What’s Your Law Firm’s Capital S Story? with Paul Furiga
Oct 27, 2022
Behind every firm is a unique story that makes them stand out. Unfortunately, few law firm owners know how to capitalize on their story — or tell it. Instead, they jump on all the newest marketing initiatives without clearly understanding what they share. If this is what you've been doing, you're bound to get disappointed over and over. Before engaging in any marketing efforts, you must first find your law firm's Capital S story.
In this episode, Paul Furiga, CEO and Chief Storyteller of WordWrite, joins us to discuss finding your firm's Capital S story. He talks about the power of having a story that draws in potential clients and talents to your firm. He also shares the Storycrafting process and models they use at WordWrite and how to apply them in different business and marketing contexts.
If you want to know how to start telling your Capital S story of your firm, then this episode is for you.
Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode
- Learn about the concept of crafting a Capital S story.
- Adopt the Message Pyramid in developing your firm’s story.
- Find out the importance of having a story before investing in other marketing efforts.
Paul’s Capital S Story
- As a young boy, he thought he would become a famous musician as a tuba player.
- But before going to college, his parents told him that being a musician is not a profitable career.
- Paul decided to become a newspaper journalist instead. He was a journalist for 20 years and covered and edited over 20,000 stories throughout his career.
Paul: “I was with people in the best times of their lives and in the worst times of their lives—I really came to understand storytelling.”
- He wound up in public relations as he started looking for how to leverage his career in the changing journalism scene.
- Paul later founded WordWrite, a PR company bringing light to the stories of companies providing complex services.
Embedding the Capital-S Story of a Law Firm
- A firm's story covers every aspect of the firm, and is critical to attracting valuable clients and talent.
- Having a license is nothing more than table stakes; your unique story is what helps people remember you.
Paul: “How often do people say, ‘Man, I read your case citation. You really did a number in that case. Your brief was awesome’? That's not really what they're hiring attorneys for. They're hiring them for their expertise, but the expertise needs to be communicated in a way that they understand, and that's a story.”
Paul: “What the potential client is thinking is, ‘What is the character and nature of this firm and the people in it? If stuff does hit the fan, are these the kind of people I want to work with?’”
- Human beings tell the same stories regardless of context; people can quickly relate to story archetypes.
- In the legal field, attention goes to the features and benefits — the law firm's capabilities. It's important, but it goes back to the table stakes.
- Competitors will have the same certifications and qualifications, but the difference is in their stories.
- The specifics of a firm are something people in the firm already know. But they don't have the context, shape, and form to put that in a narrative format.
- A well-constructed message pyramid becomes the roadmap for creating the firm's website content, thought leadership, and business development materials.
Paul: “There's wonderful raw material inside the firm that's already being used; it just needs some structure and purpose.”
Developing the Story
- First, WordWrite gathers the leadership team and has them answer a handout about why people should work with their firm. Everyone has a different viewpoint.
- Each perspective share becomes the foundational elements used to construct the overall story of a law firm.
- Firms have different facets for each client they serve. They take their unique history and apply it to the narrative around achieving the resolution from working with them.
- Other subsidiary steps include looking at competitors' stories, marketplace gaps, and the firm's five burning questions.
- The first phase of the engagement results in a complete marketing plan that includes a story and plan of action.
Having Specific Versions of the Overarching Narrative
- The story of a firm needs to roll up to an overarching narrative.
- The overall narrative is crucial for cross-selling or getting people interested in other services the firm provides.
- The specific version is also critical for how somebody comes into the firm. It must be relevant to a specific person’s needs.
Different Types of Stories
- It can be an origin story, an invention or development of a specific kind of expertise, or expertise booming at the right time.
- A firm can have chapters in its story. You must be able to evolve it as the firm grows.
The Capital-S Story
- Your capital-S story is the one story that defines the character and nature of your firm.
- If you’re trying to attract a client, you may share a specific story about another client you helped that fits within the context of your Capital S story.
Paul: “Story is, frankly, a far too overused term. It's accurate, but it's like breathing.”
- The Capital S story has some sense of permanence that describes the overall organization.
- You can begin constructing your own story by reading Paul's book, Finding Your Capital S Story.
Navigating Different Marketing Efforts for Your Firm through WordWrite
- WordWrite is happy to collaborate with resources your firm is already using; Paul calls it the 21st-century version of PR.
- The PESO Model developed by Gini Dietrich stands for Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned.
- Marketing efforts are never all in one concept or an equal division. There is a unique mix for a firm that will be right for them based on various factors.
Moshe: “There's a lot more to it than meets the eye. It’s not just a story, it's not just PR. There's actually a whole logic behind this and calculation and now strategy that needs to be implemented once that story is created.”
Taking the Next Step with WordWrite
- One of the reasons Paul wrote Finding Your Capital S Story was for people who might not be able to engage with the process.
- WordWrite also provides a lot of free content.
- Marketing is often seen as an expense, but it’s an investment.
- Without a story, you can waste money on marketing and not get any results. It's the main reason why Paul put together their process.
Paul: "Unfortunately, far too often, because of the razzle-dazzle whiz-bang stuff that's associated with marketing, I see far too many firms just lay out cash to invest in some marketing initiative when they're not really sure what story they're sharing, not really sure what the ROI is going to be, and then they're ultimately disappointed, and they say for the 25th time, 'See, I told you marketing didn't work.'"
Paul’s Parting Piece of Advice
- Don’t be deterred by what you may think your story should look like.
- If you're passionate about what you do, you're already much further ahead than anyone else.
Paul Furiga is the President and Chief Storyteller of WordWrite. WordWrite is a public relations and marketing agency that helps providers of complex services uncover, develop, and share their stories.
Paul’s two decades of journalism expertise taught him that understanding the principles that create great stories results in unsurpassed outcomes for brands, companies, and causes. He is also the author of the book Finding Your Capital S Story.
If you wish to get in touch with Paul, you may connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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