What’s Your Personal Legal Brand?

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles

There is something you truly need to know – you already have a brand, whether you like it or not. Your brand is how others perceive you and what you do.

Before the internet, it was simply called your reputation and it was localized to your network or friends, colleagues, bosses and clients.  Now, with the pervasive nature of the internet and the fact that you are not limited by geographic locations, your reputation or personal brand is on display for everyone to search and see.

Your brand can change instantly if you are not in control.  All it takes is one negative review that you don’t respond to.  You need to be in constant control.

Even when you don’t choose to partake in marketing activities – for example, presentations, blogging, social media, videos, and the like, your brand will reflect that as well.

What we are talking about is a strategic process – it is proactively taking control of how people perceive you and managing those perceptions to help you achieve your goals.

So what goes into creating your reputation or personal brand?

Experiences:  It’s your experiences – not just what you do as an attorney but the total of all of the experiences that have shaped you. Your personal experiences have made you who you are and there are probably others who have faced what you have undergone both good and bad.  Bring those experiences to play into your career and you have an empathy to which people will flock.

Personality:  It’s your personality.  How well you handle failure?  Rejection?  Are you egotistical or narcissistic?  Do people actually like you?

Ambitions:  What are your goals?  What do you want to achieve?  What are you willing to do to achieve those goals?

Credibility:  How credible are you?  Credibility is how much people believe you.  Do you keep your promises?  Do you apologize when you make a mistake? Do you talk the talk and walk the walk?

Authenticity:  Too many people are pretending to be something they are not.  They are acting their way through life.  However, no matter how much of an Academy Award winning actor you think you are, you will be found out.  Your true nature will always come through, and usually it is during times of stress.

Connections:  Your brand also includes those around you.  Are you hanging around people who can help or hurt your reputation? Jim Rohn, the famous motivational speaker once said: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”  Are the people with whom you are spending the most time those who will help you achieve your goals or are they likely to keep you down?

Notice, I never said anything about your brand involving where you went to law school or what your work history includes.  While you may have gone to a top tier law school, you could be a jerk and this will become part of your brand.  Big law, small firm, solo – it doesn’t matter in terms of who you are as a person.  While it does inform the experiences you have, you can still be an incredibly successful and powerfully branded attorney regardless of the size of the firm in which you work.

All of these rolled into one make up your personal brand. But your personal brand is only part of your legal brand.

Your legal brand encompasses four parts:

  • Your personal brand.
  • What you do as an attorney – When I say this, I mean, not only the type of law you practice but also how do you differentiate yourself from the other 1.3 million attorneys in the United States. How do you serve your clients?
  • The clients that you serve – who are your ideal clients? Who are the others that work with the clients you want to cultivate? These are the people who can become your referral sources.
  • How you manage your brand – This includes how you market your services to the potential clients, the referral sources, even your current clients. It’s about keeping your name top of mind by consistently and constantly managing how you want other to see you both on and off line. Remember: out of sight, out of mind.

What’s your personal legal brand?

 

New York and New Jersey Law Firms:   SCHEDULE A RAINMAKING TRAINING SEMINAR IN YOUR CONFERENCE ROOM & EARN ETHICS CLEs Unlike other Rainmaking Seminars in which your attorneys have to leave the office, this training is conducted in your conference room at your firm’s convenience. (More states being added regularly.)

Do you want a complimentary Rainmaking Coaching Session? Contact me to schedule 45 minutes telephone call to discover your legal brand.  (Open to all US attorneys who have not previously had a session and who are serious about creating the practice they love – you have to be willing to do the work!)

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