Whether you’re a criminal defense lawyer, a personal injury lawyer, a bankruptcy lawyer, or a family lawyer, the legal industry is basically one and the same. The client has a major legal problem, and they need help to get out of it. There are likely dozens of the same types of law firms in their city to choose from, but if all these firms look and sound the same, how are they supposed to make a decision? That’s where branding law firms come in.
Strong branding is crucial for any successful law firm or new business. The goal with a strong law firm brand is to essentially break up the monotony of the legal industry, stand out against your competitors, and attract target clients. Creating solid branding and attracting potential clients is often a science that many law firms aren’t familiar with.
Below, our law firm marketing experts break down all things law firm branding: what it is, why it’s important, how to do it, and why you should invest in it.
What is Branding for Law Firms?
When you think of “branding,” you probably think of logos, website colors, a strong social media presence, business cards, and other important marketing materials. Yes, it’s true, these are all important elements of branding, but it’s so much more than that.
Branding is supposed to portray the personality of a business – or in this case – a law firm.
Your brand message is supposed to stand out in some way to prospective clients compared to other law firms.
Without a strong brand message, prospective clients essentially won’t be able to tell the difference between your law firm and what you have to offer, compared to competing law firms and what they have to offer.
Additionally, brand recognition is important. You want potential clients to look at your logo design or color scheme and think about only your firm. This is another way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. If your brand voice and aesthetics are the same as your competitors, how is the potential client supposed to decide between law firms?
Here is an example of brand recognition and message. What restaurants do you think of when you think of the colors red and yellow? Probably McDonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King, and In-N-Out, to name a few. All of these restaurants have similar color schemes, but their brand messaging (slogans, jingles, mascots, logos, etc.) portrays different “personalities,” which differentiates them from competitors.
Your Law Firm Brand Should Answer the Following Questions
All of these questions must be taken into account when creating a strong business brand.
So, as previously explained, branding is how the personality of your business is portrayed to potential and new clients. Branding is also about standing out from the competition and being recognizable.
Positioning, on the other hand, refers to a unique value proposition (UVP).
In simple terms: positioning is helping potential clients understand that if they have a problem, you have a solution via a product or service. Not only that but your product or service has more benefits than competitors that offer the same product or service.
So in the context of successful law firm branding and positioning, you must complete the following:
- Determine who your target consumer is.
- Ask yourself: what marketing strategy do I need to implement to reach that target consumer?
- Figure out a way to describe how your professional services are a better solution for your client’s problems compared to other law firms.
Both branding and positioning are crucial marketing elements that help you work your way up through the “legal marketplace.”
There is a difference between an individual lawyer’s brand and a law firm’s brand, and both can coexist and reap benefits. In other words, a law firm can have a specific brand identity and a lawyer employed at that law firm can also have their own personal brand. Both types of branding can bring in more clients.
Law firm branding is all about what your firm, as a whole, promises to clients, and what image it presents to the local community. Meanwhile, a personal brand is all about what an individual lawyer promises to their clients and what image they portray to the community.
Many lawyers create their own personal brand by creating their own social media account, separate from their law firm’s account. Or, some lawyers pay for billboards around their cities to promote their own brands. That way, when potential clients think of that specific lawyer, they are more likely to also think of the law firm they work at.
There is also a major difference between law firm branding and reputation. Even still, the two terms are closely related.
For example, a personal injury law firm stands out from the competition if they have a reputation for recovering millions of dollars for victims of car accidents, birth injuries, premises liability violations, and more. This reputation is not and should not be their entire brand.
Instead, this reputation should strengthen the law firm brand, and therefore bring in more target clients through word-of-mouth referrals, SEO, and content marketing.
Why Law Firm Branding is More Than a Logo
Although a logo is a crucial element for branding law firms, logos are certainly not everything. You could have the best, most professional, or most colorful logo ever, but if your law firm as a whole is not great, then it won’t matter.
Branding is more than an advertising idea for law firms.
Branding elements like logo design, colors, fonts, and overall legal web design create an individualized brand identity. So potential clients can see your logo and website and immediately think of you. But, that’s about all the logo does.
Law firm branding as a whole is about the intangible factors we explained earlier:values, personality, reputation, positioning, selling points, and more.
Branding Law Firms Strategy
There are two main elements that law firms should focus on in their brand strategy: consistency and clarity.
You want to make sure that your law firm brand has consistent messaging across all platforms: website, pages for individual practice areas, social media posts, billboards, etc.
For example, let’s say you are a family law firm. In this case, you want to make sure that the home page on your website explicitly states that you handle family law matters. You also want to make sure that all your practice area pages and blogs, as well as your social media posts, revolve around the topic of family law: divorce, separation, child custody disputes, child support, adoption, and more.
Additionally, you want to make sure that your messaging is consistent in that it stays the same for a significant amount of time. Re-branding multiple times over the course of a few years can be confusing not only for your target audience, but also for your legal team.
Your law firm brand must be clear. Who do you want to represent, and what problems can you solve?
Many law firms have multiple different practice areas.
For example, some law firms handle both criminal and civil cases. Both criminal law and civil law are huge legal umbrellas in which many legal issues fall under. Civil law can include anything from personal injury, premises liability, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, car accidents, and so much more. Meanwhile, criminal law can include literally any type of crime: DUIs, homicide, domestic violence, white collar crimes, sex crimes, theft crimes, and more.
