40 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | FEB 2022 YOUR FIRM HAS A STORY THAT YOUR CLIENTS DON’T KNOW – AND THEY SHOULD success for organisations that sell complex services, which surely describes law firms. For instance, if you tell a prospect that your firm is a David and Goliath story, your prospect does not need to be a Biblical scholar to understand that you are an underdog firm whose place in the legal marketplace is to take on established firms. Yet the David and Goliath example is not quite enough. This is where the firm’s experiences actually do matter — the firm’s specifics must be married with a memorable and widely understood archetype to describe your firm’s unique, compelling and memorable Capital S Story. A real-life example Recently, our team worked with a mid-sized law firm in a major US city. At 75 lawyers, the firm was one of ten similar firms competing for the same work in its region, and its 75 lawyers were telling 75 different stories to gain clients. The firm wanted those stories to fit within an overall narrative that uniquely described the firm. We collaborated with firm leadership in our trademarked StoryCrafting® process to uncover and develop the firm’s unique archetype and story. We learned that the firm targeted middle-market US companies seeking outside counsel. In interviews, partners told us the firm wanted to be the first call from company leadership when encountering a legal problem the company had never seen before. In aligning the experiences, leadership and capabilities that the firm wanted to grow with archetypes that would resonate with clients and prospects, we settled on the firm’s archetype as legal pathfinder. In other words, when facing a legal problem they had never encountered before, a prospective client would want to engage the firm because its lawyers knew the way and would ensure that the company did not step on any legal landmines. When we presented the archetypal story to the firm leadership, one of the most successful partners got the idea immediately: In his client conversations he said, he often talked about himself as a cartographer, a legal expert who could help draw the map of success for his clients. When we work with clients such as this firm, the key messages from the archetypal story are flowed into broad firm marketing and become standardised for lawyers doing their own marketing as well. Opportunities for you Uncovering, developing and sharing your firm’s Capital S Story is a fruitful exercise that involves much more than this article can provide. I do hope that this article has intrigued you to explore these fundamental questions about your firm: • Why should someone hire you, work for you or partner with you? • Do you know what your firm’s Capital S Story is? • Is your Story driving your firm’s marketing and practice development? If you would like to explore the answers to these questions in depth, our firm website contains several downloadable tools you may find useful. Here’s to great success sharing your firm’s most important story: Its own! Functional MRIs and similar tools have demonstrated convincingly in the last two decades that the human brain is hardwired for story. WordWrite is an award-winning storytelling PR agency in Pittsburgh. WordWrite helps providers of complex services uncover, develop and share their Capital S Story, the most important marketing tool they own, to reveal why someone would do business with them, partner with them or work for them.