How does a solo or small firm law practice – with limited time, money and resources – go about creating a brand?
Step one is deciding what you want your brand to be. Are you a boutique firm that represents tech startups? A family law practice specializing in custody cases? A people’s practice that welcomes walk-ins?
Once you’ve got your brand locked down, then put your energy and effort into reinforcing it. And don’t worry about not having a big marketing budget. That needn’t be a hindrance.
“Branding is not only possible for the smaller business, in some ways it is easier,” writes attorney and business adviser Steve Strauss in this USA Today article. “After all, you don’t need to get everyone to know about your business, just enough people to reinforce your desired image. And these days, because there are so many tools available, creating that valuable brand need not cost a fortune either.”
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What do people think of when they think of your law practice? For better or worse, Strauss says, that’s your brand.
Here’s how to go about clarifying and developing your brand, courtesy of Strauss and USA Today:
1. Consider what your brand is.
“What are you are promising your customers? Are you the sedation dentist, the inexpensive lawyer, the affordable convenience store, or what? Step one in this process is to think about what you want people to think when they think about your business.”
2. Create and reinforce that image.
“There are no shortage of tools you can use these days to create your desired brand. Here are the basic ones:
- Your name. For a small business, there is no better branding tool maybe than the name of the business. It is what people hear first and so a name that projects your desired brand is invaluable. Think Quickee Mart or Baja Fresh. Names like that relay a promise and desired impression all at once. If you already have a business, I am not telling you to rename it (but maybe I am), the important thing is to understand the power of a great business name for branding purposes.
- Your tagline. A tagline is an easy way to create a specific impression. When you hear Just Do It, you likely think of Nike. That’s the idea. By using the same tagline again and again, you can create your desired image in people’s mind.
- Your website and social media. As important as your offline work is, your online presence is even more important. People often check out your website and/or social media efforts before ever contacting you. Make sure yours are up to snuff.”
3. Repetition is the key, repetition is the key, repetition is the key.
“By consistently reinforcing and reiterating your desired message, by using your tagline again and again, by having a robust online presence, you can go a long way to creating the brand you want in people’s mind, and after all, that’s where branding really takes place. “
What is your brand? What steps can you take today to strengthen it?
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