By Kevin O'Keefe

Law firm brand building strategies in the social media age

Law firm brand strategyPublishing this blog has been the single greatest thing I’ve done to build a reputation as a leading authority as to how lawyers and professional services firms ought to use the net for business development.

I suppose my blog and my work with clients has branded me as a trusted ‘go to’ professional in the area of social media and the net.

When I first started presenting to lawyers on blogging, I told them they needed to build a personal brand. Half of any given audience would accept the concept of a brand. The other half looked at me like I was telling them to be more like Dove soap and leave the concept of being a member of a learned and noble profession behind.

Lawyers and law firms get their best work and keep their best clients because of relationships and a strong word of mouth reputation. When I gravitated to that concept when presenting, as opposed to building a brand, my message was much better received by lawyers.

Nonetheless, there are some brand building strategies that apply well to lawyers and law firms, especially in the age of social media.  Lee Frederiksen, Managing partner at Hinge Marketing, a leader in marketing for professional services firms, penned a piece on the Top 5 Brand Building Strategies for Professional Services Firms.

Read the whole piece, it’s good. Here are 3 of  Frederiksen’s strategies that are spot on when it comes to blogging and other social media.

1. Content marketing

Content marketing involves providing a steady stream of useful information to potential clients or influencers. Think educational rather than promotional. It addresses relevance, reputation and visibility.

Over time, potential clients learn how you approach problems and develop trust in your firm. When they need assistance, your firm is at the top of their list.

Content marketing relies on winning clients by sharing something of value rather than trying to persuade or “sell” them.

2. Develop Visible Experts

A ‘Visible Expert‘ is a member of your law firm that is well known and influential with your firm’s target client group. By having someone like this in your firm you can dramatically increase the power of your brand.

The strength of a Visible Expert’s personal brand transfers to the entire firm by virtue of a psychological principle called the “halo effect.” In the same way as a university becomes more prestigious when it has a Nobel Prize winning faculty member, so too a professional services firm benefits by having a nationally known, high-profile expert on its team.

3. Dominate the social media space

Social media is now a fundamental part of brand building for many law firms. Solo and small firms are establishing brands via social media, something they could never have done as well before. With social media in its infancy there is still time for you to begin.

While traditional face-to-face networking is still important, consider the time and cost savings associated with an online approach. The strongest brands are everywhere your target client looks, and they are respected by everyone they talk to. A strong social media presence is a great strategy to make that happen.

As you’d expect, Frederiksen suggests combining several of the strategies that work for you. For example, content marketing and social media go hand in hand – especially when lawyers have the intellectual capital to build relationships and a word of mouth reputation.

No one is telling you to build a brand ala Dove soap. But the concepts of visible experts, content marketing, and social media are an ideal fit for our learned and noble profession.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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