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2023 Law Firm Branding Checklist, Part 2: Do a Self-Assessment

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What is your Unique Selling Proposition?

Welcome to the second installment of our 2023 Law Firm Branding Checklist.

This post will show you how to begin building a better brand for your law firm, and the place to start is with an honest self-assessment.

How would you describe your law firm in a single sentence? What distinguishes you from other firms? What does your firm do well? What type of clients do you represent? Exactly how do you help them?

Take your time doing this self-assessment. Include everyone on your team. It’s important to have a firm grasp of where you are right now before you start making any changes. It’s also important to be patient. Branding – or rebranding – doesn’t happen overnight.

“Branding is a marathon, not a sprint,” writes Katy Goshtasbi for CLIO.In my work with law firm clients, this process takes a good eight months. Anything effective and compelling takes time and patience.”

No other firm is exactly like yours. No other lawyer has your unique story. Lean into your uniqueness. Make it your brand.

Now more than ever, solo and small law firms need a distinctive and unique brand. Otherwise, they risk being swept away by the stormy seas of stiff competition, economic uncertainty and market disruption. Alta Pro is here to help. We created the 2023 Law Firm Branding Checklist to guide lawyers in solo and small firms through the step-by-step process of building a winning brand. The checklist and accompanying blogposts cover everything from choosing the right brand to marketing your brand effectively. Discover other ways Alta Pro Lawyers Risk Purchasing Group (RPG) can keep your practice safe and successful.

Brand Self-Assessment Step 1: The Haiku of What You Do

Lawyer and business consultant Matt Homann devised the “Haiku of What You Do” to guide firms in self-assessing their brands:

– Who do I help? (Answer in five words)

– What do I do for them? (Answer in seven words)

– Why do they need me? (Answer in five words)

Don’t feel constrained by the word counts. Longer answers are fine. But try to be as succinct as possible. Having to boil your responses down to a few words will help you focus and prioritize

EXAMPLE: Who do I help? (Parents in child custody battles in central North Carolina)

What do I do for them? (I guide my clients through the complicated process of child custody and visitation. I explain how the Family Court system works. I highlight specific challenges they are likely to face. I help them secure outside resources (mental health, social services) when needed, etc.)

Why do they need me? (I have been helping parents in Family Court for more than 30 years. I am a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. I was named Lawyer of the Year by the Triangle Business Journal. I co-authored the “custody” chapter of the book Divorce Made Simple. I bring a skillset and proven track record to my work.)

The “Haiku of What You Do” will shape and sharpen your firm’s mission, and it will lay the foundation for a firm culture that reinforces your brand.

Brand Self-Assessment Step 2:
What is Your Unique Selling Proposition?

Once you’ve completed your self-assessment, you’re ready to identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). The USP is what differentiates you from your competitors. It is the value that your firm – and no other firm – can bring to your clients.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, your brand does more than just send a message to current and prospective clients. It makes an implied “Brand Promise” that the client will receive the legal services you led them to expect. If that promise is fulfilled, your clients will be happy. If it is broken, watch out.

Brand Self-Assessment Step 3: Identify Your Target Audience

Now that you have looked inward and identified who you are and what you do, it’s time to look outward. What is your Target Audience? Who are the likeliest prospects in need of your services, and where can they be found?

We will examine these issues in Part 3 (The Two Cs) of the 2023 Law Firm Branding Checklist.

Branding Tip: What three adjectives best describe your law firm?

Sources: Who is Filament? — FILAMENT (thefilament.com); CLIO

CLICK HERE FOR 2023 LAW FIRM BRANDING CHECKLIST, PART 3: The Two Cs – Clarity and Consistency

Do you practice in Wisconsin, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana or Michigan? Is your professional liability coverage managed through Alta Pro? If so, you’re automatically a member of the Alta Pro Risk Purchasing Group (RPG), which offers a wealth of benefits for your practice: free, cutting-edge CLE webinars featuring top experts tackling timely topics; the Pro Practice Playbook; the Pro Practice Blog; Reminger’s ProLink risk management assistance; Reminger’s Claim Repair Hotline; discounts on CLIO practice management software; tax savings on health insurance; and access to the Risk Pro, who can help keep your firm safe and successful. Register here and start enjoying your Alta Pro RPG benefits.

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