Because legal marketing on the Internet has become a mainstream practice, it is now more important than ever to have a website that can capture an audience and convert common website hits into actual, paying clients. Having a firm identity is a key element in the process, and is central to a successful marketing plan. This article will explain the primary considerations for creating an identity that will work for you.
What is an "Identity" and Why is One Important?
An identity is the collection of characteristics that separates your firm from the field and personifies your unique talents and abilities. More than just brand labeling, an identity enables potential clients to quickly discover why your firm is different from (and/or better than) other firms, and how these clients would benefit by having you resolve their legal issues.
Unfortunately, most law firms subscribe to a herd mentality when it comes to legal advertising. They follow an established method of offering and describing the same services in much the same way. Many describe themselves as aggressive advocate who care about their clients and will go the extra mile to obtain fair and just compensation.With nearly every firm advertising their services this way, how is a potential client to choose between Jones & Associates and the Jones Law Group?
A website littered with these types of superlatives hardly provide readers with a compelling reason to seek your counsel. Clients rarely consider these qualities in distinguishing a good lawyer from a mediocre one. Instead, they universally expect a lawyer to care for them and work diligently on their case, regardless of his or her stature or experience. After all, aren't lawyers supposed to do these things? Therefore, establishing an identity is essential to separating your firm from the field, and highlighting qualities that cater to your potential clients' needs.
Tips for Creating a Useful Identity
Here are three things to consider when establishing a solid, useful identity:
1. What is your firm known for?
Being known for something unique and compelling can work wonders in establishing an identity, as well as a solid client base. An identity can be based on your firm's record of success, your work in a particular area of law or industry, your unique or specific philosophy, as well as newsworthy recognition of your accolades. Perhaps your firm exclusively represents caterers and restaurants, or is known for its successes in driving under the influence (DUI) cases. Your firm could also be considered the go-to firm for specific types of real estate transactions. Qualities such as these set your firm apart, give people reasons to seek your advice, and can help in shaping your identity.
2. What is important for your readers to know about your firm?
This is where client-focused advertising becomes central to your marketing plan. In considering important points to support your theme, think about common concerns that your potential clients might have, and how your firm is uniquely qualified to solve them. Then consider practical, yet creative, ways to describe these qualities in terms that potential readers can relate to.
For example, for a DUI defense firm, most potential clients would be concerned with getting back their drivers licenses. This firm would tout its successes in getting clients back on the road, and describe its unique talents in doing so. A real estate firm could address clients' concerns with home sales, and explain its ability to facilitate smooth closings. Important points such as these support your identity and inspire confidence in your readers.
3. How are you different?
Most importantly, you should use specific examples to quantify your unique abilities. While some firms seem comfortable with the common descriptions mentioned above (e.g., aggressive advocacy, knowledgeable representation, etc.) few actually take the time to offer specifics that support their themes. Just like the important points, distinguishing attributes must have substance to support a firm's identity. Think about how your firm handles particular cases (or issues) and how your clients stand to benefit from your talents, and describe them in enough detail to fit your identity.
For instance, a business development firm can explain how start-up businesses face steep hurdles unless they know how incorporation laws, trade secret statutes, and record retention provisions can affect their growth. The law firm's website can describe specific instances of how it has counseled start-ups and promoted consistent growth in such companies. Defining and describing how you are different adds depth to your identity and helps clients understand how your services can benefit them.
By establishing an identity, you will be well on your way to distinguishing your firm on the Internet and implementing a successful marketing plan. For help in shaping a unique, appealing identity for your firm, contact FindLaw to learn more.