Building a successful and recognizable brand in the internet age is not easy. It used to be about catchy slogans and well-placed advertisements. But the internet is challenging this traditional approach because the way people use the internet and shop for legal services is changing.
Consumers are spending more time researching products and services – this is what we call pre-shopping. Quite often, the first interaction someone has with your firm is with your website. Your law firm’s brand needs to reflect these changes in order to be found, to be recognizable and to build a community of supporters who will refer you more business.
What is a brand?
Most business owners hear the term branding and immediately think logos and taglines, but it’s much more than that. Your brand is the experience someone has with your company, and what they say about you when you’re not in the room.
This perception about your company is created by many factors, from the first marketing “touch” to the ongoing follow-up that occurs after you’ve delivered your services. Because branding isn’t an isolated interaction with your company, a client’s feelings about your company can evolve depending on the level of service you provide.
Building a memorable brand starts with developing strong marketing messages that address the needs of your target market. Then you must to consistently deliver on that brand promise. As you work with each client, you should be reinforcing this message. It’s recommended that you repeat yourself so many times that you get sick of hearing your brand promise!
When your legal services are complete, you need to continue shaping your brand for your clients. Ongoing follow-up is key, especially in the internet age. Many attorneys rely on word-of-mouth referrals to generate new business. But they fail to realize that word-of-mouth marketing occurs online at a rapid pace with far reaching effects.
Your clients can sing your praises to their friends, family and business contacts through social media and online review websites.
Using inbound marketing to build a stronger brand
One of the best ways to build a brand for your law firm is through inbound marketing. Inbound marketing involves promoting a company through blogs, e-books, white papers, e-newsletters and other forms of content, which attract leads and customers through the different stages of the buyer’s journey. This content helps build and reinforce your brand.
Here is what the buyer’s journye looks like:
Remember that consumer spend a lot of time pre-shopping. According to HubSpot, 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine. They use blogs and other content to help educate themselves before hiring a service provider. By placing an emphasis on quality content, your law firm will look like the expert.
Branding, marketing and sales begin to overlap as you move people through buyer’s journey. That’s why it’s important to develop a strategy that address all of these areas. An inbound marketing strategy considers all of these steps, and ensures that you have a positive experience in place for each client.
Inbound marketing also ensures that there are steps in place to help spread the word about your brand when the work is complete, which will help attract new clients.
Many law firms still favor traditional outbound advertising techniques that bombard consumers with messages through TV, radio and print. But consumers are being bombarded with more and more marketing messages each day, and it’s difficult to break through the noise.
An inbound marketing strategy makes more sense given the way consumers choose to obtain information today, and it will help build a community of supporters who can refer you more business.
Have more questions about law firm branding? Leave a comment below and we’ll respond!