A primer on Personal Branding for Lawyers

A lawyer's personal brand speaks for them. It tells their clients, colleagues and professional circle about their skills, expertise, experience, personality, and story.
Aman Abbas
Aman Abbas

Ever wondered how some people are invited everywhere, get quoted in every other article and also get client briefs all the time? In terms of the level of expertise, there could be better lawyers available, yet some people are more sought after than others. How does this work?

This is all about personal branding, some people have created for themselves. It is a very important element in our professional life. It is about your visibility, which means keeping yourself in the consideration set of clients, media, speaking forums and all that. More importantly, it is about controlling how people talk about you when are you not in the room.

Your personal brand speaks for you. It tells your clients, colleagues and professional circle about your skills, expertise, experience, personality, and story. Therefore, building your personal brand is worth its weight in gold.

As a lawyer, cultivating a strong personal brand is not only important to reflect yourself as an expert in your practice area. It’s more about achieving your goals by leveraging your reputation and expertise.

Key personal branding strategies

Position Yourself

Decide your story first. You could be an M&A lawyer or a litigator but so are many others. What’s special about you? Your extensive knowledge about your subject, which you express very often or your client commitment and passion that clients can vouch for, your experience, pedigree, your social standing, voluntary work or what is it that would be a head turner?

And your public profile, which is LinkedIn these days, should say it all. Some tips that you could follow includes:

Write your designation e.g. Partner, Your firm name, and then mention all the things you advise on. For example - Web3, (Blockchain, Metaverse and so on), LegalTech, privacy etc.

Another option could be that instead of just writing Partner, your firm name, you may write precisely how you are helping your clients. It could be helping clients in their M&A or creating efficient tax solutions.

And don’t forget to mention what all you talk about. It could be #M&A #Transactions #PE #LitigationStrategies and so on.

Network on Social Media

We are living in an era where clients search for lawyers and read about them before taking a decision on hiring. Even invisible users, make a perception of you basis the content that you share. According to American Bar Association 2021 Legal Technology Survey Report, 81% percent of lawyers personally maintain a presence on social media for professional purposes. This shows that lawyers who were reluctant to use social media are now understanding its worth and changing their marketing techniques for their career growth.

According to Lexis Nexis, social media and LinkedIn are amongst the top three marketing techniques used by law firms now. Without any doubt, if LinkedIn is used well, it’s a great way to start conversations with potential or existing clients who are engaging with your content.

Managing Online Reputation (Personal Website, Wikipedia, Legal Directories, and Review Sites)

The first thing someone does after meeting you is to Google you. To create a strong impression about you, it must present results from some third-party credible sources. These include media coverage, your rankings, Wikipedia page in case that is possible and your own content such as blogs/articles or your own website.

These techniques not only build trust in the clients’ eyes but also take your pages and online reputation several notches up. And all these things are a part of personal branding.

Utilizing the Power of Content Marketing

In this digital age, content marketing is a buzzword. It effectively brings organic search traffic and plays an important role in enticing potential clients. The most important step here is to understand what information is useful for your target audience. Once you get a hold of it, you can form content and provide information in different formats.

The video format has become extremely popular these days and being a lawyer, you can utilize its effectiveness to become a thought leader. Writing blogs/articles, podcasting, posting on social media, etc. can nurture relationships with both existing as well as potential clients.

Get media’s attention

In today’s competitive legal space, media support can enhance your credibility and help you in showcasing yourself as a thought leader in your practice area.

As a lawyer, you can provide your quotes in industry-related news, contribute opinion articles or even participate in round-table discussions on burning issues. All these activities will provide you the much-needed visibility and create a solid presence for you amongst your target audience.

Invest in hiring a PR agency who can capture your needs in a focused brand campaign and can help you in getting visibility, recognition and achieving commercial success.

Participate in speaking opportunities

Public Speaking can be both empowering and rewarding. Speaking at events, panel discussions, and conferences is a great medium to boost your profile. Participating in these opportunities proactively can highlight you as a thought leader, expand your personal development, give a push to your professional credibility, and strengthen your network.

Aman Abbas is the CEO of Commwiser Consultants LLP. He is a former Director, Client and Markets Department, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, and Former Head of Communications at KPMG. He specializes in Legal and Professional Services Marketing.

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