Legal Branding

Graphic Design and Law Firm Branding

Logos, color and fonts are some of the easiest ways law firms express their brand. But, design elements are not your law firm’s brand. Instead, logos and images help your clients understand your firm’s identity and outlook.

Good design helps define a brand!

Logos

logos

Logos can be powerful expressions of brand identity. Mouse ears and or golden arches make us think of their representative brands immediately. Law firm logos are usually less iconic.

Law firm logos tend to be conservative. They use traditional typefaces and are often monochromatic. They also rely heavily on gavel, scales of justice and Greek columns.

Law firm logos seem to offer very little brand differentiation. Your firm can do better.

Here are a few pieces of advice:

1. Work with a Graphic Designer

Work with a Graphic Designer

Most lawyers don’t have the skills or time to make a logo. Your firm may have an idea of what your logo should be, but may not have the technical ability to bring it to life.

A graphic designer can create a high-quality, custom logo with your brand in mind.

2. Do Market Research

When you do market research, don’t just look at law firm logos. Instead, study other markets. Create a file of logos that speak to your firm.

Then, consider WHY these logos are successful? What message do they convey? Are they modern or traditional?

You also need other people’s opinions. If you are a partner at a 25-member firm, do NOT include them all in the design process. Instead, ask a small group to give input into the logo design. If you cannot agree on a logo, get help from your graphic designer or a marketing consultant.

3. Choose a Simple Logo

Most iconic logos are simple and elegant. They usually have one to three colors. This makes them easy to recognize.

Color

color

Color consistency increases brand recognition by 80%, according to a 2007 University of Loyola, Maryland study. But, color also evokes emotion and can help define your brand.

The Psychology of Color

We associate colors with both positive and negative feelings. Think about your law firm’s brand and culture. What emotions do you want to express in your branding? Ferocity? Trust? Optimism?

Now, select colors that evoke these feelings. Most Americans link these colors to the following feelings:

  • Red: Power, aggression, passion and strength
  • Blue: Security, dignity and trust
  • Green: Wealthy, fresh and youthful
  • Yellow: Positive, energetic and warm
  • Gold: Historic, traditional and valuable
  • Grey: Conservative, responsible and serious
  • Pink: Feminine, playful and youthful
  • Purple: Sophisticated, creative and royal
  • White: Truthful and pure
  • Black: Serious, elegant, and bold
  • Orange: Cheerful, optimistic and exuberant

You also want to select colors that are complementary and easy to read.

Again, a graphic designer or marketing consultant can help you select a color palette.

Images

Sometimes, law firm images and photography seem like an afterthought. Too often, law firm websites rely on cliché stock photography and poor quality profile photos. But, images are an important part of your firm’s branding strategy.

The images on your website (and other marketing materials) should align with your law firm brand and client base. Before you select a stock photo, ask these questions:

  • What does the image say about my clients?
  • Does the image reflect our culture and values?
  • Is the image consistent with the rest of our marketing materials?
  • Are my competitors using the image?

You should choose images that are unique and directly relate to your brand identity.

Just like color, images can express emotion. Consider the message you are trying to convey with an image. And, consider how that emotion relates to your brand.

Similarly, attorney profile pictures should be high quality and consistent. A poorly lit, low-resolution image will not positively advance your brand identity. It is worth the time and money to hire a professional photographer.

The Need for Consistency

Law firms should use graphic design elements consistently throughout their marketing. Your social media feeds, print materials and website should share common design elements.

Along with logos and color, consistent use of font, images and taglines help define a brand. Your law firm should provide clients with a consistent message and visual aesthetic. This consistency will help your clients understand your firm culture and identity.

Legal Branding

Law Firm Branding vs. Lawyer Branding

Within a law firm, there may be many brands. You have the firm brand that represents the entire organization. There are also lawyer or personal brands. It can be a challenge to balance these brands.

Legal Branding

Legal Branding

A brand does not describe WHAT you do. Instead, a brand highlights WHY and HOW you serve your clients. Legal branding differentiates lawyers and law firms from each other by highlighting differences in culture and outlook.

