impoving the public image of a law firm

Back in the day when pops managed a 20 partner, 100 paralegal law firm – to upgrade your image, you built a fancy new office, spent a good penny or two on PR consultancies and printed new fancy business cards and brochures. Now days, there are so many open windows for the public to look at or into your business, it makes it easier to improve this image – not to forget to mention that it also offers a few open windows you would prefer to have the curtains drawn.

Let put aside for now the way pops did it and also the heavy curtains we want to draw to stop people from seeing our dodgy inside and let us focus on cleaning our windows and improving the view they have of our house.

Not knocking the PR consultancies that pops used at all, they still offer great value, if you have the money to spend, they are still a brilliant idea.

Logo

If you are the person responsible for your law firm logo, you probably think it is great – I am not saying you should change it for the sake of change, what I am saying is that you should include your partners, paralegals and support staff and let them all vote on your logo. 

Look at your target market and then weight your voting accordingly – for example if you are targeting pensioners, don’t give the 20-year-old tea lady the same weight in the vote as the 59-year-old partner.

And now where I was really wanting to go with the logo – make sure it is uniform/standard in every aspect of communication. From the business card to the billboard.

Letterheads, Statements, Invoices and Emails

Just like the you are standardising your logo throughout the firm, so too must you standardise on the stationary, e-stationary and emails.

Which side the address is placed, how the partners are reflected on the letterhead, how the document reference is made up – all communications from your firm should have the same look and feel – it creates a professional image.

I would strongly recommend that you use document assembly to stop individuals from “doing their own thing”.

HBCatt5432@gmail.com – REALLY!

Heaven forbid, there are still law firms who don’t have a domain name for their email – it is costly, a whole R150 a year, or a whopping R12.50 per month. Come now!

Use your noggin when creating a domain name, rather fredblogsattorneys.co.za than fbatt.co.za – Google does look at the domain name and you will be better rated with a descriptive domain name than something that is quick to type.

Website tweaks

Responsive
Make sure your website is just as easy to read and navigate whether the visitor is using a smartphone, iPad or 27” computer screen. This is not difficult to do, if your website is running on a recent Content Management System, like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla to mention a few, they all support responsive design by default.

True Graphics and Pictures
Send a little here to get a professional photographer in to take pictures. They have the know-how to take something that is not so lekker and to make it look awesome.

Choose the dress code you are going to want to use for EVERYBODY – if it is a dark suit and bright tie, then everyone dresses like that. And the photos of the people in the firm are all with the same background or it is same theme – like behind their desks, or in front of your office building – but keep the theme the same throughout.

Your building
Use pictures of your offices, not some stock photos off the web. Again use the professional for the pics.

Video
Video will help draw people to your site and engage them to listen to your message, just make sure you send a message in the video and that it is done well.

Social Media
Choose the social media channels you want to be active in, and then do it well. Regular posts, good content and relevant.

Have dedicated people who interact on social media, others must send them ideas and this person/persons must be given the time to allocate to this important part of marketing.

Immediate reaction to incoming posts is critical.

Go Public

Find public facing news channels to host comments or live gigs where the opinion of your partners can be heard. It does not have to be television, it could be a popular blog on a related industry, these people are hungry for content. Local community newspapers are also good marketing opportunities – find these and offer your input – even better, when interesting events happen where your partners could offer some input, call around and introduce the firm and your offer.

Spruce Up the Reception

We have an article that talks of sprucing up your reception, I would strongly suggest reading it.

A quick recap:

• Only recent magazines

• Fancy flat screen and matching keyboard and mouse for the receptionist

• Clean, including all the equipment

• Coffee and tea

• TV with services you offer coming up now and then

• Friendly reception

• Feedback channels for clients to help you improve.

I need to stop, but there are many others – maybe a time for us to start a new 101 series – Spruce Up Your Law Firm 101!

These changes don’t cost a lot, but can make such a difference to your business – take the time and do the first tip I gave above, vote on your Logo – that should take all of 10 minutes to setup in the office and see the effect it has, then tackle the rest.

In fact, give me a vote on your logo – I would be happy to help.

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