Branding is critical for lawyers because legal consumers have so many choices. But sometimes we don’t quite understand what branding is or how to make it work for us.
What does branding for lawyers mean?
My definition of branding is the experience clients have working with you. How do they feel about you, your team and the legal results you obtained for them. Your logo is part of it, but not the entirety of your brand.
Today, I had the pleasure of attending my friend. Trademark attorney Kim Bennet, monthly masterclass. It happens the last Wednesday of the month and it is jammed with actionable tips (and, no I’m not just saying that because I was a guest)
Candance Ledbetter was the thought leader for today and she dropped knowledge bombs about branding, public relations and brand-building. She had me making changes DURING the broadcast to level up my bios on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Connect with Candance here
Build. Buzz. Broadcast.
You know how I talk about the 5 steps you need to take to transform your law practice from time-starved to worry-free, right? Well, Candance shared her 3 pillars for a killer brand: Build, Buzz and Broadcast.
Build resonated with me so much. Having a solid foundation is calming and affirming for you and your potential clients.
If you have one of those menu board websites where you list all your practice areas, my friend, you are not building a brand. You are confusing potential clients. Because their first question will be: with so many practice areas, which one is she really good at? Decide on ONE and build from there. Make sure your messaging supports positioning you as the expert in that area.
That’s where I struggle.
I was talking about my driving topics: outsourcing, law practice design, client experience, niche practice, and self-care but not in a unified way. To me, all of that falls under the umbrella of having a practice that you truly want, one that fits you like your favorite pair of jeans.
I just hadn’t tied them all together in a consistent way. My new offering Design Your Law Practice helps me to do that. When you go through my free challenge the first step is about designing your lifestyle and touches on outsourcing and self-care.
What is the umbrella message for your law firm? How are you tying your topics together?
Can I make a suggestion? Do a Message Assembly!
Definitely not as hard as assembling IKEA furniture, but the end result is just as satisfying. You are going to list your key messages, the things you repeated preach, on one page, then put them under an umbrella message.
Let me give you an example.
Create your Message Assembly to build your brand
State your core message
Don’t worry if you don’t know it specifically. Many lawyers don’t know it. One of the first questions that I ask my strategy clients is: why did you go to law school? That’s a great jumping off point to discover the key result or message you want to share.
List your driving topics
Yes, snowflake you are unique. Yet, you talk about the same things over and over again. We all do. Write down those topics. Not sure, look at your YouTube account for a clue. I discovered that I’ve been talking about outsourcing and designing a business that fits since 2013! There were some variations as I experimented but the driving topics have remained fairly consistent.
Plan your content
Now, you can get strategic. For each driving topic write down the messages you tend to share most often. For example, when I talk about outsourcing I typically remind folks that outsourcing:
- is a handy tool.
- shows off your confidence and self-worth
- protects your greatest assets: your mind, creativity, and energy (you)
- allows you to earn more
- frees up your time and mind for bigger thinking
Sort your messages for the ones that resonate most with your audience so that you are connecting where they are at. Each message can be its own blog post or video. But don’t stop there. Get jiggy with it! Create secondary messages that respond to these questions:
- What is the benefit of that?
- What happens when you don’t (message)?
- What do you need to think to (message)?
- What is the benefit of using outsourcing as a tool?
- What happens if you don’t use outsourcing as a tool?
- What do you need to believe so that you use outsourcing as a tool?
Here’s the really groovy part. Your message plus the secondary messages give you four blog posts! You just created a month of content. More, if you turn the blog posts into videos and quote posts. That will make your branding so much more consistent, don’t you think?
Hit me up in the comments if this got you thinking and planning. I’d love to hear your core message for your law clients.