The importance of building a brand cannot be overstated. It is one of those truisms that circulates but, more often than not, falls on deaf ears. As a truism, it is both utterly obvious and somewhat misunderstood. Some firms might think that building a brand is all about image, full stop. That is, you might put a lot of effort into generating a suave logo and website but fail to fill the beauteous exterior with substantial principles and values. These values are what set you apart from other law firms and what link you to future clients. In short, the aesthetic of your law firm is only one aspect of your brand; there’s so much more to consider.
Clients Are Number One
It’s always good to start with the basics. To that end, one of the most important things to remember is the following: treat your clients with respect. Fostering a positive experience for your clients is an absolute necessity.
Consider these statistics: 60 percent of consumers would switch brands if it meant a better customer service experience. Similarly, 89 percent of customers started using a different brand after a bad customer experience. It’s not easy to foster positive experiences. It takes effort. In 2012, only 37 percent of brands received an acceptable customer experience index score from Forrester. The same principles apply to law firms.
Foster Positive Relationships
So be sure to give your clients focus. Reply to their emails and phone calls in a timely manner. Listen to them – really pay attention to their concerns and address those concerns when possible. This might mean actively seeking out feedback. And while you’re listening, be patient and respectful. Not only is patience a virtue in and of itself; losing patience with one person can mean losing potential clients associated with that person. And remember, the person you’re representing is likely experiencing a lot of stress in relation to the case, so you might want to be sensitive to that vulnerability. In short, you want to gain their trust. Once you have their trust, they are more likely to spread the good word about your firm.
Engage On Social Media
If you want to reach out to potential clients, you should engage on social media. Nearly a third of all digital consumers use social media platforms to follow their favorite brands. To take advantage of this, it’s not enough to set up an account. You have to use social media consistently and effectively.
This means choosing a few platforms and posting engaging content regularly. To that end, it’s a good idea to have a goal and a strategy. By following a strategy, you can post in a principled and consistent manner. This also means choosing the right platform. Not all platforms are created equal; some are better for certain markets. For instance, Instagram is a platform used primarily by younger people. If your firm provides specific legal services to younger clients, this might be one of the platforms you choose to use. In short, choose social media sites used by your ideal clients.
Be Your Brand
It’s one thing to market your brand and it’s another thing entirely to live up to what your brand promises. Alain de Botton, a popular philosopher who runs the School of Life, made this point in a poignant 2015 blog post, in which he observed that people today are far more observant and insightful than perhaps they once were. They can see through a superficial brand. They look for products that will help them find tranquility, that will help them find justice and that will help them find closure. In short, Botton’s advice is to “dig deeper.”
Build on Positive Client Experiences
Eventually, you will probably develop positive relationships with clients. It’s a good idea to make the most of these positive experiences by politely asking happy clients to post positive reviews on major websites, like Google, Avvo, BBB and Yelp. And after a client has expressed a desire to write such a review, you might want to send them a friendly reminder encouraging them to post it. In short, it’s advisable to make review requests a part of your work flow, as this can help you build on the momentum of a successful brand.