How To Think About Your Law Firm’s Brand Next Year

About a year and a half ago, FindLaw published a white paper all about law firm branding. The gist of that paper was simple: your brand is worth more than you realize.

Every day at FindLaw we help customers do things like build a better websites, grow their social media, create engaging content or launch paid advertising campaigns. In every single one of these efforts, every little thing we do for customers, we prioritize brand as a key consideration. And, that’s the whole point:

When it comes to law firm branding, everything you do makes an impact.

In fact, if I were to make one “big picture” suggestion to law firms for 2017, it would be to get comfortable with the idea of marketing as a brand play. Law firms need to start seeing the value in brand marketing. They need to understand that the blogs they write, the social media posts they share, the networking they do – all of these things are working, piece-by-piece, to contribute to the story of their firm.

That story matters more than you think because it appeals to legal consumers in a way that strict advertising does not. (I’ll point you to another white paper on the topic of legal consumers.) Your prospective clients want a law firm that appeals to their emotional need for security in addition to their practical desire for quick resolution. Focus solely on a lead generation approach to marketing and you’re only meeting one of those needs.

This concept can be tough for some attorneys to swallow because spending money and time on something as “squishy” as brand building doesn’t always deliver an immediate and obvious return on investment. I sympathize, but only to a point.

When you see the big picture, you understand that there’s more to the business than measuring clicks and even calls. Ask any old-school lawyer who retired on the strength of his or her reputation and network. Their nest egg was probably built on referrals, connections and word of mouth – all indicators of a strong brand. Firms like these understand that the difference between brand-focused marketing and lead generation advertising often means the difference between growing your business alone and having an army of advocates helping you along the way.

So here’s my challenge to you, become one of those attorneys who “gets it” in 2017. Take stock of your marketing activity with the understanding that not everything you do to promote your firm will result in a direct, one-to-one prospect relationship. Embrace the long view of this process and consider what story you’re telling when you promote your firm online.

It should be a story that your future clients actually want to hear.

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