In this video post, small law firm marketing guru Mark Merenda of Smart Marketing (www.smartmarketingnow.com) explains the importance of image and branding in attracting clients, being retained, and charging decent fees. Most buying decisions, he explains, are emotional, not rational. They may be made before the potential client and attorney meet or within the first few minutes of their interaction. Merenda tells the story of world-acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell who plays at night before rapturous audiences paying high ticket prices. Early one morning, he played at a Metro station in Washington, DC, with his violin case open for donations. Hardly anyone noticed, stopped to listen, or made a donation. They were not expecting to hear a world-class violinist at 7:30 in the morning on their way to work. He, at that moment, was branded as the typical struggling performer trying to make ends meet.