Build Your Law Firm’s Brand—In Everything You Do
It’s crucial for your law firm to pay attention to its brand. Your brand is your identity in the marketplace. That means your firm has a brand whether you pay attention to it or not. And if you aren’t paying attention, you’re losing business.
So what is your law firm’s brand? It’s how you communicate what you and your law practice are about. It’s a reflection of your reputation. And it requires that you take an active role in building that identity.
So while your online presence, your marketing materials and your mission statement are all essential parts of your market identity, there are other less obvious ways you can be building your brand. Less obvious, but equally important.
A Strong First Impression
Yes, the way you answer the phone is also part of your brand. When clients call your law firm, what do they hear? A courteous, friendly greeting that identifies your firm and suggests that your practice is ready to help? Or a more indifferent tone?
That first impression can reinforce the positive perception of your brand that consumers have gained from your marketing efforts. Or it can instantly negate it.
Responsive service before, during and after a call benefits your client, of course. Helping clients is your mission as an attorney, and thus also part of your brand. By responding to client needs in a cordial, efficient manner, you’re also raising a strong word-of-mouth reputation. Happy clients are more likely to spread the good word about your firm. That, too, helps build your brand.
What Others are Saying
Word-of-mouth isn’t the only way clients can help boost business. Online reviews also matter to your bottom line. According to a recent FindLaw study, 63 percent of individuals looking for an attorney indicated that they would like access to reviews from former clients before making their decision.
So encourage your clients to review your firm. You can include a “Review our firm” feature on your website. Once a review is posted, reply to it, thanking the reviewer for the feedback.
What if the review is negative? Don’t recoil—respond. Reply to the reviewer, and ask what the problem was. Be polite, avoid being defensive, and (where appropriate) give the negative reviewer an opportunity to share his or her experience in greater detail via email. This can give you a chance to improve your service—and perhaps regain a client by showing that you’re willing to take constructive criticism to heart.
Your firm’s brand isn’t an adjunct to its work. It’s not solely marketing. Your firm and its brand are inseparable. The better you build your brand, the stronger your business will be.
You can learn more about the importance of branding, along with more tools and techniques you can put to work in brand building, in the white paper from FindLaw, “Marginalizing Your Most Valuable Asset: What Attorneys Don’t Understand About Brands.” Download the free paper here.