Here’s something many lawyers overlook: You don’t need a company to build a brand. That’s right; you can build your own personal brand by promoting yourself online. You don’t need a fancy logo or a catchphrase. All you need is your sparkling personality, cunning whit and professional knowledge. Good thing you’ve got all those things in spades, right?
Here are a few tips for turning your personal website and social media accounts into extensions of your personal brand:
- Know your strengths. If you’re a natural comedian, throw in a legal joke or two. People will appreciate the break from seriousness. But on the other hand, if you’re a straight man (or woman), don’t put on a show. When building your personal brand, it’s important that you act like yourself. People who were introduced to you online should never be surprised by your personality when they meet you in person.
- Define a core area of expertise. You’re a lawyer; we get that. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to try and tackle real estate closings and criminal cases in your career. In real life, you know how absurd that sounds. It’s just as absurd online. So, focus on your core area of expertise in all of your online efforts. For example, if you practice environmental law, you’ll probably share news about recent changes that will impact small businesses and individuals. You may even share the results of recently closed cases along with an easy-to-follow explanation. The goal is to provide your audience with relevant information that will enhance their lives in some way.
- Cultivate your audience. Who you share information with is just as important as what you share. Many legal marketers follow all the right steps, but stumble here. They’ll use some sort of “add me” application to get a bunch of followers to their social networking sites. But, most of those followers will have no interest in what you’re sharing. If they don’t care, they won’t share. They won’t comment or use your services either. You’ll have a long list of followers, but that’s about it. For the best results, focus on the quality rather than the quantity of your audience.
- In this competitive marketplace, defining a core area of expertise isn’t always enough. If you’re competing with thirty other criminal lawyers in your area, you need to narrow your focus a bit more. It’s tempting to want to cast a wider net, but that wide net also widens your competition. Let’s say your core area of expertise is family law. That covers tons of niches. Decide which you want to focus on, and make that your specialty. Maybe your niche is child support for military families, or maybe you focus on fathers who want sole custody of their children. Yes, your pool of prospective clients will be reduced, but you can easily become the top expert in your niche – and all of the sudden, your services are in demand.
It’s perfectly fine, and often recommended, that you focus on building your own personal brand even when you’re working for someone else’s firm. The bottom line is that when you look good, they look good. So, if you’re not working on building your brand already, maybe it’s time to get started?