What is a Law Firm Brand?

What is a Law Firm Brand?

A law firm’s brand covers the entire organization. It is the public image and identity of the firm. This brand reflects the values and culture of the law firm.

A law firm brand is expressed through graphic design, including colors, logos and formatting. A firm’s branded content also has a consistent voice and message.

What is a Personal Brand?

What is a Personal Brand?

Many lawyers have their own personal brand. A personal brand is built on the lawyer’s (rather than the law firm’s) personality and reputation.

This brand can be based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Community and political involvement
  • A dedicated personal client base
  • Involvement in high-profile litigation
  • Leadership roles in professional organizations.

Personal brands are valuable to both the lawyer and the law firm.

Unfortunately, personal brands are portable and can cause conflict. If a lawyer leaves a firm, his brand goes with him. Or, a lawyer’s brand may diverge from the firm’s message and identity.

How to Use Law Firm and Personal Brands

Sometimes clients hire the lawyer, not the law firm. (And, vice versa.) Your marketing strategy should accommodate both law firm and personal brands.

A lawyer’s brand can seem bigger than the law firm’s brand. This can happen when the personal brand covers:

  • An iconic founding partner
  • A recognized rainmaker
  • A public figure, such as a politician or philanthropist.

Your lawyers are not the same and they bring different strengths to your firm. You can highlight these by allowing internal differentiation. Allow for flexibility within the firm’s brand.

Personal Brands and Legal Buyer Personas

Buyer personas are subsets of your client base. They have different goals, perspectives and needs. (For more information, see our article on buyer personas.) Your law firm can appeal to different buyer personas through personal brands.

Consider these two buyer personas:

  • John (age 30) was in a car accident. He was a software engineer at a large company, but he is now off on medical leave. John is married with two kids. He suffers from depression. The thought of litigation is overwhelming.
  • Marta (age 45) lost her husband in a car accident. Another driver was at fault. She is a trauma nurse and is taking time off to grieve. Marta is angry. She expects a large settlement for her pain and suffering.

While a good lawyer could represent both clients, John and Marta may be drawn to different personal brands. John may choose an attorney who seems patient and compassionate. Marta may want the brashest rainmaker she can find.

Using Blogs and Social Media to Build Personal Brands

Using Blogs and Social Media to Build Personal Brands

Lawyers can build their personal brands through blogs and social media. Blog posts and social media can give clients insight into a lawyer’s personality and legal perspective. A regularly updated blog or feed also can build trust with potential clients.

But, a lawyer’s blog or social media feed must still follow the firm brand. A lawyer’s content should not conflict the firm’s brand and must stay professional. You should also use consistent design elements (color, photographs and logos).

Your law firm may want to create social media guidelines or a digital code of conduct. Remind your lawyers that social media posts and blogs must meet your state bar’s ethical standards. (For more information, see our article on law firms and social media.)

How to Fix Conflicting Brands

When you have big personalities (and therefore big brands), conflict is bound to happen. A lawyer may use his own photographs and colors scheme, or refuse to use a firm logo.

As a lawyer, you are trained in dispute resolution. Use those skills! Many times, compromises can be made. But, if you cannot agree, it may be time to hire a branding consultant.

It is possible that the law firm (or the personal brand) is overly defined and rigid. A branding professional can help you re-brand the lawyer or firm, allowing both brands to flourish.

Digital Branding

Marketing 101: Simple Strategies That Will Make Your Business More Successful

Watching your business become increasingly successful with each passing day is encouraging and exciting. However, it’s important to know that growth won’t just happen. Rather, corporate leaders need to consistently implement the customized, broad range of success strategies that will facilitate jaw-dropping levels of success. One of the simplest and most effective strategies to use for the purpose of optimizing success is marketing. Below you’ll find just four of many simple marketing solutions you can use to make your company more profitable and powerful this year:

1. Implement A Social Media Optimization (SMO) Campaign.

One of the best ways to ensure that your business becomes more successful this year is through the implementation of a social media optimization (SMO) campaign. This campaign will work by helping you remain connected to members of your target audience through popular social media channels like:

• Twitter
• Instagram
• YouTube
• Facebook
• Pinterest
• Google+

One great SMO strategy you may want to consider using is Twitter polls. As noted in Social Media Examiner, Twitter polls give you the opportunity to get the opinion of your target audience by asking them questions about your product or service line. A sample question would be “Which of our lipstick colors makes you look and feel your very best?” You can use the information you attain from the Twitter polls to update and optimize your products.

