Historically, solicitors have largely relied on word-of-mouth and recommendation for new business. Yet with ever increasing competition and the rise of ‘internet-based’ and ‘no win – no fee’ legal help, it has become essential that traditional solicitors market and brand themselves effectively to attract new clients.
Yet marketing a legal practice is not easy. Solicitors are trained in law and unlike other business people may not have a background or particular experience in marketing. It can also be a challenge to balance the need to look refined and trustworthy with the demands of ‘getting your name out’ and creating an image which is eye-catching and memorable.
So what are the key considerations when marketing a Solicitors?
At Add Design, our Essex graphic designers have created marketing material for a whole range of different legal firms from large corporate lawyers to small family practices. Here are some essential tips and ideas on how to successfully brand and market a solicitors.
Gain Trust Through Consistency
Gaining potential customers’ trust is absolutely key for solicitors. In many cases clients will feel that they are putting their lives in the hands of a solicitor with issues that are highly personal, emotional, and often financially significant. Without understanding the intricacies of law, they will have very little to judge competing firms on other than the quality of their presentation. If the company has a mixed up brand and image, or low quality marketing material, then this is likely to seed doubt into the mind of a potential client.
To gain trust, the branding of a solicitors should always be consistent. Customers are likely to feel more comfortable if they feel that they have ‘seen the brand around’ over a period of time. This doesn’t mean that you should always run with the same adverts and marketing material but it does mean that it can pay to make sure the branding, colours and logo positioning are consistent over time.
More than most companies, chopping and changing your presentation over time can greatly impact the long term success of your marketing material.
Think Carefully About Colours
It is no coincidence that most solicitors use blues and other darker restrained colours. Such colours give a message that the company is trustworthy, dependable, secure and responsible – which are all key qualities people consider when choosing a solicitor.
Although it is not necessary to stick to these colours exclusively, trendy and unusual colours need to be approached with caution. In trying to escape the appearance of an old and dusty law firm, it is easy to go too far the other way and create a presentation which doesn’t look well established and therefore won’t generate that essential feeling of trustworthiness. A careful balance needs to be struck between looking ‘restrained and serious’ while being ‘modern and fresh’.
Avoid Small Mistakes
The legal world is all about detail. Therefore small mistakes, poor grammar, misalignment and other problems in your marketing material can reflect very badly on the company and easily put off potential clients. If you are making basic mistakes here, then a client might assume that you do the same when it comes to their all important business. Make sure you check, and double check, any text that you use and ensure that everything is aligned correctly and is ‘pleasing to the eye’.
Solicitors need to ensure that their marketing material is beyond reproach when it comes to basic quality.
Use Images Which Engage.
When marketing legal services it is very easy to rely on traditional images – such as a judges gavel, a picture of a newly purchased house, or a pile of legal documents. Although these show an audience that you deal with legal issues, they don’t show anything about the ‘personality’ of your company and can build a barrier of formality with potential clients.
Most legal issues are personal so it can pay to show that you are a solicitors which personally engages with your clients’ concerns and understands the issues which are affecting them. Choosing images featuring ‘real’ people and ‘real life’ situations can be reassuring and show that you are focussed on what really matters. Likewise, featuring images of the solicitors within the firm themselves can really break down barriers and separate you from the more ‘faceless’ options around. It is also a great way to build trust.
Keep It Friendly And Inviting.
Chances are if someone is approaching a solicitors, they could be going through a tough or stressful time whether it’s a divorce, buying or selling a house or arranging a will. Legal companies are used to writing emotionless and dry text when they are drafting legal documents. However, you don’t want to appear equally cold and emotionless in your marketing material. You want to appear friendly, calming and supportive in order to break down barriers and create a rapport with potential clients.
Getting a new client to walk through the door and actually talk to a solicitor is a big challenge. It is easy for people to be intimidated by the perceived formality of the legal world. The right tone will bring reassurance and help soften any anxiety a client may have about seeking professional legal advice.
Show-off Your Knowledge.
One successful way of getting new customers and gaining their trust is to show them just how knowledgeable you are. Most legal advice is personal to a client, but that doesn’t stop you providing more general information which people may find helpful. We live in the information age, and before any customer chooses a company they are likely to do a little research first. Posting regular advice articles online can help with your search engine visibility and also present you as an open and ‘happy to help’ company. Monthly information newsletters or emails with legal tips and advice are also a great way to show off your breadth and depth of knowledge.
It may not bring instant results, but consistently putting useful information out into the world can progressively increase your brand profile and visibility. It will only be a matter of time before this starts to generate new business as people start to see you as the local legal experts.
Choose The Right Finish.
When it comes to marketing a Solicitors the details count. Choosing inappropriate paper and finishing options on your marketing material can make a big impact when it comes to its success.
The finish you choose needs to be closely linked to the market you are targeting. If you go for something too expensive looking for your target clients then they are likely to consider you ‘too expensive’ or ‘exclusive’. Go for something too cheap and there is a danger of looking like you cut-corners or are unprofessional.
Before printing any marketing material, make sure you see paper samples to ensure that the final item will create the right impression for your business. You may also consider using recycled or textured papers, as these are great for creating a distinctive and carefully considered look while not looking overly glossy or showy.
Need more marketing help?
From our Essex graphic design studio, we have worked on online and offline marketing material for a whole range of different legal services companies. If you are a solicitors looking to update your current marketing material or create some new promotional material then we would love to hear from you. Call Add Design on 0845 6436395 or drop us an enquiry.