This article was first published in the Lex Witness August 2018 issue.
The Indian legal industry is growing and becoming highly competitive day by day. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to have a strong brand, and setting oneself apart in this rat race. Key factors like increased competition, firm mergers & acquisitions, globalization, extensive need for greater client satisfaction and changes to the regulatory landscape, make it essential to engage into branding and positioning initiatives to detail on what makes your firm distinct, relevant, and yet authentic.
However, the road to successful branding and positioning for law firms has several challenges, and it is important to keep some considerations in mind when aspiring for successful outcomes.
In the first four articles of the six-part series, we discussed the overall need for a well thought and planned strategic branding, positioning & business development, the importance of PR, media management for lawyers and law firms, the role of bespoke platforms in a firm’s branding & positioning canvas, and how important it is to it is for lawyers to write and publish. This part focused on how to use digital platforms to brand and position law firms.
Well-constructed digital scopes play a vital role in helping achieve identified business development objectives. A strategic approach to digital branding can help lawyers and firms stand out in an increasingly cluttered advisory market. Using digital scopes in an innovative way can help improve their brand and market positioning, and enable the firm and its lawyers to compete beyond price. Law firms can focus efforts on developing client-centric content. This is an optimum way to become thought leaders, and provide existing and prospective clientele with valuable, engaging knowledge. Now, while all this may sound exciting, the challenge lies in identifying the digital scopes to focus on. It is critical to understand and analyze the right platforms, and the best way to use them, in order to get the best return on the digital branding investments.
Identify & Plan
Before getting started, it is important to first identify what the ultimate objective is. Accordingly, one should draw up a plan, along with timelines and milestones. Following maybe some of the goals to achieve through digital branding and positioning:
- Reach new prospective clientele
- Position the firm and its lawyers as thought leaders in certain practice areas and industries
- Exploring new industry connects
- Engaging with existing clients, by being available and sharing knowledge beyond just the professional engagement
- Sharing firm updates and movements
- Connecting with peers and networking with referrals
It is critical to understand the role each of the social media platforms play, and identify their importance in respect to your plan.
Website – it is a critical one-stop platform to get all the relevant information the firm wishes to put out for the digital universe. A website should include the history of the firm, details about the services provided and the practice specialization, key team members and their professional experience so far, and the contact details. The website should also provide the connect links to your other social media platforms like LinkedIn, blog and others.
Blog – a blog is an important way to disseminate knowledge to the industry and clientele. It is the post apt medium to position the firm and its key lawyers as the thought leaders in their practice. However, it is crucial to understand that a blog is not just to post legal and industry updates. In order to position oneself as a thought leader, it is imperative to opine on the latest laws and regulations, and discuss their impact on business Inc.
LinkedIn – this is a fantastic platform to connect with industry professionals, existing and new clientele. LinkedIn is a great networking platform, which enables lawyers to share their firm updates, and connect one on one with relevant industry connects to break the ice, exchange profiles and create possibilities of discussions to explore synergies. However, LinkedIn should not be used to bombard ones connects with random updates. It is important to understand the professional etiquettes of this platform, and play by the rules.
Other Platforms – other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can certainly be used by the firm, but only from casual interaction perspective. Firm retreats and party updates, along with photos can be posted on such platforms to showcase the light-hearted and fun elements of the firm and the lawyers, who may otherwise be known just as a serious professional to the outside world. Such platforms can certainly help in humanizing a firm and the people behind it, but should definitely not be used as primary medium for networking and professional engagement.
Stay Consistent – all these maybe existing enough to get started on digital branding. However, what is important to remember is to pace oneself and remain consistent. Your digital branding plan will fall flat and not have any impact if you do not follow-through or become inconsistent in your updates and postings. It is understandable that lawyers become busy when client matters take precedence, and branding initiative like such take a back seat. That is why it is wise to connect with a branding consultant, specializing in such mandates, to work with you in realizing the firm’s vision and aspirations for branding and positioning. This will ensure that you achieve your branding objectives, digitally or otherwise, without have to compromise on client work.
Stay tuned to know more about the success secrets when it comes to branding your firm.
I am the Principal Consultant at the Lex Witness Strategic Counsel Desk, an invitation based initiative, which caters to various entities who seek to create and improve their brand and undertake market activation strategies in the Indian legal market space. Much beyond the space of the magazine, the Strategic Counsel Desk aspires to provide a holistic framework for the firm’s positioning and business growth, primarily focusing on the strength in the Indian legal industry.