In law school, we are taught all the fundamentals. Most importantly, law school instills in us techniques for thinking like a lawyer. What we do not learn in law school is the business side of the law. No one talks about obtaining and retaining clients. Yet, when we start practicing law, we quickly realize that bringing in business translates into a partnership or a successful solo practice. Undoubtedly, without clients, we have no law practice.
Historically, lawyers did not need to market. Being a professional was enough to bring in business. It was frowned upon to advertise. Today, however, things have changed. The legal profession is competitive and having a law degree in and of itself does not guarantee business.
As such, marketing is critical for lawyers and to be an effective marketer, it is important to develop a brand. While most lawyers think branding is something that should be left to products, not people, a brand is essentially a tool for giving one a competitive edge in business development.
Recognizing the importance of branding is pretty simple and straightforward. Developing a brand, however, is not as easy. Here are some tips to help get started:
1. Figure out who and what you want to be
Before you can decide on what your brand is, you must figure out who you are. After all, your brand should emphasize your top qualities. The goal of having a brand is to differentiate you from the crowd. Therefore, when considering what your brand will be, think about how you stand out — what makes you special.
2. Use it or lose it
Once you determine what your brand will be, you must build it in order for it to be effective. Because your brand defines and differentiates you, it should be used in every aspect of your marketing. From your web bio to social media, you need to include your brand for it to be effective.
3. Build the brand to expand
The goal of branding is not to limit you but to help you expand. As such, think big when you brand. If your brand is a logo, use it not only on your website and stationery but also on your email signature and social media sites. If your brand is connected with a blog you write, try and link it to other sites, include its title as part of your signature. Communicate your brand in any way and every place you can.
To learn more about the importance of branding and how to develop your brand, please join me at Lawyernomics 2017 where I will present “Betting on your brand.” Looking forward to seeing you there!