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
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
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.
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.