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Brand Storytelling for Lawyers

Creating a narrative is vital as an attorney. Just as you want to lead your potential jurors or a judge to the kinds of emotional conclusions that will drive the right kind of verdict or settlement, you need to guide your potential clients on their understanding of how your brand was formed. Brand storytelling is the perfect vehicle to connect outsiders with your successes, your story, and your law firm’s core values. 

What is Brand Storytelling for Law Firms and Why Do You Need It? 

Brand storytelling blends natural creativity with marketing efforts, establishing a marketing tool that helps firms foster more genuine connections with clients and write a narrative that people remember. As an attorney, you can use this technique to draw in new clients and increase client retention.

Build Emotional Connection

Brand storytelling gives potential clients a way to become engaged with your brand in a personal way—a necessity amongst younger demographics like Millennials and Gen X. 

A recent study from Cone Communications shows that 87% of consumers would purchase a product based on values alone. Brand storytelling allows these potential clients to see your law firm as “standing for something” and shows the human side of a brand.

Create a Marketing Foundation 

Storytelling is also a flexible marketing tool. Once you have shaped your brand’s narrative and started utilizing it, you can continue using the dialogue you build with your brand story to engage with people in different ways. Consider engaging through social media to strengthen the connection you have started to create. You can also use the narrative you have crafted to guide content marketing strategies, increase traffic to your web properties, and ultimately improve conversions. For example, a multi-part series produced by a law firm may boost traffic and encourage community engagement with your brand.

Hone Your Core Values

When people choose a law firm for legal services, they want to know that they are part of something that is both bigger than themselves and aligned with their core values. In the process of creating a cohesive narrative about your law firm’s brand and how it has come to be, you have the opportunity to really hone in on those core values—and core clients—that are most attractive for your law firm. 

Consider Apple, which has developed a commercial campaign showing its users changing the world and finding their own paths (and using their products along the way). The company has developed a reputation as an innovator and now uses that reputation to frame its customers’ stories in a similar light. By using a similar strategy, you can reinforce your own competence and abilities while still making your clients the focus of your marketing efforts. A good example for a consumer based practice would be the showcasing the journey that a family law attorney helps their client on before, during, and after their divorce. 

Key Questions for Developing Your Law Firm’s Story

Writing your story and editing it to suit your audience is a powerful way to change how you market yourself and shape perception of your brand. There are three key questions to consider when you are developing your law firm’s story.

What are Your Goals? 

Although any type of legal marketing has the goal of building your law firm, the reason for presenting your brand story when and how you choose to will depend on the specific goals for doing so. If your firm is experiencing rapid growth, your brand story might be a reflection on successes and celebration of upcoming high-profile projects. If you are in the midst of a rebranding campaign, you may want to change public perception about your brand or give your firm a metaphorical “face lift.” By defining the ideal outcome of your storytelling efforts, you can determine whether or not it is an effective tool for your brand.

What is Your Emotional Hook?

An emotional hook speaks to the character and vision of your law firm’s brand while encouraging visitors to dig deeper and learn more. Explore client feedback to find out how your services have made their lives easier. If you’re an employment attorney, you may find that clients feel supported and validated with you as their attorney. Those working in bankruptcy law may speak to the overwhelming relief their clients feel once they are free of their debt. Always acknowledge the strong emotions your legal services bring out in people. A quarterly case review is an excellent way to find out which cases reflect your core values and drive your brand growth.

How Can You Tell the Most Compelling Brand Story? 

Whether you choose a three-act structure, a compare-and-contrast model, or even tell your story backwards, every brand story should include a few key items: the background of your business, the “characters” that drive the action of your story, the challenges that you and your law firm have faced, and the failures and ultimate successes you have earned. Then, explore the role your brand will have in your community as the years pass, how the brand will evolve and give back, and how clients will benefit. 

Storytelling marks a major shift in how law firms big and small are making a name for themselves in the world. Social media and digital technology make pushing this aspect of your marketing out as easy as ever. By telling your firm’s brand’s story in an honest and approachable way, you can show current clients that they made the right choice and win over your future clients.

© 2020 Denver Legal Marketing LLCNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 49

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About this Author

Meranda Vieyra, Denver Legal Marketing

Meranda M. Vieyra is the owner of Denver Legal Marketing LLC. She is one of the most visible legal professionals in Colorado law with over 20 years of service in the Denver legal community. Her award-winning marketing firm has earned a strong reputation as the go-to for impactful, cost-effective legal marketing strategies. She has helped her clients secure coverage by well-known publications and has obtained local, national, and international awards on their behalf. Meranda enjoys working with solo practitioners and small law firms helping them attract recognition,...

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