If you want help with the SMO process, companies such as Get More Engagement would be delighted to assist you. The professionals of this organization offer cutting edge services to help you connect and convert customers through Instagram!

2. Utilize Web Design And Development Services.

In addition to implementing an SMO campaign, make sure that you utilize web design and development services. This approach is helpful because it will empower you to maintain an interactive, innovative website at all times. Remember that your website is essentially your online store, and you want to make it easy for prospects to shop and learn more about your brand while on site. One great way to make it happen is the use of shopping cart software. This software will empower your customers to quickly store all the products they want in a central location and then make the desired purchase.

3. Invest In Printing Services.

Another marketing strategy you can deploy to make your business more successful is investing in printing services. These services can provide you with dynamic, detail-oriented marketing material that you can distribute through mail or in person. Some of the printing products that you may be interested in utilizing for your company include:

• Appointment Cards
• Booklets
• Business Cards
• Coupons
• Envelopes
• Forms
• Invitations
• Letterhead
• Manuals
• Postcards
• Prescription Pads
• Rack Cards
• Tickets

4. Encourage Satisfied Customers To Leave Positive Online Reviews.

Search Engine Land reports that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. For this reason, it’s a good idea to encourage people who like your product or service line to leave positive reviews about it in the internet sphere. This strategy will build trust in your product line while simultaneously enhancing the brand recognition process!

Start Optimizing Your Marketing Campaign Now!

Marketing is one of the most effective, expedient ways to broaden your base of loyal clients and optimize your conversion rates. Luckily, there are hundreds of advertising strategies you can use to make your organization more effective. Four of them are listed above. Start using these techniques now so your company can become increasing marketable this year!

Digital Branding

Online Presence Matters in Marketing Your Product

With the introduction of new technology and applications, as well as the increased use of smart devices, the marketing industry has also expanded their lead generation process by taking the digital route to attract potential customers.

From neon signages and one-dimensional cardboard signs advertising a product or service, campaigns have gone online, offering highly-interactive means of getting their message across.

Social Media and Other Online Methods

Social media, email marketing, as well as digital advertising has become the go-to platforms for some businesses seeking more ways to strengthen customer relationship and engagement. These businesses also believe that by taking their marketing and networking online, they are connecting with millions of individuals with access to the internet, who could potentially become new customers and followers of their brand.

The digital marketing agency plays an important role in creating an effective advertising campaign for businesses who desire to take the online route. The right marketing agency can create a viable product promotion or an efficient brand awareness campaign at a minimum cost while harnessing the massive potential of the internet and online technology. Under a capable team, a business can favorably position itself in a competitive market through a well-crafted marketing plan that fully utilizes current trends. The plan may include developing a search optimized website that can draw in potential customers and help the business establish a strong social media presence.

Mass Market Reach

There is no doubt that millions of people around the world are hooked up to the internet and have at least one or two social media accounts. Among the social media platforms today, Facebook has dominated the numbers game with approximately 1.94 billion monthly users according to a recently released report. These users not only post updates and interact with their network of friends and colleagues but they are also potential customers of a specific product or service.

Other social media platforms are also performing well. While a Pew Research Center survey indicated that majority of respondents subscribe to Facebook, many online users also have LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts.

Marketing Trends on the Rise

This year, the use of digital marketing continues to expand with the integration of advanced technology. These include the use of live video streaming and even augmented and virtual reality. Facebook and other social media platforms have implemented live video streaming but AR and VR technologies are still gaining a foothold in the industry.

