Tuesday, July 3, 2012
When a prospective client stumbles across your website, you can be pretty certain that your site is not the only one they will visit. Chances are they will also check out three or four other local firms online. We hear from many practices that acknowledge this inevitable fate and state that they want the “wow factor” so they really stand out to prospective clients. As a team of marketing consultants and graphic designers, we love when firms want to move outside of the box but we’re often surprised by their vision for “standing out.”
Too often firms think they will wow with graphics alone. They create websites with a dramatic header image or flashy animation that has absolutely nothing to do with the practice of law. Or there are the firms who want to take the unorthodox and controversial approach—standing out by shocking clients; many cite international law firm Morrison Foerester that underwent a major rebranding effort in 2009 and created a revamped firm identity around the label, “MoFo.”
While a striking image or unorthodox name may initially pop out at a visitor, it likely won’t convey a lasting impression that will get your firm retained. When thinking about how you will set your firm apart, think of a concept which is unique. This won’t be a single photo or amusing nickname—it will be your brand. Ideally, the concept should be developed with your target audience in mind. If you work with large corporations, don’t develop a marketing concept that will tug on the heartstrings of the executives that are hiring you—this is business, not estate planning. But don’t get to the opposite extreme, creating a minimalist site design with a single photo of an impressive looking office building—it won’t stand out and believe us, it’s not “wowing” anyone. Find the middle ground that is unique but also resonates with your target market.
Once you identify your “wow” concept, make sure it’s not just a message that casts a net and draws in prospective clients. The concept should be applied to your daily operations. In other words, don’t sell your practice as having unparalleled client service but then fail to respond to your clients in a timely fashion once they’ve signed that retainer. Be consistent and your firm will come to be identified by your messaging, not only by prospective clients who visit your website but also by past clients who have had a positive experience working with your firm.
For many firms, identifying and implementing a marketing message that wows while also instilling a sense of confidence in prospective clients and referral sources can be the ultimate challenge. We’re pleased to offer concept creation as part of our online marketing services because we understand that even a stunning website without a cohesive message is largely ineffective. Contact us today to learn more about our branding and website development services.