5 steps to build your law firm brand

5 Steps to Build Your Law Firm Brand

Your firm is unique to your practice and your team and has a range of unique benefits to offer. You’ve put a considerable amount of effort into building a practice that is not a cookie-cutter version of any other, and establishing what it is that makes your firm special is the essence of branding. You know that your firm’s brand plays a critical role in its overall success, but you may not know how to go about building your brand. 

Fortunately, there are five tried-and-true steps that can help you get a better handle on branding, and one of the most important is reaching out for the seasoned guidance of a savvy legal PR professional.  

What Is Law Firm Branding?

According to IBISWorld, there are currently more than 449,000 law firms in the United States, which is 0.7 percent more than in 2022. In fact, the number of firms in this country has steadily increased by an average of 0.7 percent over the past five years. In other words, there is a good deal of competition, and the name of the game is making your firm stand out for everything that distinguishes it, which is the foundation of branding. 

Your Firm’s Brand 

A law firm brand is an amalgamation of all the elements that make it up, including:

  • Your commitment to your clients
  • Your firm’s overall vibe or personality – for example, some firms are far more traditional while others adopt a more casual approach
  • Your firm’s goals, current standing, and aspirations
  • Your firm’s connection to the community
  • The materials – and their voice and tone – that you use to communicate who you are and what you do across a variety of platforms 

Your branding is the overall impression your firm makes on your audience at large. 

The Basic Elements of Branding 

Your firm’s brand is not an exact replica of anyone else’s, but all brands break down into the following basic categories:

  • What it is that distinguishes you from peer firms
  • How your distinguishing characteristics can benefit your potential clients
  • Your online identity, which should reflect your unique brand
  • Your messaging, which should clearly reflect what your firm stands for

What Makes a Strong Law Firm Brand?

The most important component of a strong law firm brand is understanding what your firm is all about and sharing that with your audience. While distilling what it is that makes your firm tick may seem like a daunting task, it needn’t be. Something drove you to study the law and build a firm, and this is the seed of your brand. Your story is unique, and branding is all about storytelling. 

Step One: Identify Your Story 

The first step in the branding process is identifying your story. Your brand is as unique as your story, which makes it worth your while to establish a compelling narrative. Towards this end, there are questions to ask yourself, including:

  • What generated my interest in the law?
  • What drives my ongoing efforts?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • What do I find most rewarding about my work?
  • What is it that makes me especially well-suited to my work?
  • What distinguishes our firm from others?
  • What are our firm’s unique strengths?
  • What makes our firm especially well-suited to helping our potential clients?

As you go through and answer questions like these, you may be surprised by how much direction your responses afford. Most attorneys begin with a desire to advocate for others, but every attorney – and every firm – comes to this realization and directs their attendant efforts in unique ways. These are the themes that guide your story and, thus, your brand.    

Step Two: Tell Your Story 

Once you identify who you are as a brand, it’s time to tell your story. At its heart, this means interweaving your firm’s guiding philosophy and backstory with your ongoing representation of yourself as a business. When it comes to telling your story, it’s important to remember that it is organic to everything you do as a firm, including all the following:

  • Your website
  • Your firm’s physical location
  • The work you do for your clients
  • Your advertising, including online advertising
  • Your overall web presence
  • Your social media offerings
  • Your public speaking engagements
  • Your volunteer efforts
  • Your pro bono work 
  • Your overall participation in the community
  • The client experience you offer 
  • Your clients’ testimonials and reviews
  • Your landmark cases
  • Your most resounding successes

Telling your story is not a one-and-done matter but is, instead, an ongoing opportunity to build your brand. 

Step Three: Develop Your Brand 

Once you’ve identified what it is that separates you from all the other law firms out there, it’s important to build upon this foundation. You are telling a story, but you need to land on a symbolic representation of this story that your potential clients can identify with. Fleshing out your narrative by focusing on elements like the following can go a long way toward elevating your brand:

  • Your firm’s unique genesis 
  • Your firm’s guiding purpose 
  • The benefits of your firm’s size
  • What your attorneys’ formative life experiences bring to the table
  • What you want your firm to be recognized for
  • The kinds of cases your firm focuses on

This is what building your firm’s brand is all about – ferreting out brand identifiers and strategically sharing them. 

Step Four: Adopt a Tagline 

If you haven’t developed a tagline for your firm, it’s time to do so. A good tagline is a catchy phrase, line, or motto that serves as an enduring expression of your firm’s overarching mission. A well-considered tagline can generate brand recognition in a way that few other marketing tools can, and the idea is to attract potential clients while maintaining relevance with your existing clientele. 

Generally, the simpler the tagline, the better.  Consider the following prime examples: 

  • What’s in your wallet? Capital One
  • You’re in good hands – Allstate
  • A diamond is forever – De Beers
  • Just do it – Nike
  • The happiest place on earth – Disneyland

Each of these is not only instantly recognizable but also tells the story the brand wants to tell. Putting careful consideration into your tagline can prove especially advantageous, and this goes hand in hand with your logo. Your firm’s logo can pack a considerable punch in terms of instant brand recognition and, when crafted in tandem with your tagline, can do double duty – Allstate’s Good Hands Beacon is a case in point. When you have a powerful tagline and coordinated logo behind your firm, they can do a lot of the storytelling for you.  

Step Five: Let Your Brand Guide Your Online Presence  

Once you’ve poured yourself into developing your brand, it’s time to share it with the world. To begin, your website should clearly reflect your firm’s established brand while inviting all visitors to get to know you a bit better. Keep all the following brand-affirming guidelines in mind:

  • Keeping Your Homepage Streamlined – Your homepage is a landing spot that should effortlessly guide visitors where they need to go without overwhelming them. 
  • Highlighting Your Tagline and Logo – Keeping your homepage uncluttered is key, which means keeping your text brief. Your homepage is the perfect spot to feature and support your tagline and logo, which allows you to build upon them elsewhere. 
  • Using Clear, Concise Language – The language you use to connect with visitors to your website matters. Your words should be chosen carefully and should never be an afterthought. 
  • Focusing on Design – Your website’s appearance is as important as your copy. Focusing on keeping it uncluttered, highly functional, attractive, and fresh in a way that aligns with your firm’s brand is elemental.
  • Choosing Visuals that Pop – Part of a well-crafted website is the visuals, and when yours are in keeping with your firm’s message, they can play an important role in branding. Never underestimate how powerful the visuals you employ can be, including the pictures of your team.

These same basics apply to every aspect of your online presence, including social media platforms, online advertising, blog entries, and beyond. 

The good thing about hiring a professional PR firm is that you don’t need to identify what to do to build your brand. You can put this task in the hands of trusted professionals. 

Allow a Skilled Legal PR Professional to Help Make Your Brand Everything It Can Be

Brand building is a critical component of garnering the attention and traffic that your firm deserves, and it is more of a journey than an event. You’re an attorney, and while your legal skills are tight, you may not feel comfortable in the world of brand creation. 

The good news is that the foundation of your brand is already in place – you made sure of that when you created your firm – and the sharp legal PR pros at Newsroom PR are well-prepared to help guide you seamlessly through the process of fleshing out the rest. We bring branding magic, so please contact us online or call us at 213-422-2738 for more information today.