But what ties in these new technologies is consumer engagement. While static advertising draws in potential customers for quite some time with their colorful printed ad campaigns, with interactive technology, customers are treated to a multimedia experience.

While traditional marketing is still popular, digital promotion has also gone fully mainstream with the increasing number of connected smart devices and of users of social media sites. With innovative digital marketing methods on the rise, the only way to bring brand awareness or a product campaign to another level is to take advantage of these new trends.

Digital Branding

Five Digital Marketing Services That Can Push Your Company Forward

If you want your company to remain competitive in the contemporary world, it’s important to hop on the digital marketing bandwagon. Doing so will empower you to expedite and optimize the process of building relationships with customers and communicating with them in an incredibly organic, immediate way. Luckily, there are numerous online advertising strategies you can implement to get your brand going and growing in the internet sphere. Here are five of them:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Search engine optimization is one of the most important digital marketing services available. This online advertising strategy involves the use of numerous techniques that will make your brand more visible across several relevant internet platforms. For example, a team of SEO experts might use strategies like link building to ensure that your website attains a competitive ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) of major engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Companies such as 2stallions are pleased to offer a wide range of SEO services, included but not limited to link building, keyword analysis, local SEO, and target market research.

2. Social Media Optimization (SMO).

Another digital advertising strategy that you may want to make use of is SMO. SMO is a wonderful way to ensure that you can connect and convert more clients on popular social channels such as:

• Facebook
• Google+
• Twitter
• LinkedIn
• Pinterest

One great SMO strategy you may want to consider is Twitter polls. These polls involve you asking your audience a brand-related question and receiving answers from them. As noted in Social Media Examiner, Twitter polls are a wonderful research strategy that can empower you to learn more about your target market!

3. Content Marketing.

Content marketing is an inalienable component of any strong online advertising campaign. This marketing strategy is designed to ensure that all of the content used to represent your brand is innovative, engaging, identity-building, entertaining, etc. Some forms of content that you’ll want to be sure to optimize include:

• blog posts
• web articles
• videos
• user generated content

These days, more and more marketing experts are tapping into the power of using user generated content to build the client’s brand. For example, encouraging satisfied clients to leave positive online reviews about the product or service line can help the business owner maintain a more authoritative, influential presence in the internet domain. As noted in Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers now view online reviews as just as trustworthy as they would a personal recommendation.

4. Web Design And Development.

Having a great website up and running at all times is a wonderful way to optimize your conversion rates from online sales. There are a wide range of factors that a web design team might optimize to ensure that your website is absolutely incredible. Some of those factors include:

• functionality
• engagement
• mobile friendliness
• aesthetic appeal
• originality
• relevance

5. Email Marketing.

One final digital advertising strategy that can push your company forward is email marketing. This strategy ensures that you’ll be able to provide your clients with constant updates regarding your brand, thereby increasing the likelihood that they will make a purchase and share your product or service line with a friend or family member!

Don’t Delay: Start Using These Digital Marketing Services Today!

If you’re ready to make 2017 a phenomenally successful year for your company, now is the time to invest in high quality digital marketing services. Use the information outlined in this quick reference guide to get on track to maintaining a dynamic online presence that will attract attention and generate conversion!

Legal Branding

The Fundamentals of Legal Marketing

Unfortunately, they don’t teach marketing concepts at law school. Lawyers enter the workforce knowing how to write a brief, argue a case and negotiate a settlement. But, few lawyers understand the fundamentals of marketing.

At Altitude Branding, we want to change this.

The Legal Buyer’s Journey

The Legal Buyer’s Journey

Marketers often compare the sales process to a journey. A buyer’s journey includes three stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision.

This process can also be compared to a funnel. At the top, you have many potential buyers. As the funnel narrows, the population drops (until you are only left with clients).

While lawyers sell services, rather than material goods, the analogy still applies.

Awareness

Clients start the buying process when they notice a problem. At the Awareness stage, the buyer is looking for information, not a solution or service.

