If you think you can get away without clear branding today, you need to think again. In the legal profession, it’s becoming more and more important to build a clear brand identity. Your brand is what sets you apart from others in the industry and, importantly, what connects you to your potential client.
When it’s consistent, your brand reflects your area of expertise, your “business personality” and your integrity. It makes you attractive to your market, convincing potential clients that you can give them the help they need. They can trust you to deliver.
How do you build your brand identity? These tips will help you.
1. Define what you do.
You know your area of expertise, but how would you express it in terms the average person would understand?
2. Define your ideal client.
Who is likely to need your services? What do you know about them? What might they be asking you? What help will they need? Where will you find them? More importantly, where will they be looking for you?
3. Define your point of difference.
What makes you or your firm different to any other? If someone was to refer a friend to you, what would be their ‘selling point’? For example, your approachability or your knack of putting legal jargon into plain English. Perhaps your point of difference is in your area of speciality or the sector of the market you deal with.
4. Apply this to your marketing.
Branding isn’t just colours and logos. It’s the message you weave through every piece of communication you create. If you’ve answered the first three questions, it will be easier to create an ad or a promotion that speaks to the right client in the language they will understand.
5. Get online.
Build a website, develop your LinkedIn Profile, rewrite your bio or start creating articles that reflect who you are and your area of speciality. Make sure the messaging is consistent across every channel you use. It’s the consistency of the message that will become the cornerstone of your reputation.
6. Consider social media.
Social media usage is increasing. There are now 16,000,000 users of Facebook in Australia alone. That’s 65.8% of the total population. If social media is where people are looking for information and word of mouth recommendations, you need to be there. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are very popular platforms so it is worth your while to develop a profile on each site.
7. Build a portfolio of success stories
No matter how powerful your branding message, you still need to be able to back up your claims. Gather together stories of how you have helped people similar to your ideal client. If you can, ask your clients to give you testimonials or be part of case studies you can write and add to your site. It’s called social proof and it’s one of the biggest influences on your potential client’s decision making process.
8. Interact with your professional colleagues.
Building your brand means spreading your brand message to your colleagues and industry influencers. Teach them what you stand for and about the kind of work you prefer to do. These will become referral sources for future work.
9. The power of an image.
While logos are important because they can be easily identified and recognised, don’t overlook the power of the headshot. In the legal profession, trust is vital, and a good photo can say a lot to the right person. Be sure to present yourself in the way your clients expect you to look. Depending on your market, that may not mean collar and tie. The more consistent your appearance is with your message, the more believable you will be.
10. Never stop promoting your brand.
Repetition is part of building recognition and trust. The more often your clients see your branding, the more they will feel at home with it. Promote yourself and your brand identity regularly across all your marketing channels. Be memorable.
The key to successful branding is being confident in your message and expressing it in the language or format your potential clients will be comfortable with and able to understand. That’s how you will establish a solid basis for your business success.
Stand out, and shine out in the crowd with clear brand identity.
About Sonia McDonald
Named in the Top 250 Influential Women across the Globe, Sonia McDonald is an internationally recognised speaker, entrepreneur, leadership expert, coach and thought leader. Having over 25 years experience in human resource management and organisational development, Sonia shares her leadership wisdom and knowledge in her highly sought after book, Leadership Attitude.
Sonia believes that leadership is not simply a role or title, it is about one’s self; how you think, feel, see yourself and behave as a leader. It is ultimately an attitude! If you want some attitude in your life, Sonia can give you the guidance you need on your journey to self-discovery and to helping you ROCK IT as a leader! Head to the LeadershipHQ website where you can purchase Leadership Attitude, read more on our blog, or find out more about our coaching programs.