As specialized as law firms are, it’s easy for lawyers to forget about the importance of basic business principles like branding. But if you practice in a large market with lots of competition, it’s critically important that you set your practice apart. This can be done in a variety of ways, but storytelling is one of the best kept secrets.
Why Stories Matter
As much as the news media likes to say how different we are from one another, the reality is that we are all very much alike. While we may look unique, think differently, and possess special skills and talents, we all have the similar penchants and proclivities. And when it comes to communication, we all love stories.
“We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories,” Jonathan Gottschall writes in his book The Storytelling Animal.
But why? Why are we so in love with stories? And why does this matter to businesses and brands
Let’s begin by addressing the first question. We love stories because of the way they make us feel. When we hear a compelling story, the level of oxytocin – the “feel good” good hormone – increases in our brains. In response, feelings of trust, compassion, and empathy emerge from the shadows and make us feel more positive. Furthermore, stories are relatable and have the ability to humanize ideas and situations that we’re otherwise unfamiliar with.
Now for the second question: Why do stories matter in a business and branding context? Well, based on what we just discussed, stories are relatable. For brands, telling a story creates a connection and gives skin to ideas that may otherwise be too technical or stale in scope.
3 Storytelling Tips for Your Law Firm
Law firms, in particular, benefit from storytelling. And with so many different online mediums through which storytelling can take place, it’s easier than ever to cut through the noise and deliver a compelling message to the right people. Here are a few tips to help you capitalize:
1. Refine Your Voice
Your law firm can’t be an effective storytelling brand if it doesn’t have a very specific voice with tangible qualities, goals, and personality traits.
So before you invest hundreds of hours into developing content, take the time to refine your voice with your target audience in mind. Once you have a documented brand voice, everything else will flow much easier.
2. Leverage Your Website
Most law firms make the mistake of tying all of their branding and content to social media platforms, guest blogging profiles, and other online channels. Unfortunately, what they don’t realize is that these mediums are totally outside of their control. All it takes is a simple tweak to an algorithm or a social media platform to go bankrupt, and all of the content and hard work goes up in flames.
There’s really only one piece of online real estate that your brand actually has total control over: your website. As such, you should invest as much time into your website – if not more – as you do into external platforms like social media.
To get an idea of how you can use your law firm website to amplify your storytelling efforts, take a look at the Legler Murphy & Battaglia, LLP website. You’ll see that they do a good job of explaining who they are, why the do what they do, and what sort of value they offer clients. It’s more than a sales site – it’s a storybook of sorts.
3. Use Second Person POV
While authors are generally told to stay away from the second-person point of view when writing novels, the exact opposite is true with branded storytelling.
Communicating in the second person allows you to speak directly to your audience and engage them in a tangible manner that brings them closer to the story. Rather than reading a story, they’re a part of the narrative. Do it is much as possible!
Reap the Benefits
Here’s the thing: Storytelling requires a dash of patience. Unlike other forms of marketing and branding where you get immediate feedback and results, storytelling is an investment that requires months to pay off. Be prepared to patiently wait for results. In the meantime, you have to remain disciplined and diligent. Consistency is the key to generating long-term results.