In the legal field, the Awareness stage begins when someone notices a problem or opportunity. Some examples could include:

  • John has a sore back and searches for information about back pain.
  • Marta wants to become more active in philanthropy and looks online for options.

At this stage, the buyers are not specifically looking for legal help. They are just searching for general information.

If you try to sell legal services to someone at the Awareness stage, you may appear too pushy. Instead, a law firm can engage a buyer at this stage by offering neutral information.

For example:

  • John may be interested in a webpage discussing the causes of back pain.
  • Marta may appreciate a blog post about a successful philanthropist or top-rated charities.

Consideration

A prospective client enters the Consideration phase when they have defined their need and are looking for a solution. Our legal buyers now know they have a problem, but may not realize they need a lawyer.

In our examples:

  • John now believes his back pain is work-related.
  • Marta decides she wants to donate her estate to several charities.

Our buyers are ready to become leads or prospective clients.

At the Consideration stage, law firms should educate leads about their services and solutions. This is often the stage when a prospective client contacts a law firm.

Our prospective clients may appreciate:

  • An E-book about workers’ compensation claims.
  • A webinar about charitable trusts.

Appointments with people in the Consideration stage should focus on education, rather than selling services. Our prospective clients aren’t ready to hire a lawyer, but they are getting close!

Decision

Our prospective clients now realize that they need to hire a law firm. At the Decision stage, they will evaluate their options. They are going to “lawyer shop.”

When prospective clients shop for a lawyer, law firm branding becomes very important. Your marketing message should help a prospective client understand your firm’s culture and identity as much as your practice areas.

People hire law firms based a combination of technical expertise and emotional appeal. This will help differentiate your firm from the competition.

Retention

Technically, retention is not part of the buyer’s journey. But, client retention is vital to law firms. You want to keep your clients!

Marketing at the Retention phase should remind your clients of your value. Give legal updates, share success stories and ask for performance reviews.

Engaging Clients Throughout the Legal Buyer’s Journey

Engaging Clients Throughout the Legal Buyer’s Journey

Clients may contact you at any stage of the buyer’s journey. Successful legal marketing has content appropriate for each stage of the journey.

You can create email campaigns, blogs, e-books and other content that appeal to a wide variety of buyers.

Your content should be targeted directly at your prospective clients. Legal marketers and branding experts often use buyer personas to understand client behaviors. Buyer personas are composites of a law firm’s client base. (For more information, read our article on buyer personas and legal marketing.)

The Importance of Legal Branding

The Importance of Legal Branding

Successful legal marketing builds trust and rapport. Clients choose a law firm for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons are tangible:

  • Geographic location
  • Practice areas
  • Cost of legal services.

Other factors are less tangible:

  • The law firm’s reputation
  • A sense of competence or trustworthiness
  • Likeability.

Law firm branding helps clients understand your intangible value.

Your firm’s brand is more than the services you provide. Your brand is your identity, your motivation to practice law and your connection to the community. A law firm brand highlights the emotional aspects of your firm and differentiates you from your competitors.

A law firm mission statement may help in defining your brand. (For more information, see our article about mission statements.)

Successful marketing attracts clients and retains them. If you need help with developing a marketing or branding strategy, you should contact a legal marketing professional.

Legal Branding

The Importance of Law Firm Branding and Mission Statements

Branding is essential to a successful legal marketing campaign. Your brand explains your law firm’s value and attracts your ideal clients.

A law firm’s brand is its public identity and personality. A brand is not the services you offer. Instead, it describes how and why you provide these services.

When you are defining your law firm’s brand, a mission statement can be helpful.

How to Draft a Mission Statement

How to Draft a Mission Statement

Think critically about what makes your law firm special. While your brand can include your practice areas, it must focus on the value your firm adds.

As a firm, brainstorm over the following questions:

  • Why do you practice law?
  • Why did you choose your area of expertise (criminal law, personal injury, etc.)?
  • Why are you better than your competitors?
  • Why do your clients love you?

Focus on what makes you exceptional. Don’t be afraid to dig deep and don’t be too humble. The more specific your responses, the more detailed a mission statement you will create.

