Rainmaking Recommendation #160: The 8 Laws of Personal Branding (Legal Branding Series part 4)

Peter Montoya’s Book on Personal Branding

The past three Rainmaking Recommendations have been about building your personal legal brand and its importance.  Before discussing the many tactics and the ethical considerations in using those tactics to build your brand, I wanted to touch on one other idea that I love: The 8 Laws of Personal Branding.

I didn’t come up with these 8 Laws; Peter Montoya, a personal branding guru whose book: The Brand Called You, has been a best seller since 2005 was the one who developed these “laws”.  However, as lawyers, we love laws so I thought you would find this as helpful as I have in developing and building that brand.

The Law of Specialization:

Many of my clients and attorneys who have heard me speak have heard me say that you cannot be all things to all clients.  With 1,335,963 attorneys in the United States, you have to find a way to differentiate yourself.

The best brands are built on a core specialization.  This is more than just a practice area, this is a specific niche for which you can become known.

Once you become known for that specific area of law, then you can start to branch outward to compatible areas.

The Law of Leadership:

When you have decided upon and created that specialization, you need to become known as the authority – the go-to person to deal with on that subject.

The Law of Personality

In whatever you do, whether online or foo, you must determine your personality and let it shine through in whatever you do.  This will include your flaws.  It’s about Authenticity

However, this doesn’t mean that you can come up with a “persona” and pretend to be something that you are not.  Even if you are the greatest writer or actor, you will be found out.  Your true personality will come through,  and, once found out, you will find your brand destroyed just as easily as it is built.

The Law of Distinctiveness:

What makes you different from all of the other attorneys out there?  You must separate yourself from the competition. An effective Personal brand needs to be expressed in a way that’s different from the competition.

The Law of Visibility:

Out of sight is out of mind.  Once you have determined your brand, you need to be constantly and consistently visible.  You have to find a way to hold your ideal client’s interest on a regular basis.  Speaking, writing, social media, newsletters, these are just some of the ways you can use to be visible

Visibility also creates the presumption of quality. People will assume because they see you all the time, that you must be superior to the other attorneys who are offering the same service as you.

The Law of Unity:

Your personal life, your conduct must mirror the public brand.  Again, you cannot be one thing when you are trying to brand yourself and your practice, and then be something totally different in real life.

The Law of Persistence

Persistence means never wavering from your core brand, from your personality – it means continuing to build and develop that brand both on and offline.

The Law of Goodwill:

You must be associated with a value or idea that is recognized universally as positive & worthwhile. The more you are perceived as well-intentioned, as someone who embodies the ideals of your target market, the more trusted you will be.

There are statutory laws which regulate our behavior.  These are the laws we defend and protect as attorneys.  And, these laws sometimes evolve and change as the world changes, but the laws of personal branding above are static and never changing.

Learn these laws and put them into practice and you will build a personal legal brand that has strength and staying power.



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