The art of looking, feeling, and acting local as a law firm

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Jump to:

  What is a brand?

  The power of client personas

  Bringing your law firm’s brand to life

As a solo or small law attorney, you pride yourself on keeping up to date with everything in the legal field. You’re an expert within your respective practice areas, you care about the work you do, and you work hard to secure positive outcomes for your clients. But you know you also have a lot of competition, and your firm must find a way to distinguish itself from the growing list of local law firms. But how? Developing a
strong and unique brand is one of the best and most effective ways to stand out, and rise above, your competition.  

What is a brand?

When you hear the word ‘brand,’ you may think of Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan or Apple’s eponymous apple logo. But a brand is about much more than a well-known tagline or image. Brand encompasses the emotions, thoughts, and feelings that a person has when they interact with a specific business like your small or solo law firm. How can you connect with prospective clients, evoke positive emotions, and foster a sense of trust? The best way to emotionally connect with legal consumers is to do your homework and understand exactly who your prospective clients are. 

The power of client personas

You’ve likely heard the saying that it’s impossible to be everything to everyone. This principle rings especially true when thinking about branding and marketing your small law firm. To develop a brand that helps you emotionally connect with prospective clients, don’t make the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone — you might run the risk of coming off as generic and easily forgettable. It’s important to narrow your focus and really hone in on your law firm’s target audience. Taking the time to develop a few detailed client personas can go a long way toward helping you gain a clearer vision of who you want as a client and what you need to say and do to win them over.  

When developing client personas, it can be helpful to think about the current and former clients that fit squarely into your target audience. Come up with a detailed picture by answering common questions such as:  

  • Where do they live?  
  • What kind of work do they do?  
  • How old are they?  
  • What’s their annual income?  

Then dive deeper and think about what matters to them. What does an average day in their life look like? What do they like or dislike, or what keeps them up at night? Be as specific and detailed as you can when answering these questions. Doing so will give you a greater understanding of the clients you’re trying to attract and the marketing messages, tactics, and tools that can help you achieve your goal.  

Once you develop your client personas, think about how to connect with each persona. What should you say and how should you say it? What marketing channels make sense to use?  

Say for example that your family law firm wants to attract more high-asset divorce clients. Prospective clients who align with this persona are likely to fall within a specific age range, have an annual income above a certain threshold, possess a considerable amount of assets, and regularly use technology. They even dine at specific local restaurants, enjoy live entertainment, and frequently travel for work and pleasure. Building out a client persona provides a much better understanding of who you are speaking to and the words, tone, design, and marketing tools that will likely be most effective to reach them.  

Bringing your law firm’s brand to life

Once you develop your client personas and narrow down who you are speaking to, it’s time to use that information to inform and develop your brand. Think about your firm’s story — why do you specialize in estate planning, workers’ compensation, or criminal law? How do you help people? What makes your firm different and better than the firm down the street?  

Keep your target client personas in mind when crafting this type of content. Consider how they will feel when they see your website’s homepage or engage with your firm’s social media channels. What will they think about if they encounter your firm through a directory profile or a pay-per-click ad? Use the answers to leverage your unique brand. In time, you’ll distinguish your firm in a crowded legal market and seamlessly connect with prospective clients. 

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