Once you understand your mission or brand, turn it into a narrative. Infuse your content and design choices with your message. Explain why your practice and your clients matter deeply to your firm.

Why Create a Mission Statement?

A Mission Statement Helps Set You Apart From Other Law Firms

Why Create a Mission Statement?

On the surface, law firms can be difficult to differentiate. But, a mission statement can help set your law firm apart from the competition. Your firm’s history, motivations and culture are unique. A mission statement should explain your culture and outlook to clients.

Generally, clients don’t care how big or old your law firm is. While they are interested in your practice areas and location, these characteristics rarely differentiate you from your competition. Culture sets you apart. Clients want a firm that matches their personality and goals.

For example, imagine two different business-related firms. One has a strong brand identity while the other does not. The non-branded firm’s phonebook ad announces:

“Our Community’s LLC Team. Founded in 1980. Free Consultation.”

A potential client sees that this firm helps with business creation, but not much else.

The branded firm’s website states:

“Our community thrives when small, local businesses are successful. We are a small business and experience the same challenges. We guide, educate and collaborate with our clients through every stage of a business’ life. Let’s build something together.”

The branded firm also boasts a business law blog and a client portal. Together, this firm gives prospective clients a better understanding of how it treats its clients and practices law.

A Mission Statement Educates Your Clients

When clients choose a law firm, there is an emotional component to their decision. Clients often choose lawyers because their early conversations built trust and rapport. A strong brand and marketing strategy can build trust even before the client contacts you.

An accurate mission statement is also the foundation for your clients’ expectations. Honest communication and accurate expectations are the key to strong attorney-client relationships. Don’t tell your clients you are compassionate and patient unless you really are. If you’re not disposed to long appointments with a lot of handholding, own it.

Mission Statements Can Guide Design Choices

As a law firm, you also don’t want a website or marketing campaign that looks like everyone else’s. Logos, images, and color choice all have emotional impact. Your visual elements should be as consistent with your mission or brand as your written content.

For example, people often connect colors with feelings. Red is associated with power while blue is often linked to peace or calmness. Together, Americans associate them with patriotism. What colors represent your law firm best? (For more information, see our article on visual branding.)

When you are developing print or digital materials, consider how your imagery reflects your brand or mission.

Mission Statements Can Guide Design Choices

If you a struggling to brand your law firm, try creating a mission statement that expresses your firm’s individuality and value added. Marketing professionals can also help refine and build law firm brands.

Legal Branding

How Client Reviews Help Law Firm Branding

Do you go to a movie or restaurant without checking its reviews? Thanks to social media, our purchases are often influenced by reviews and ratings. Today, reviews are an important part of legal marketing.

Hiring a lawyer is a big decision. Many potential clients rely on word-of-mouth and reviews to help with their decision. A happy client is a law firm’s best advertising.

Your law firm may be familiar with review-based websites like Martindale and Avvo. But, you can use client reviews in a more active way. Your clients’ opinions and experiences can be a powerful way to extend brand identity.

Reviews on Third-Party Sites

Reviews on Third-Party Sites

Sometimes, clients will voluntarily post a review. These reviews often appear on third-party sites like Facebook or Yelp. These reviews can be sporadic and unreliable.

Everyone loves a positive review! But, your client’s positive review may lack detail and marketing value. Which of these reviews do you prefer?

  • “My lawyer was great!”
  • “My lawyer kept fighting, even when things got tough. She always listened to me. I was surprised how quickly the other side settled! I have already sent friends to my law firm for help. Thank you.”

Both clients were happy with their lawyers. Clearly, the second review gives more information to potential clients. You can’t edit a client’s online review. But, you can encourage happy clients to post detailed online reviews.

If you receive negative reviews, write a prompt and empathetic response. Encourage the unhappy client to meet with you, and work to resolve the issue. While you cannot make everyone happy, prospective clients will notice your quick and courteous response.

