Build your brand, grow your practice

  • February 15, 2012
  • Rhonda Page

Branding is the perception of you or your firm in the mind of your client or prospect. It’s not your logo, although that is part of the perception. It is more about a feeling or emotion.

When you think of a brand you love, how do you feel? How do you want your client or prospect to feel when they think about you? This is branding.

A strong brand will make you stand out from the crowd. It will help you get and keep clients. It will allow you to charge higher billing rates because in your client’s mind you are the only lawyer who can do what you do in the way that you do it.

Here are six steps to building a strong brand:

Have a clear vision

You need to have a clear vision for your practice so you know where you’re headed, otherwise it’s like going on a journey without a roadmap.

Identify your ideal client

The clearer you are, the more you will attract people who value what you do and will compensate you well. They will become your fans and spread the word about your good work.

Stand out from your competition

You can’t stand out if you are saying the same thing as every other lawyer. Strive to be truly different.

Research your market

Think of five questions to ask clients. For example: “What do you like most about working with me?” and “Who else were you considering before you decided to hire me?” Schedule a 15-minute call; they’ll be happy to help.

Develop a differentiated message

Use what you learned in the first four steps to create a message that articulates what you do and how you are different. Test it at social events. The goal is to be immediately asked for your card.

Get the word out!

Now that you have clarified your message, it’s time to build your website, create valuable content, and put the word out through tools such as LinkedIn. Become a trusted source of information and deliver on the experience you are promising.

Think about every point of contact you have with clients: parking, length of time to return calls, your office and your staff. Make sure everything is aligned to your core message. The experience they have with you is what they’ll talk about, so make sure it’s a good one.

Rhonda Page uses her 20 years of global branding experience to help small businesses grow by leveraging the power of branding.