6 Ways To Build A Stronger Law Firm Brand
A memorable brand can help your law firm attract and engage new clients.
Whether you’re just beginning to build your law firm’s brand or considering rebranding, here are six tips to help you build a better brand.
1. Choose the right name for your law firm
Choosing a law firm name is often one of the first branding decisions attorneys make.
Your law firm name is one of the most visible components of your brand. It likely appears in your office, on your website and business cards, and in your online advertising.
To effectively support your brand, a law firm name should be easy to recognize and remember. For example, a string of five partners’ names can be harder for potential clients and referral sources to remember than a law firm name that is shorter or more descriptive.
It’s also usually better if a law firm name is easy for potential clients and referral sources to spell. If your name is unusual or hard to spell, you might not want to include it in your law firm name.
Before you decide on a law firm name, check to see if it is available to register as a domain name. If your website domain name and law firm name are similar, this can make it easier for potential clients and referral sources to find your website when they are searching online.
See “What Should I Name My Law Firm?” for more tips on choosing the right name for your law firm.
2. Choose the right domain name for your law firm website
Like your law firm name, your website domain name should be easy to remember and easy to spell. Long domain names or domain names with separators (such as dashes) can be harder to remember and type. It’s usually better to keep your domain name short and to avoid using separators.
It’s also better if your domain name is unique. If your domain name is too close to a competitor’s domain name, potential clients could wind up on your competitor’s site rather than yours.
For example, a personal injury law firm might want the domain name “personalinjurylaw dot com.” If that name is taken by a competitor, they might be tempted to choose “personal-injury-law dot com” (the same name, but with dashes separating each word). Or, the firm might be tempted to choose something like “personalinjurylaw dot law/dot net.”
Choosing a domain name that mimics that of your competitors can confuse your potential clients and doesn’t help distinguish your firm from the competition.
For more on choosing the right domain name for your law firm, see “Picking The Best Domain Name For Your Law Practice.”
3. Think about what makes your law firm unique
Attorneys are sometimes tempted to copy the branding of their successful competitors. This usually isn’t an effective strategy.
When potential clients are choosing an attorney, they need to understand why your law firm is uniquely positioned to help them with their problem. Your unique brand is one of many factors they may consider when choosing an attorney. If your law firm website branding closely matches a competitor’s, this doesn’t give potential clients a reason to choose you over a competitor.
As you are developing your law firm’s brand, it can be helpful to spend some time thinking about what makes your law firm different from its competitors. Do you have attorneys who are former prosecutors or police officers? Perhaps your firm exclusively serves a particular type of client, such as small local businesses or people with catastrophic injuries? Maybe you want to position yourself as a boutique law firm.
This unique value proposition is a core part of your law firm brand. It can be reflected throughout your law firm website (including places such as your law firm’s tagline, “About Our Firm” page, attorney bios and other pages), as well as other marketing materials.
Incorporating your law firm’s unique value proposition into your branding can help differentiate your law firm from your competitors. This will usually be a more effective marketing tactic than copying a competitor’s branding.
4. Keep your law firm logo simple
Your logo should be clear and readable in a variety of locations and at different sizes. It should be equally readable on a highway sign when someone is driving past at 65 miles an hour and when it is printed on the side of a pen.
We frequently see law firm logos with too much copy in them. Including too much text can make a logo harder to read and make it less recognizable. While a tagline is an important part of creating an engaging brand, your law firm’s tagline doesn’t belong in your logo.
Reducing the amount of text in your law firm’s logo can make it more recognizable and more readable by potential clients and referral sources.
5. Don’t get hung up on the visual elements of your law firm brand
We sometimes see attorneys who spend a lot of time and effort on the visual elements of their law firm brand, while neglecting the content on their website.
Colors, images and other visual elements of law firm branding can affect a potential client’s impression of your law firm. However, those decisions shouldn’t get in the way of focusing on the most important aspect of your law firm’s online marketing: the content on your law firm website.
Content-based marketing is the most effective law firm online marketing strategy. Design decisions such as picking a homepage image or choosing precisely the right shade of gold for your logo shouldn’t distract you from developing and publishing high-quality content on your law firm website.
If you’re struggling with your law firm’s web design, our on-demand Website Design For Lawyers webinar can help you focus on the design elements that can make a difference in your online marketing (and stop wasting time on design decisions that are unlikely to make a difference for your firm).
6. Write for your law firm’s potential clients
The voice, tone, and style you use when writing your law firm website content is another element of effective law firm branding. Your law firm’s writing style should be designed to engage your law firm’s potential clients.
For example, a business law firm that serves large, established businesses might adopt a more conservative or formal style than a firm that focuses on startups or small, family businesses. A family law firm that specializes in collaborative divorce may adopt a warmer, friendlier tone. A criminal defense law firm that considers itself hard-hitting and aggressive might reflect that in its tone.
For tips on developing an effective content-based marketing strategy, see our on-demand Content Planning Clinic.