Simply put, design is imperative to successfully branding your company. There’s just no way around this. Design serves as the face of your brand. It provides an immediate first impression that either encourages people to learn more or turns them away completely.
With that being said, how can you possibly be sure that design is working for your brand, as opposed to hindering it?
Aside from just looking attractive, great design should be each of the following 5 things:
Even with branding as a whole, you must have clearly defined goals. Otherwise, it’s like taking a shot in the dark; all of your branding efforts will be in vain. The design aspect is no different. Know where you want to be. Then, establish a comprehensive design to help get you there.
Part of knowing your goals involves understanding your target audience. Who is your ideal client base? Be as detailed as possible in your answer. You may say, “Well, we actually serve a few specific client groups.” That’s okay. Work on developing personas that accurately represent these people. (It’s normal for a business to have a few different personas.) Then, concentrate your efforts on creating a design that appeals to all of these groups.
In marketing, everything you do should be message-based. Contrary to what some might believe, you don’t need words to tell a story. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but having the right design can be absolutely invaluable. What message is your company trying to send? This message should work to accomplish your goals while being directed specifically toward your given personas.
What’s considered trendy today might not be so popular tomorrow. Great design is timeless. It’s not constrained by current design fads, which probably won’t be relevant for long. It speaks to the essence of the brand without appearing dated. Granted, there may come a time for certain design elements to be revitalized, but the overall design should have a stable foundation on which to stand.
Finally, great design should be able to be integrated throughout multiple platforms (a website, business cards, letterhead, etc.). This is imperative in creating a cohesive set of branding tools that have a consistent look and feel.
What does your brand’s overall design say to the world?
In order to create truly great online content, it should not only be valuable to consumers but also appeal to search engines. In the past, we’ve discussed the significance of having an effective SEO strategy. Continuing with this thought, it’s critical to understand how consumers search online.
When writing content, you must always be two steps ahead of your target audience. By understanding how these people think, you’ll be able to cater your online presence to meet their needs. The following should give you a general idea of how Internet users search for information.
- Phrases, Not Words
Over time, people have learned that it’s hopeless to type just one word within a search engine. There’s a vast number of search results out there. The odds of getting the result you’re looking for by using only one word are very low. In fact, using one single word in your search query will typically result in links to a definition or Wikipedia page.
Therefore, it’s helpful to search in terms of phrases. Adding specific, descriptive words will increase your likelihood of finding the desired result. Let’s imagine I’m looking to buy a new car. Why type “car” when I could go a little further and enter “2010 Mazda RX-8 reviews”? Based on the reviews, I decide that I like the car and want to take it out for a test drive. Now, I’ll search “Mazda dealership Paducah, Kentucky”. Just by adding a few words, my ideal link now shows up in the first couple of search results.
What does that mean for your business? This can affect your SEO strategy in a few ways, but the most influential of those may be the way you label each page of a website (i.e. SEO title, focus keyword, and meta description).
Here, I searched for “inbound marketing Paducah, Kentucky.”
- Key Phrases
People often begin their searches with phrases like “How to,” “Steps to,” “Tips for,” and “Advice on.” This is something that’s especially important to keep in mind when writing blog posts. If you’re having trouble coming up with a good title, it may be best to begin with these phrases.
When we, as humans, don’t know something, we automatically begin to pose questions. It’s in our nature. Therefore, it’s no surprise that popular search topics often come in the form of a question. This, too, is particularly helpful in writing blog posts. Finding the perfect blog title may be as simple as typing out the main question answered in your post.
Because so many consumers use the Internet on a daily basis, it’s crucial that your business have a strong online presence. In order to be found online, you’ll want to focus on finding ways to improve your search engine optimization. The first step is to create content that is valuable, relevant, and easily searchable.
An excellent sales funnel is the key to being successful in nearly any business. In fact, several factors of your law firm’s success can be attributed to this funnel. A few of those factors include:
- How long it takes to acquire a client
- How many clients you end up with
- Whether or not you’re ending up with the right clients
When developing an effective sales funnel, there are 5 main considerations you should make:
- Who is your target audience?
You must clearly define the type of clients you want. The more specific you can be, the better your sales funnel will be. Broad, vague descriptions lead to uncertainty and less effective results.This model should allow you to weed out unqualified prospects, ensuring that only your ideal consumers reach the bottom.
If your law firm has been in business for a while, it may be helpful to informally interview some of your favorite clients. Ask questions along the lines of:
- What does a day in your life look like?
- What are your legal concerns and issues?
- Where do you go for legal information?
- What do you value?
- How can you reach this audience?
Once you’ve defined your target audience, determine the best methods of reaching these people. Understanding their hobbies, interests, and daily activities will help with this. Choose a medium that they’re most likely to notice.
- What process will your prospective clients go through? What does their consumer journey look like?
The typical sales funnel will look like what you see above. However, the steps and details within that funnel can vary significantly depending upon your firm.
Develop offers and incentives that draw members of your target audience into the funnel. The first offer could be something as simple as a free download entitled “5 Things to Ask When Seeking Legal Representation” or “7 Signs that Declaring Bankruptcy Is Right for You”. Continue to create valuable content for each stage of the funnel.
- How can you help pull prospects through the funnel?
Sales funnels are not completely independent; they require regular monitoring and adjustments. Even qualified prospects can sometimes get stuck within the funnel. It’s up to you to get them back on the right path. Be direct. Remind people of which steps they should take next.
- How long should the client journey take?
Understanding your sales funnel will allow you to estimate the time it takes for a consumer to complete the journey. This approximated time period will serve as a good reference point. Don’t give up on prospects too soon, and don’t let them stay stuck in the funnel for too long.
