If you have never given much thought to the difference between marketing and branding a law firm, don’t feel alone. When first looking into the online and offline presentation of your firm to the public, you may have discovered an overwhelming amount of information and opinions. There is a significant connection between branding and marketing, but there are subtle differences that set them apart, and these differences are very important.
When looking to expand the scope of your law firm, you will want to have a good understanding of the differences between marketing and branding. A clear understanding will allow you to effectively use both of them in the process. This article takes a look at these differences.
Explain Law Firm Branding
Here is a simple way to express branding vs. marketing: branding tells people who you are, and marketing helps you get the message to them. Before you can begin to effectively build your brand, there are some key questions that you will need to find answers for. These questions will delve deeper than the simple standard generalizations tossed around in the legal industry. The answers define who your firm is. From here, you can begin to build your brand. Start with these:
- What was your motivation to help victims?
- What makes you different than other attorneys?
- What are your firm’s values and core principles?
- Do you have a mission statement?
- What is the internal culture of your firm?
- What are your communication methods and characteristics?
- When your firm’s name is heard, what should come to mind?
- Do you have a professional sense of style?
- How would you like potential clients to describe your firm?
By answering the above questions, you will discover what the internal culture and the internal operations of your firm are. Elaborate on the answers, then touch base with colleagues concerning the results. Remember that the substance you build inside your firm will be what ultimately resonates externally.
This branding that you cultivate will tell clients what to expect from you and will create the experience they have when using your legal services. Clearly define who you are, then your firm’s branding will give substance to your marketing efforts – now and years down the road.
How Legal Marketing Works
Marketing is basically the various tools you use to disperse the message of your firm’s brand. You will find that marketing for the legal industry continuously evolves in much the same way that your case types do. You will be gearing your firm’s marketing specifically toward the target audience at any given time, so remembering to support the firm’s core values while doing so.
The depth and scope of legal marketing is far-reaching. It will include a serious and informational tone while being heartfelt as well. Included in the process will be a mixture of videos, graphs, photos, charts, keywords, and content. The variety of online and offline marketing methods will include:
- Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay Per Click
- Social Media Marketing
- Print Campaigns
- Direct Mail
- Mobile Marketing
Consider utilizing any of the many other online and offline marketing methods for your campaign. Marketing methods may change over the years, but your firm’s brand will not.
Does Marketing or Branding Come First?
With branding being at the core of your firm’s internal being, it must come first. Your brand keeps clients returning because this brand is your firm’s foundation upon which the trust your clients have for you is built. Always remember that the changing portion falls within the marketing aspect, with evolving methods and cultural trends, but branding stays the same.
Your branding might add a new dimension, responding to new case types or growth, but your core values, mission, and principles will never need an overhaul. The attributes of quality, communication, and commitment will always be necessary to fulfill your clients’ needs.
Bear in mind that your legal team must employ branding on a daily basis in every email and on every phone call. With your firm’s marketing, however, you may choose to outsource all or part of it to marketing professionals. Marketing reaches potential clients with the message of your brand.
The Area Where Marketing and Branding Overlap
We have mentioned repeatedly in this article that branding is one thing, and marketing is something else. There is one area, however, where both of them share an interest: imagery. Your firm’s logo, graphics, and colors will not only represent your brand, but they will be widely used in any marketing campaign as well. Choose wisely when selecting the imagery and style that will represent your brand.
The Bottom Line of Branding vs. Marketing
We hope that the information provided here has made clear the difference between branding and marketing for law firms. The bottom line on the difference between branding and marketing comes down to converting legal leads. If your firm has fantastic marketing strategies using keywords and great marketing methods, but no one connects with you as a brand, your lead conversion rates will remain low.
With your law firm’s branding, you create a timeless connection with the public. Even if you are employing the most current marketing techniques that appeal and seem to engage, it will ultimately be your firm’s ongoing brand that will win and keep the trust of clients whose family members and friends could one day also become loyal to your firm. There is fierce competition in the personal injury law field, and very many other lawyers provide the very same services as you. Your brand will be the deciding factor that leads potential clients to your door.
Working With a Legal Marketing Company
Attorneys will need to dedicate valuable time and resources to work on their law firm’s marketing and branding, however, attorneys are often busy handling cases and working with existing clients. Broughton Partners offers a unique and efficient way for law firms to connect with plaintiffs seeking legal representation. We provide you with retained plaintiffs who are properly vetted and prequalified and follow your criteria for acceptance.
To learn more about our services and how to connect with retained clients contact us today for a free consultation.