One of the most effective ways you can distinguish yourself in the legal marketplace is by creating a brand that positions you as a leading authority in your area of practice. Without a strong brand, you run the risk of becoming a commodity — and as we all know, commodities typically have minuscule profit margins.
Building a strong brand for your law firm will provide you with five key benefits:
- Attract clients.
Given a choice, we would all choose to work with a specialist rather than a generalist, whether it’s for healthcare or car repair. We all enjoy having access to the best. Professionals known for being the best in their fields are more trusted and more highly sought after. Once you have created a strong brand for yourself in your area of practice, you will find that clients will seek you out.
- Obtain more referrals.
If you are the attorney everyone wants to know (and hire), you’re also the attorney who will be referred more often by clients and other lawyers. Referrals are social capital — people share them because it elevates their own status. When you establish yourself as the authority in your field, people will want to make their association with you known.
- Command higher rates.
When people seek you out, it allows you to become more selective about the clients you take on as well as the rates you can charge for your legal services. It’s simple supply and demand. Conversely, if you are viewed as the same as other lawyers — a commodity — you are forced to compete on price. Having a brand that positions you as an expert and a specialist allows you to charge what you’re worth and still win new business.
- Do the kind of work you prefer.
If you are currently doing work you don’t like for clients you don’t like working for, it’s time for you to find your focus. You can’t be an expert in everything, so pick an area of the law you truly enjoy and start drawing clients you would enjoy serving. Having a niche makes it much easier to develop a strong brand as an expert in that niche and helps you attract the kind of work you want.
- Attract media attention.
Reporters are constantly looking for experts on a wide range of legal topics. The one caveat being you need to be perceived as an expert! How do they find you? Like most people who don’t know you do — by searching the Internet. Having a strong online brand with a major presence on social media will greatly increase the likelihood that you’ll be contacted and that opportunity for media exposure will present itself. Increased media exposure means an increase in the number of people attracted to your law firm, so be sure to leverage any media opportunities you have into future interviews and articles.
Building a strong brand takes time, but it pays off in two very meaningful ways — more job satisfaction and more money!