If you thought branding was only for celebrities and big corporations, think again! In the competitive world that we live in today, it is important for professionals to brand themselves and their skills.
For any lawyer, having a clean and strong standing is of utmost importance. Lawyers realize that a lot rides on their repute and image, which means conscious efforts need to go into developing both these aspects favorably.
It is vital that a lawyer be perceived as genuine, consistent and a go-getter. In order for this to happen, you need to send out the same messages regularly so that your reputation is packaged well and positioned in a desired manner.
Want to be known as the biggest legal eagle in your area of specialization? Personal branding can do that for you.
What Is Personal Branding?
So you already have a good reputation, now how about developing you own personal brand? When we say ‘personal brand’, we essentially mean branding for lawyers, and not law firms. While your firm does have a brand, you need to realize that you, the lawyer, are a brand too and possess complete control over molding it.
First off, know that branding is different from reputation, although your repute is an integral part of your personal brand. Branding requires mindful and strategic efforts to uniquely describe, position and promote your skills and experience so that clients would want to prefer to associate with you. It entails ensuring that your distinctive value proposition is introduced and sustained in the marketplace.
Why, you ask? It’s no secret that the market for legal services is fiercely competitive and getting all the more so. In such a scenario, lawyers need every advantageous point they can add to their arsenal. Conjuring up a compelling brand can give a lawyer that edge over competition.
So you’re wondering why the other lawyer next door with the same skills, pricing and reputation as you ends up with the lion’s share of the clients? The answer may very well be that he focuses his time and attention towards shaping and promoting his personal brand so that he comes to mind first when clients are on the lookout for the skills he possesses.
Meanwhile, despite being equally talented, you don’t get clients easily because you take a more passive approach to promoting yourself by relying solely on your reputation, when you can easily and actively brand yourself too. Herein lies the difference between developing a reputation and developing a brand.
In this post, we look at a few ways in which lawyers can create a solid and personable brand for themselves.
1. Showcase Your Victories
If you’re going to brand yourself, you will need to make it a point to showcase your talent as well as your past achievements. You can do so through your website or a print portfolio. You can ask past clients to post testimonials to your website and procure authorization to use a couple of them as case studies. When others talk positively about you, it helps build trust more effectively, goes a long way in persuading others of your capabilities and in understanding how you can help them.
2. Socialize and Network
You may not be much of a socialite, but when it comes to branding yourself, meeting people and networking seems to work extremely well. Of course, you have to ensure to be at the right place at the right time. Legal events, conventions and conferences are a great place to hobnob with other legal minds, build contacts and convey your message. Make sure you’re thorough with all the topics related to your practice beforehand. Figure out how will talk about what you do and what separates you from the other lawyers.
3. Use Public Speaking Opportunities
If visibility is what you’re looking for (and you should be), then you need to capitalize on public speaking opportunities as they will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise to a large group of people.
Speaking about topics related to your field of law can work as a powerful advertising tool as it enables you to sell your expertise, if not your services. Your audience may later approach you with questions, contacts or opportunities.
4. Write Expert Articles
Another great branding tactic, writing about a variety of topics that are helpful or useful to your readers will portray you as an adept law professional who is keen to make a difference to people’s lives. Whether you write for publications, newspapers, magazines or online blogs, do contribute something valuable regularly. If possible, start and maintain your own blog.
5. Stay Updated
As you make a name for yourself and your personal brand begins to develop, make sure that you supplement your efforts by keeping yourself abreast of all that is latest in and relevant to your field of law. Do make the time to update your website/blog information accordingly. Improper, outdated or misleading information about your brand will only portray you in poor light.
6. Keep Competition Close
It is always helpful to be in the know of competition’s branding tactics. Simply conduct a Google search for other legal bloggers in your niche and track their branding tactics.
7. Use Social Media with Caution
Create your own social media account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other blogging websites and make sure to keep them updated with regular posts and quotes. Use them to publish client recommendations and testimonials.
However, if managing these accounts results in distraction from the work at hand, you need to draw a line. Weigh your options. If speaking at public places gets you more clients than using social media, focus less on the latter. In other words, go with what takes less time and brings you big gains.
The field of law is a competitive one and it is never too late for a lawyer to use the above tactics to brand himself. After all, there is nothing to lose, but only to gain. Keep them in mind and give personal branding a serious thought to be able to spread your wings in your chosen field and gain the influence and respect that you rightly deserve.
Alfredo Acosta is a top professional Chicago-based criminal defense attorney at Acosta Law Group, located in Illinois. He has years of experience and thorough knowledge of handling all kinds of criminal defense cases including drug crimes, DUI, gun cases, federal crimes and many more. He is an expert in defending people accused in criminal cases and obtains the best results for them.
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