That might sound strange from a guy who’s written branding books. But the reality is that never have more gurus been banging the drum for branding—without ever understanding it or explaining what it is.
Branding for lawyers is especially challenging. Unless you’re a DUI or PI attorney, it’s difficult to see how you’re going to brand yourself.
In reality, it's a simple concept to understand and embrace. But it is difficult to execute, especially for oneself. In fact, the Firm Appeal brand took months—purely because we are branding consultants trying to brand ourselves. A self-portrait in branding takes longer. Once you think you’ve got it right, you then have to show it to objective pros—who tell you it’s wrong and where it needs work.
But it’s worth it. Done well, branding helps the prospect make a decision. A good brand is emotionally evocative. And emotions drive decisions. Emotions inspire action. Intellect? Intellect leads to conclusions. But a brand that makes the prospect say, “This feels right” is what leads to choosing you over another.
But what is brand? Brand as we define it at Firm Appeal is: The one way your core client should feel about your firm.
For a lawyer, a better way to consider brand is as persona. Unless you’re the “Top Gun DUI Attorney” (a Los Angeles brand) or “The Law Tigers” (a national brand) or “The Attorney Who Rocks” (an Austin PI brand), you’re not likely to dress up in a catchy suit of branding clothes and bang the drum for your brand of law. Persona is subtler.
Think of persona is a 10% sliver of your personality magnified 10 times. It doesn’t have to feel tricky or unclean. It doesn’t have to make you feel like a carny. Persona lets you bring focus and feeling to your website and marketing materials. You can let your core client feel one way about your firm. You can be decisive and evocative without bringing the hat and cane. You can be all business—but smart business. And that ends up being money in the bank.
IT IS PRESENTED AS A TRUTH THAT "Without SEO, lawyers die." What if you defy this ostensible truth? In a business where referral is king, SEO is useful. It just isn't a silver bullet. Instead, be human. Be evocative. Be the best part of you. A search engine can't understand that. But your client can.
Blaine Parker writes good words for good lawyers. Learn more at Firm Appeal.