How to Create a Client Questionnaire

How to Create a Client Questionnaire

You should also create your own client questionnaire. At the end of a case, send each client this questionnaire. Information from a client questionnaire can be used both internally and for marketing purposes.

A client questionnaire is simple to make, and should ask open-ended questions. Potential questions include:

  • What did our law firm do best?
  • How would you describe your relationship with your lawyer?
  • How would you improve our law firm’s services?
  • Would you hire our law firm again? Why?
  • Would you refer friends and family to us?
  • Would you like a free subscription to our email newsletter?
  • Can we publish your review on our website?

If you want to publish reviews, you must get the client’s permission.

Client Reviews Can Show Strengths and Weaknesses

When you use a client questionnaire, you should analyze the responses, and look for trends.

Internally, these client reviews can be used to highlight a law firm’s strengths and weaknesses. If a staff member is providing exceptional service, it should be recognized and rewarded. Similarly, if clients regularly complain of communication delays (or other problems), you should improve your processes.

Your clients’ experience should always be consistent with your marketing message.

Client Reviews and Website Marketing

Client Reviews and Website Marketing

Again, a well-branded law firm’s reviews will reflect its mission or identity. You can use these reviews to extend your brand.

Prospective clients value reviews. If the reviews are consistent with the law firm’s message, they build trust. So, publish client reviews that express elements of your brand or mission.

For example: A personal injury firm prides itself in both its compassion and fierce representation. These characteristics are the pillars of its marketing message.

On its client review page, the firm has published these comments:

  • “I always knew I could call my lawyer for help. The firm helped me through my darkest hour—and negotiated a great settlement!”
  • “The insurance company couldn’t push my lawyer around. I was in good hands. He never stopped fighting for me.”

These client reviews match the law firm’s message—and are particularly persuasive because they come from clients.

A well-designed law firm website should include published client reviews. Give your prospective clients insight into your firm culture and mission through client reviews.

Legal Branding

Use Buyer Personas to Get Better Legal Clients

Lawyers know their clients, right?

Lawyers think about their clients every day. You understand their daily challenges. You guide them through complicated legal processes. You celebrate their successes and victories. But, do you ever see your clients as buyer personas?

In today’s competitive legal market, lawyers and law firms need to think strategically about client marketing. Buyer personas can bring your law firm the best possible clients.

What is a buyer persona?

Marketers build “buyer personas” when developing a marketing or branding strategy. A buyer persona describes part of your client base and helps you create targeted marketing messages.

Each of your law firm’s buyer personas has different goals and perspectives. A message that convinces a father of a disabled child to hire you for an SSI appeal may differ from than that of a business professional facing a drunk driving charge. Your marketing plan for these two personas should be different.

Your client base contains multiple buyer personas. You need to understand who they are. Once you identify your firm’s personas, you can create branded messages that speak to them.

How to Identify Law Firm Buyer Personas

How to Identify Law Firm Buyer Personas

Since you work closely with your clients, it should not be difficult to identify your firm’s buyer personas. It does, however, take some time.

First, go through your law firm files, and build demographic profiles. Use the data you already have to spot trends.

  • Do you clients tend to be men or women?
  • What are the average ages?
  • What are their average incomes and educational backgrounds?
  • Why did your clients hire you, and not your competition?

Your intake interviews probably contain a lot of this information.

You should also consider who you want your clients to be. Do you want higher income clients? Do you want to expand a practice area? Or, do you want to extend your law firm’s geographic reach? You will create profiles for these desired clients too.

Finally, you need to do market research. If your intake interviews are lacking information, ask your clients for more information. You can send a client survey, or perform a follow-up interview.

You will also want to evaluate your competitors. Examine their marketing materials. Do other law firms target different buyer personas?

What Does a Buyer Persona Look Like?

