As a lawyer, you are the product and service you sell to clients. The best way to prepare for the future in a changing legal marketplace is to invest in your product and service, in other words, invest in yourself.
Here are seven things to consider in developing your personal brand according to Personal Branding in One Hour for Lawyers by Katy Goshtasbi. Goshtasbi worked for fifteen years as a security attorney in multiple areas of law in D.C. and since 2007 has been founder and CEO of a personal branding company and a national speaker on the topic of personal branding.
What do you want to be known for? Do you know who your target audience is? Do you know exactly what niche service you want to provide? Do you know how to reach your target audience?
Practicing law is hard and sometimes lawyers lose their way. Client matters can be difficult and dealing with conflict can be stressful. However, you can still find joy in being a lawyer. Why did you become a lawyer? Having a purpose that makes sense and has an emotional value to others ensures a strong personal brand.
There is a direct correlation between stress, self-confidence, and strength and quality of your business brand management. Legal business can be divided into two parts (1) 50% is about your substantive work product and (2) 50% is about your non-substantive work product. Accordingly, your personal brand is essential because why people hire you initially has nothing to do with your substantive work product. Confidence can be developed by having a personal brand road map addressing:
- Who are the people crucial to supporting your goal and plan execution?
- Where do you need to show up to promote your personal and business brands?
Put your left brain to work. Think of ways you can find your joy and spread it to clients and prospects. A great place to start is with your natural talents. Find out, if you haven’t already, what your natural strengths are and work to develop those strengths.
Ask yourself why someone would choose you as their lawyer instead of someone else? Develop your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). The USP is defined by Businessdictionary.com as a “real or perceived benefit of a good or service that differentiates it from the competing brands and gives its buyer a logical reason to prefer it over other brands”. Your USP is the culmination of many factors that make you who you are as a person. That is your background, your experiences, your visual attributes, your likes and dislikes, and your activities. Develop your “autobiography” Personal Connection Story (PCS). The PCS is the story of you that you share with others to build connections so that they get a sense of your personal brand.
While it is easier to stress your academic achievements and your educational backgrounds over everything else, you need to remember your visual brand. Your appearance is about 20% of the personal branding package. First impressions often dominate and influence how you are perceived regardless of where those perceptions were originally formed. Visual branding is about how you show up to others visually.
Now that you have developed your personal brand what’s next? Show up to places to meet people and let them get to know you and your unique qualities. Managing your brand requires you to reach out in person and be engaged. As Woody Allen famously said, “Just showing up is half the battle.”
A good way to gain job security and salary increase can be by branding you. Distinguish yourself from others and be cognizant of clients’ needs. Even if it’s offering excellent representation with a good personality. As an attorney you are the product and service you offer, so market yourself for success.
You can find Personal Branding in One Hour for Lawyers by Katy Goshtasbi in our lending library. The Lawyers Mutual Lending Library is a free service provided to all insureds and their support staff. We offer a wide range of titles from subject matters including: marketing, networking, starting a law practice and social media. Please visit Lawyers Mutual Lending Library on our website to browse our selection.