Law firm sales funnels aren’t usually as long as those of other industries. This is because people typically seek out attorneys on a need basis. Chances are that if someone is in the market for legal guidance and representation, they need it relatively quickly.
We hope this helps lend a clearer picture of how the sales process works.
After years of schooling and experience in the field, you’ve come to the conclusion that you’re not happy with how things have turned out. This isn’t what you imagined yourself doing as a lawyer. Here you are, working on awful cases and representing clients that you simply detest.
It’s never too late to turn it all around. That’s why we’ve put together these 5 helpful tips for obtaining the perfect client!
- In order to acquire the perfect client, you must first know who that person is. Develop a clearer picture of this person by asking yourself questions like:
- What are his/her legal needs?
- What is his/her budget for legal services?
- What are his/her values? Is he/she family-oriented, business-minded, etc?
- Now, ask yourself how you can help this person with his/her pain points.
- How do your skills, your law firm, and your practice complement the client’s goals?
- Why should this person choose your firm over any other?
- Share this vision with those inside your law firm. This goes for everyone on the team, not just attorneys. Even your firm’s receptionist should be on the same page. If you aren’t able to thoroughly communication this picture with those around you, you’ll all be aiming at different targets. Collaborate and come to a consensus about which clients you’ll pursue. Others on your team may even be able to add to your ideal client persona, offering perspectives you hadn’t yet considered.
- Be firm in your beliefs. Don’t just settle for anybody that comes knocking on your door. It’s easy to do this out of fear that no one else will come along. They will. The mistake here would be to accept every opportunity that comes your way. Chances are, that’s how you got to loathing your job in the first place. You have an understanding of whom you want to represent, so stick with it.
- Create a branding effort that attracts those ideal clients. Yes, you can certainly have those perfect clients you’ve been wanting. Let’s be realistic, though. These people aren’t just going to all show up at your doorstep one day. That’s wishful thinking.You’ve got to go out and make this happen for yourself.Luckily, help is available by having the right marketing team equipped with the right branding tools on your side. For instance, below is a comprehensive breakdown of the branding tools provided by Innovations Branding House.
Your perfect clients are out there waiting! We hope this article helps you get that much closer to reaching them.
A new or redesigned website is a great place to begin improving your firm’s branding efforts.
Marketing a law firm is not the easiest task. You may draw in some business based on previous client references and connections you already have. Beyond that, though, it gets a little tricky. You’re bound to run into some, if not all, of these 5 problems along the way:
The sheer volume of law firms out there is enough to make this task seem hopeless. How will you possibly differentiate your firm from all the others? Yes, you could market your business based on specific services provided or which types of law you practice, but it wouldn’t be enough. There’s got to be one thing that makes your firm stand out among the rest, and it’s our job to find it.
- Poor Advertising
Drive down the street, turn on the television, sit on a park bench – you’re bound to find several examples of terrible attorney advertisements. You may be asking, “Well, how else are we supposed to market ourselves?” When this is the only type of advertisement you see, it’s easy to fall into the same trap. Imitation is not the best answer; there are other ways to make a name for your brand. Inbound marketing, for instance, could be the best choice.
Considering the amount of competing firms and their historically tragic advertising attempts, it’s no wonder why some lawyer stereotypes exist. This just means you have to work even harder to make a reputable name for your brand.
You’ve spent several years gaining an education to practice law. Now, you must also know how to effectively market yourself? That’s way too much work for one person. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Entrusting a marketing firm with this task will eliminate extra stress from your life and be beneficial for your business overall.
- Legal Constraints
As you might expect, advertising for law firms involves various legal constraints. If you do opt to hire out your marketing, it’s important to select an agency that understands these restrictions. Partnering with a marketing firm that has had prior experience with attorneys is ideal.
We hope this article has helped generate some ideas for your firm’s marketing plan.
When we initially sit down with potential clients, the first step always involves determining the firm’s goals. Attorneys are no different. If we don’t know where you want to be, how can we possibly create a path to get you there?
After working with several attorneys in the region, we’ve realized that law firms typically have one of two main goals. They either want to attract more business or maintain their current position in the industry. Whatever the case, our team has the tools to help you reach those goals.
Nearly everyone is online today. Your first step should be to create an online presence that exemplifies your firm’s values and services. Whether your aim is to attract more clients or simply provide a resource for current clients, having a website will help you.
Attracting More Clients
It’s not just about attracting viewers; it’s about attracting the right viewers. You want qualified prospects – people who have a need for your services and the means to acquire those services. This is where the design and content of your site come into play.
An effective website design will accurately portray your firm’s image while also appealing to the type of clients you want. The valuable content placed within your site will be directed toward this target audience as well. Together, these two elements work to keep viewers coming back for more and eventually becoming clients.
Providing a Helpful Resource
Tired of hearing the same questions over and over from consumers? Maybe you have a receptionist, but maybe not. You’re too busy to be answering the phone every 10 minutes, only to explain which services your firm provides. Chances are that many of the calls you receive aren’t even from qualified prospects. What a waste of time and energy!
Imagine how easy it would be to direct these curious consumers to a website. Once arriving at your site, they’ll be able to find all of the information they need. Furthermore, they’ll develop a better understanding of your firm based on the personality presented through the site. This will start to weed out any unqualified prospects.
Allow us to Paint a Picture
Billy Ray Stevens is looking for a 1-800-GET-ME-OUT-OF-JAIL criminal defense lawyer. (Granted, we know that phone number has too many digits.) Billy unwittingly stumbles across your site. Not only do you not specialize in criminal defense, but your firm isn’t the “1-800-” type. The consumer sees this and moves along to other alternatives. Voilà! You’ve just saved yourself a frustrating phone call with Mr. Stevens.
A professionally developed website is an asset for any business, including law firms.