Archive for the ‘Branding’ Category
There are a few big-picture questions that should be answered before investing in billboards to market your law practice. They involve your firm’s overall dollar allocation between branding and direct lead generation campaigns, whether you’re in a rural or metro area, and the types of cases you handle.
However, once you do decide to buy billboard space, there are some very specific steps that must be taken to ensure a strong ROI. The most important ones are below:
- Don’t buy just one board. Billboards fall on the branding side of the marketing strategy spectrum, which means they need repetition to build familiarity and produce returns. The only exception would be a very strategic location. For example, if you do DUI defense, having a billboard outside the city’s impound lot would be a great opportunity.
- Don’t trust the photos sent by the vendor. They are often outdated, taken at misleading angles, and photoshopped. Always visit a potential location in person. Look for trees, power lines, board condition, and anything else that could affect the success of your campaign.
- Consider changes in traffic volume due to construction or seasonal venues. A billboard on a road to a lake’s boat ramp may be a great investment in the summer and a loser in the winter.
- Take stock of things other than your billboard which may draw the vehicle occupants’ eyes. For example, if your billboard is on the left side of a very dangerous curve, it’s safe to assume most drivers will be paying attention to the road and not your marketing.
- Make the billboard vendor handle everything necessary to get the marketing up and running, including vinyl production and installation. When something goes wrong (i.e. damage to a vinyl due to improper installation), vendors like to blame others involved in the process. By keeping everything together, you eliminate their ability to push the blame for a mishap.
- Don’t stay on one board too long. Unless it’s a fantastic location, look to capture eyes in different parts of your geographic target. I typically recommend 4-6 month contracts.
Billboards can be an effective way to market a law practice. But like any investment, you need to know exactly what you’re getting and what your expectation is at the outset.
Creating a logo for your law firm should be a fun experience because it’s a positive step toward enhancing the way your practice is viewed by the public. It is also an area ripe for mistakes. Below are several considerations and tips for creating your perfect branding tool.
First, logos are important. While your law firm logo will never achieve the recognition of the Starbuck’s siren or McDonald’s golden arches, it is a very easy and inexpensive way to accomplish a number of goals.
- It shows you care about the business. Every time you improve the appearance of your practice, it shows prospective clients you take pride in your work. People will rarely hire a person or important personal affairs who they don’t believe care about their own.
- Include more than just the firm name. In other words, always have a graphic or symbol along with the member names. This is important for two reasons. First, it’s nearly impossible to get people to remember a name, but they will remember and identify with symbols. Second, from a practical standpoint, there are times when you can’t use the entire firm name. For example, social media profiles usually give you a small square or circle for a profile photo, and then show your business name in a larger image. If your logo only consists of a five-person firm name, you don’t have much to put in that area designed for small images.
- Be careful of gradients. Gradients are when you have fading or shading in your design. These often look great electronically, but you can’t reproduce them on apparel and other giveaway items. If you choose a gradient for your main design, be sure you also like the non-gradient version.
- Create different versions. Choose a design that will accommodate the graphic on the left or above the firm name. This will allow you the flexibility to fit the logo into both horizontal and vertical spaces.
- Put it everywhere. Your logo should go on:
- Road signs, building signs, suite signs
- Office items such as glasses, mugs, coasters, pens, and bathroom towels
- Printed material like business cards, letterhead, envelopes, and brochures
- Electronic material, including email signatures, websites, social media properties, and online business directories
- Don’t overpay. A good logo shouldn’t cost more than $450.
- Get the right files. Probably the biggest mistake in logo creation, getting a wide variety of files types is almost always overlooked. This leaves firms scrambling to meet the requirements of a printer with a deadline. You want to have different files types (.ai, .jpg, .psd, .pdf), as well as different file sizes. Of course, you will want these for all your design versions as discussed in #4 above. (Apparel manufacturers will often require a “digitized” version of the logo, but can easily create it from the files above.)
- Store them online. Store the files online so you can simply send a link as needed along with a .jpg of the version you want used.
- Creation time. It shouldn’t take any more than 10 days for the entire process.
- Number of designs to evaluate. You should see at least 10 designs initially, maybe more depending on how much feedback you provided the designer at the project start. Narrow it down to 5, then 2, and then choose the final one.
- Asking for opinions. Don’t ask for non-decision maker opinions until you’ve determined the final two options. It doesn’t help to have 10 people like 7 different versions.
- The right expectation. Recognize going in that no two people will agree on the best version. Because of this, only have critical decision-makers involved in the process. Strive for a logo that the most important person really likes… and everyone else can live with.
Good luck on your law firm logo!