its story, you help prospects put it into their worldview. That’s what existing clients who refer you are doing, but you need more people to hear this story.
Firing on all cylinders
Identifying and having all partners agree on what your firm’s UVP is, and how to express it, can be a difficult exercise. When you uncover and articulate it, you’ll find it’s easy to share examples of how you’ve provided this unique value to past clients. That’s what prospects want to hear.
Now it’s time to build a repository that reflects this UVP. It’s time for brand-building.
Create continuity by making sure that your UVP is expressed throughout your website. If you run a Google search on the best way to find a lawyer, the top results advise asking a list of questions. Can prospects find this information on your website? Remember that prospective clients are looking for ways to fit your law firm into their worldview, so offer examples besides answers. Explain why your UVP makes your law firm the best choice.
What you’ll quickly discover is that it’s possible to generate a substantial amount of content for prospects to read, watch, or listen to – especially when this storytelling is problem-centric. Validating a prospect’s problem before marketing your firm as the solution establishes that you understand and are receptive. It positions your firm as a subject matter expert. This is where specific types of content such as testimonials and case studies play an important role. Use them to tell the story of the problem solved, and why it was solved because of your UVP.
Use SEO to support your branding efforts
Invest in a professional or an organization that will make sure your law firm is following the best practices for search engine optimization. You don’t want all that effort of creating content to support your brand and UVP to go unfound. Search engines rank websites based on content relevance.
Relevance should also mean to you that your content is presented in the format that sparks engagement with your target audience. Few formats work better than video and keep in mind that YouTube is the second most popular website on the planet and the second largest source of user searches. Video allows you to use visual storytelling that features your partners and underscores how they represent your UVP.
You may have noticed that paid ads have gobbled up nearly three-quarters of the space before the scroll on a Google search. A well-run Google AdWords campaign can send a significant number of prospects your way. If you choose to invest in client acquisition this way, increase your conversion rate by sending prospects to optimized landing pages that feature content and specific offers related to the advertising you place.
Start telling the story of your brand
Storytelling isn’t just for bedtime stories. The most successful companies in the world use storytelling because there is no more effective way to share their UVP – their brand.
Developing and sharing your brand creates a deeper emotional connection that wins new customers and helps existing clients share your value proposition with others. As Simon Sinek said in his popular TED Talk, now viewed more than 46.7 million times, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” This is because your prospects don’t care about your law firm as much as they care about people. Make it easy to see themselves reflected in the stories of how members of your firm help other people.
Anchor your firm to human stories. Communicate your brand as a beneficial end-state. Help people insert themselves into the value proposition you offer. It’s how to be found.
Does your law firm need help developing content to support your unique value proposition? Learn more about how inbound marketing can help.
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