Branding Basics for Beginners

Branding is something that I have found most lawyers struggle with – either they don’t think they need it, they don’t know how to do it, or they don’t even know what it is or what it means.

In my personal experience, I created a brand without even knowing I was doing it. I had no idea that I was creating my brand recognition and paving the road for what would become Think Pink Law. I just did what I loved to do, which is write on my blog and use social media to connect with people. It’s interesting because looking back, I remember when I took intellectual property classes in law school. Trademark was by far my favorite of all of them – I loved the consumer psychology aspect of it, and how things like word associations help people form connections with products and services. This was way back before Think Pink Law was even a figment of my imagination, but now I see that I had this passion for branding all along, and I just didn’t know it. Maybe you do, too.

I have found that many attorneys think there is no place for branding in the law and everything has to be serious and stuffy and sterile. I am of the opposite opinion (clearly – my law firm is called Think Pink Law, and have you seen my website?). In today’s legal industry there is an over saturation of lawyers (especially in cities like Boston). Branding helps you stand out and helps people remember you.

Here are some things to think about if you are new to branding today. I think these are all so intertwined that dissecting each point seems somewhat redundant, but they are all equally important.

Bring your personality into your brand.

This might be hard for some lawyers to do because they might not know what that means…or some lawyers may not have a personality to bring (which is probably why this whole branding thing is lost on them…but that’s a post for another time). Consider what colors, fonts, designs, taglines, marketing structure resonates with your personality – are you serious and clean cut? Are you creative and edgy? How you brand and how you market should reflect something about you. Making your brand personal will allow you to build trusting relationships with your clients because it will give them something about you they can relate to. Put yourself on the other side, as a client, and ask yourself what kind of lawyer you would want to retain. Whatever it is, be that.

Make your brand human.

This goes hand in hand with bringing your personality into your brand. People want to connect with people. This might work better for the small to medium and solo law firms where interactions and legal services are more personal in nature.  In any business, you can’t DO business without people. People purchase your services, people spread the word about both good and bad experiences with your services. Having a human brand means having a voice, a sense of humor, creating a community, and marketing in such a way that resonates with people so that they feel comfortable and actually want to talk to you.

Be memorable.

As I have said before, standing out is so important these days. Being the first person people think of when they need a service that you offer is key. Whether it’s a logo, a tagline, your blogging, or the way you dress, do something that people will remember you for. Bringing your personality to your brand and creating a human brand will also help you be memorable.

Be patient.

Creating a brand takes time. I always stress to start things like networking and building relationships as early in your career as possible (like while in law school) because it takes time to build a community of recognition. The more people see you or read about you, the more they will remember you and associate your service with your brand. This does not happen over night. Strong branding is a process that takes patience, time, and diligence, but if you keep at it, it will happen.

What is preventing you from taking the branding leap? Is it because you don’t think you need it? Is it lack of ideas or creativity? Or are you one of those sterile, robot lawyers? Let us know in the comments….even being a robot lawyer, although not human, can be a brand in itself!

Featured image: “Businessman Brainstorming About Branding Strategy” from Shutterstock.

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