Authenticity has become a new buzz word for marketing, and in particular for law firm marketing. It’s one that really resonates with us. Maybe it’s because we are based in the Midwest, but IMS has always practiced authentic marketing. We want our estate planning law firms to be genuine and honest, starting with values that are centered on solving their client’s problems, resolving pain points and truly caring about the people they serve.
Every aspect of your law firm marketing, from social media to website to special events, should come from the same source: you. That means your core values, mission and vision for the practice. Now, put the word authentic in front of any of these key items–authentic core values, authentic mission, and authentic vision.
If these are your authentic core values, then your marketing needs to align with those values.
How does that work, in a practical sense?
An authentic law firm speaks with one voice and that includes how you present the firm in all forms. Clients and prospects know that when they receive a package or a letter from you, materials will be flawless. There are no typos and everything from the mailing label to the cover letter looks professional.
Your emails are treated with the same level of care as a printed letter to a client or court documents. That means running spell check, reviewing the email before you send it and incorporating a signature block with all relevant information, including links to your website and social media platforms. Your emails demonstrate respect for the client and for your office.
An authentic estate planning law firm does not say one thing and do another. If your website tells visitors that you respond to all calls 24/7 but clients can’t reach you after 5:00 PM, you have a problem. The solution is easy: identify office hours on your website, let people know that if they call before or after hours, you will contact them during the next business day, or hire an outside answering service. But be consistent.
Your administrative staff and associate attorneys should share these values. For instance, does the person answering your phone greet callers with a warm and caring voice? If your website says you care about clients but the person answering the phone puts them on hold for ten minutes, people who called because they believed what you told them on the website are going to be very confused. If they are first-time callers, chances are good that they may not call back.
Does your law firm website include some lawyer videos? Don’t overlook this effective tool that introduces you to visitors in a highly personal manner. And if you are headed to Kansas to make a video, remember than an authentic video will serve you better than pretending to be someone that you are not.
If by the end of this blog you aren’t sure if your marketing materials align with your authentic mission for your firm, we suggest a review of both.