Tag: buyer personas

Should I Brand my Different Legal Practice Areas?
Legal Branding

Should I Brand my Different Legal Practice Areas?

Successful legal marketing is based on brands. A legal brand is not just a logo. Instead, it is a law firm or lawyer’s public image. Usually brands focus on culture, identity and mission.

Brands help differentiate a law firm or lawyer from its competition by educating clients on HOW and WHY they practice law. Clients often choose a law firm or lawyer because of an emotional connection or shared values.

Most law firms have multiple brands. These brands can include:

  • Law firm brands
  • Personal (lawyer) brands

Each of these brands is a separate identity and personality. (For more information, see our article about the relationship between law firm and lawyer brands.)

Large firms may have practice area brands. These brands are sometimes called subsidiary brands.

Why Should a Law Firm Use Practice Area Brands?

Why Should a Law Firm Use Practice Area Brands?

Law firms usually have more than one area of practice. Sometimes, these practice areas can be easily branded together. For example, workers’ compensation and Social Security practices can be branded similarly. (Both sets of clients are facing medical uncertainty, cannot work and want to assure their financial security.)

But, different practice areas can appeal to different buyer personas. A buyer persona is a subset of a law firm’s client base. Law firms can use buyer personas to attract their ideal clients through targeted marketing. (For more information, see our article about legal buyer personas.)

Your criminal defense buyer personas may differ greatly from your law firm’s Child SSI personas. If your law firm is having difficulty attracting the right clients, it may want to consider practice area brands.

But, there are risks involved when a law firm uses multiple brands. Sometimes, the brand messages and identities can conflict. Personal and subsidiary brands can also dilute the law firm brand’s core message.

Factors to Consider Before You Build Practice Area Brands

Factors to Consider Before You Build Practice Area Brands

Again, practice area brands are not always necessary. A law firm should evaluate their practice and law firm brand before creating new brands. Introduce new brands only when they give a strategic advantage.

Are Your Buyer Personas Different?

Your law firm should do market research about their buyer personas. Have each practice area create a list of their buyer personas. You can use your own client data to determine what types of people use each practice area. Competitors’ websites also may give insight into untapped buyer persona markets. (Who are they marketing to?)

Once each practice area has described its buyer personas, compare the lists. You may be surprised to see that the demographics are similar. If there are marked differences, your law firm may benefit from practice area branding.

Is Your Law Firm Brand Too Narrow?

As law firms age, they often change missions or diversify. A business law firm may grow to offer estate planning and bankruptcy assistance. If the law firm’s brand stays narrowly focused on business development, it may not attract the right clients to its other practice areas.

Rebranding can be a good thing. An outdated or overly defined brand can cause tension in a law firm. Lawyers whose practice areas are underrepresented (or ignored) will feel left out. Their brands will conflict with the law firm identity, and they will lose clients.

Before building a separate brand for a practice area, make sure your law firm brand has room to grow. All of your subsidiary and personal brands should fit under the umbrella of your law firm brand.

If your law firm brand seems too narrow, shift your focus from one area of practice to your firm’s core values. A strong law firm brand often focuses on its culture and mission. Talk about what makes your firm exceptional.

Does a Practice Area Brand Dilute your Law Firm Brand?

Your law firm’s brand is your most valuable marketing asset. If your firm creates too many brands, it risks diluting its message. Make sure you align all brands, both subsidiary and personal, with your overarching law firm brand.

Build a practice brand as a subsidiary. It should use the law firm’s logo and color palette, if possible. A subsidiary brand may have a different voice or outlook, but it should be clear that it is part of your legal organization.

Branding can help attract and retain clients. But, it’s difficult to define and build a brand. If your law firm is struggling with its brand, or is considering a rebrand, it should contact a marketing professional.

Use Buyer Personas to Get Better Legal Clients
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.