You can definitely do both criminal and civil law, but you have to be clear about what specific criminal and civil issues you want to handle. If not, you will attract clients you don’t want. For example, if you handle many types of violent crime cases (like assault and battery, domestic violence, or homicide) but you don’t want to handle murder cases, you need to make that message clear somehow. If not, you’re going to get calls from every murder suspect on the block.
Law Firm Branding for Large Law Firms
Large law firms generally rely more heavily on social media and TV marketing to bring in their clients. They may have multiple TV commercials that show up on screens all over the country. They may also lean into viral TikTok trends and sounds to not only get their law firm’s brand out there but also appeal to a younger audience.
An example of a well-known law firm that does this is Morgan & Morgan. You can find them, their brand, and their messaging everywhere: Google, TV commercials, billboards, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and more.
Law Firm Branding for Small Law Firms
Smaller law firms can also utilize TV commercials and a strong social media presence, but at the end of the day, they may not have the resources to keep up (especially regarding trends on social media, billboards, and television spots). This makes traditional ways of marketing for small law firms or solo legal practice marketing unrealistic in many cases.
Small law firms need to appeal to their local community members in order to be successful and get their name out there.
The best way to do this is through marketing efforts and a solid digital marketing strategy. Search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, content marketing, and PPC ads specifically can help small law firms appear at the top of Google search results in their local area.
At Digital Logic, we find that local SEO services for lawyers work especially well for smaller legal practices.
How to Create a Law Firm Brand
If you’re a lawyer reading this, chances are you know everything there is to know about the law and very little about marketing for legal services and the branding process. You may be reading this and understanding the importance of a strong brand, but you don’t know where to begin.
If you follow the basic steps below, you can eventually build a strong law firm brand and bring in far more leads than you’re currently getting now.
First things first: in order for a lawyer to get new clients, you first need to understand who your target audience is.
As we explained earlier, you have to ask yourself: who do you want to represent, and what problems can you solve? This can be really difficult to narrow down because there are so many branches of personal injury, criminal, and even family law.
A good way to narrow down what kind of clients you want to take on is to look at your last 10 or 15 successful cases. What did all of these cases – or clients – have in common? Were these cases mostly motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice incidents, or premises liability violations? Were the majority of your clients of a specific demographic or did they share any of the same goals? Did you enjoy resolving or fighting for justice on specific legal issues?
When you answer these questions and narrow down exactly what kind of cases you’re looking for, you can use various branding and marketing materials to reach your target audience.
Next, you need to ask yourself: what values does your law firm stand for? What is the mission of your law firm?
Think about all the reasons why you entered the legal industry to begin with, and why you like helping your target clients so much.
The values and missions of your law firm are heavily linked to overall law firm branding. This can be the major differentiating factor from other competitors, and the final push that clients need to choose you to solve their problem.
A legal brand story is just another way to stand out against your competitors and to connect to the clients you want the most. A law firm’s story must also connect with the overall brand promise.
The three main elements of a legal brand story are themes, characters, and conflict.
Theme for Law Firm Branding
You must have a theme of the same value or mission across all your platforms, including your web homepage, practice area pages, blogs, social media posts, and ads. Your theme should generally attract the same type of audience.
For example, Morgan & Morgan’s main theme is “For the People.” They implement this theme in all of their media and content. They consistently send the message that they want to fight for justice for those who have suffered injuries and death as a result of negligence.
Characters in Legal Branding
Many law firms believe that their team of lawyers are the main characters in branding.
Instead, the clients should be the main characters and the heroes in their own life stories.
You, as the lawyer, are meant to be the teacher and protector of their legal rights. You are merely supposed to guide them in the right direction toward justice. You are supposed to build them up after the hardest time in their lives. You want to make this message clear when it comes to branding.
Conflict in Legal Branding
A strong law firm brand requires you to highlight the benefits of your legal services as well as your target audience’s enemies. This is because you want to make sure that the client knows that you know the struggle they’re currently facing and that you know how to fix it.
For example: if you’re a personal injury lawyer who mostly focuses on medical malpractice cases, you may want to highlight negligent doctors or America’s healthcare crisis as the main conflict.
Once you have created a foolproof brand strategy, the only thing left to do is promote it to your target audience.
Well, in our increasingly online world, the best way to promote legal services is through digital marketing efforts like SEO, content marketing, PPC ads, local service ads, and more. Many law firms don’t have the time or resources to do their own digital marketing. That’s why they turn to digital marketing agencies – like Digital Logic.
Why Spend Marketing Budget on Lawyer Branding?
Let’s be honest: everything is expensive now, so most people and businesses are trying to cut costs where they can. Based on how much you make as a lawyer, you may have read this whole thing and thought to yourself: “Well, I can’t afford to spend money on branding right now. My current branding is just fine.”
So, here is your final push toward investing in your law firm’s brand.
Why is this investment so important anyway?
Work With a Law Firm Marketing Agency to Build Your Legal Branding
Digital Logic is a full-service marketing agency. Not only can we help your law firm build a cohesive brand, but we can also help you formulate an individualized digital marketing strategy to help you turn your leads into sales. We can do this through a variety of digital marketing channels, such as law firm search engine optimization (SEO), law firm PPC ads, local service ads for law firms, content marketing for lawyers, social media management, and so much more. We prioritize the needs of every single law firm client so that they are able to meet their goals. Don’t believe us? Check out our case studies, and then check out our free SEO audit service.