In 1932, General Mills bought thirty minutes of radio airtime. They hired an actress on the air to say, “Hi, I’m Betty Crocker…”
…then “Betty” proceeded to answer cooking questions.
The surname Crocker was chosen to honor a popular, retired director of the company, William G. Crocker. Betty was chosen simply as a friendly sounding name. The show became so popular, General Mills had to hire 250 additional women to answer all the questions that were coming to their headquarters.
Your brand is a promise. When you think of Betty Crocker, you immediately think, “helpful, easy home-cooked food.” Same goes for Apple, Honda, or Pepsi. You know what you’re going to get. A brand is that company’s (or law firm’s!) personality, promise and look. In another sense, a brand is a combination of logo, words, type font, design and colors. Your brand says a lot about you and it says something about the person who chooses your service.
As a legal professional, your online presence will shape others’ opinions and perceptions of you — personally and professionally. Almost everything you own and every brand you are familiar with exists because somebody invested the money to get that attention.
But managing your online brand isn’t easy. It takes time, money and lots of hard work. There’s no such thing as a “quick-fix” brand but with the right attitude, ambition and mindset in place, here are seven useful tips for managing your online brand:
Owning a domain name makes your firm look professional. It implies that you are forward-thinking with emerging technologies and whether that is true or not, creating a great domain name will always put you ahead of your competitors who may have resorted to generic or bland brand names.
If you are publishing your site through a free web hosting service, you will wind up with a generic address — that does not inspire confidence with your clients or customers; it will likely never increase awareness of your brand in the way owning a customized domain name could. If you’re not willing to invest in the effort to register a great domain name, why would clients or customers think that you would give the extra effort into delivering excellent services?
How your law firm or business presents itself through written, spoken or visual communications are just as important as the service that business or firm provides. Professionalism is what a business or law firm must present to clients, vendors, and the competition.
When it comes to visual communications, professionalism must be seen from a firm’s logo to their website. When professionalism is the image represented to the world, it draws attention from clients — and respect from the competition. Making that first, good impression will always be the right step toward making your business excel.
Owning a website is a bit like caring for a puppy. It appears perfect when you first bring it home, but without routine care and maintenance, it’s going to go neglected. Much like puppies, websites need pampering and regular check-ups. When did you last update the information on your website?
If your content has gone neglected and it has been months since your last blog post or page update, that’s a problem. Having a legal blog on your site that is quick and easy to refresh and update will allow clients and consumers to see what is new and prevalent in your corner of the world. By regularly updating the content on your site, you will always have a lively and fresh web presence.
Monitoring content on your website can be a tricky business. It’s important that the content published to your site speaks to your audience for effect communications. However, if your content is not optimizes by using relevant keywords and search terms, that’s a problem. What good is a visually-great site with stellar user-experience performance if the copy and headlines on your site is buried in Google? With the advent of the Internet, the world has been brought into a digital age.
Consumers and clients are trusting their own judgement when researching products or services as opposed to being advertised. If you have a website that fails to show up on the first couple pages of a Google search or fails to make a great, first-impression, it may be time to rethink your content strategy and consult with a respected marketing agency that can fulfill your needs. A fresh start can often be the best course of action.
There is no one-size-fits-all client or consumer, which is why professional lawyers offer consultations. Every case is different and should be treated uniquely so why shouldn’t your brand reflect that? Infusing content to your site that specifically targets your intended audience can be a time-consuming, research-intensive process when it comes to determining best practices, specifically if you’re an attorney.
Depending on your area of practice and geographic location, you should be creating content that provides valuable insight into the needs and motivations of potential clients. It is always easier to capture your attention when you address your audience’s needs and problems upfront by being strategic and targeted in your brand.
It’s an interesting and challenging process maintaining your brand, especially as a law firm or business if you are considering long-term goals. While short-term goals will focus on achieving immediate results, long-term strategies are equally as important. Implementing a long-term strategy to your brand will establish brand awareness and if handled correctly, will allow your business to produce bigger business and better awareness — but it won’t happen overnight.
It will demand consistence and continuity. Content marketing is a commitment, not an advertisement. Clear deadlines needs to established and engaging content must always be created, but when executed right, the results from content marketing will have lasting impact.
Defamatory reviews (even when they are fake) can be soul-crushing to any business. What if you wake up tomorrow and find something negative online about you of your law firm? What do you do? Without a strong marketing, PR and SEO defense team to protect, monitor and defend your brand 24/7, that negative review will be damaging.
However, by taking preventative measures and having a full-service agency that can protect and online reputation and brand, you may be able to avoid any lasting impact when negativity strikes. If your law firm or business has not yet taken proactive actions to support and protect your brand and reputation, it’s never too late.
Brand experience is not limited to the quality of your service. Every touch point with your firm and its associates counts. The digital age has opened a new playing field which is changing the landscape of doing business.
Today, Postali runs direct mail campaigns for attorneys across the country, and creates award-winning websites that rank highly in search engines and provide quality information about legal services. We help lawyers in multiple aspects of their practice, including call tracking & voice services, full-scale photo & video production, press & media relations, content marketing, and SEO and paid search marketing.
If you’re interested in learning more about our legal marketing services, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.