What Does a Buyer Persona Look Like

Next, build profiles that summarize your client demographics. Your buyer personas may resemble these:

  • Name: J.Q. Public
  • Average Age: 45
  • Job: Skilled laborer/electrician, union steward
  • Goals: Resolve workers’ compensation dispute and protect financial stability.
  • Fears: Losing home and other assets, not getting back to work, tension at home.
  • Attitudes: Not tech savvy, but okay with email. Prefers face-to-face meetings. Experienced with union negotiations and basic employment law.
  • Name: Marta Smith
  • Average Age: 60
  • Job: College Professor
  • Goals: Needs help with estate planning.
  • Fears: End-of-life expenses.
  • Attitudes: Travels often for research. Prefers email and video conferencing. Likes long-form explanations.

Again, your law firm should always have more than one buyer persona.

How to Use Buyer Personas in Law Firm Branding

Now that you have buyer personas, both for your current and desired client base, apply them to your marketing strategy. Think about how you have successfully marketed to a buyer persona in the past. Build a strategy that speaks specifically to each persona.

A marketing strategy for J.Q. Public may include:

  • Both digital and printed workers’ compensation brochures.
  • Discussion of your ties to labor unions.
  • A targeted email campaign about workers’ rights.
  • Offers to run free workers’ compensation and FMLA training sessions at union steward meetings.
  • In-house family law and bankruptcy referrals.

In comparison, Marta Smith’s marketing may involve:

  • A detailed estate planning blog.
  • An electronic client portal, allowing easy access to documents and information.
  • E-books and downloadable forms.

Modern marketing focuses on building a buyer’s trust and confidence. By using buyer personas, law firms can convey expertise, and help build that trust.

Do You Need Marketing Help?

Do You Need Marketing Help?

Lawyers’ time is valuable. Many law firms do not have the time or resources to handle their own branding and marketing. If you need help, contact an experienced professional.

Legal Branding

Why the Hearsay Rule is so Important

Most people who are involved in a criminal case as either a suspect or a defendant are unfamiliar with the term “hearsay.” The reason this legal concept is so important is because it can easily become an impediment to your defense. If you make the mistake of assuming some kinds of evidence are admissible, only to find out that evidence is not admissible, you might find yourself in a much more difficult legal position.

It is vitally important that you understand hearsay, because it will teach you the value of exercising your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent during questioning.

What is Hearsay?

Generally speaking, testimony in a court of law must be offered by the witness himself or herself. In very limited circumstances, one person may be allowed to testify as to what someone else said, but courts enforce the hearsay rule in order to prevent an out-of-court statement from being admitted as evidence.

A given witness, therefore, generally may not offer testimony about an out-of-court statement, especially if the person who made the statement is available to testify on their own behalf.

Exceptions

In some cases, hearsay is admissible. For example, the author of a commercial publication need not appear to offer testimony covering what they published. Neither does a medical doctor need to appear to testify as to their own written medical diagnosis. Sometimes a statement against penal interest can be admitted. Such a statement can be presumed credible on the grounds the person making the statement is at greater risk of prosecution as a result.

Why is Hearsay Important?

Suppose you are being questioned by police. You know you are innocent of any crime. Nevertheless, the police say they have evidence that may implicate you. So you listen to the evidence and immediately seize on a fatal weakness in their case. You explain your innocence in detail, believing you have proven you are not guilty of any crime.

The police arrest you anyway. So you hire an attorney from a firm like http://www.leyba-defense.com/criminal-defense/. At trial, you persuade your attorney to call the police officer to the stand. You proved you were innocent right in front of them! So, your defense attorney calls the police officer to the stand and asks the following question.

“Officer, would you please tell the jury what my client told you on the afternoon of March 10th?”

At that point, the prosecutor will rise and say “objection, hearsay.” The judge will then sustain the objection, and the police officer will be prohibited from answering your attorney’s question. Why? Because your attorney is asking the officer to testify about an out-of-court statement made by you. Further, your defense attorney is attempting to admit your own testimony at trial without giving the prosecutor an opportunity to cross-examine you.

If you want the evidence you presented to the police admitted, you have to take the stand yourself. This is also the reason you never answer if questioned by the police. No matter what you say, it cannot ever help you.

The law isn’t as complicated as it sometimes seems. It does require some study and some time, but even some of the trickiest concepts can be understood and can therefore work in your favor.