Rainmaking expert and trainer, Jaimie Field, is bringing us the latest in her legal branding series today, how to create your personal legal brand.
Over the past 4 Rainmaking Recommendations (which can be found here) we have been talking about your personal legal brand. Today we speak, albeit in generalizations, how to create your personal legal brand.
There are hundreds of marketing and business development tactics you can use, and there are thousands of locations on the internet where you can create a presence, to develop your personal legal brand. The trick is to be consistent with how you portray yourself, what kind of lawyer you are, how you want to be known.
There is a difference between pushing your marketing out – which is known as advertising – and creating relationships with your audience – which is rainmaking. Relationships are built on mutuality – the give and take in any given interaction between people, be it online or offline.
When building your brand, specifically online, you want to try to claim all of the online real estate you can. This means making sure that on every social media site, you use the same username or moniker. And, since you are a lawyer, you should claim your actual name and not some silly or unprofessional handle. Do not use “Lawyer Guru”, or “BestLegalMind” – in addition to being tacky, there are ethics rules which disallow such names/monikers.
You can, and should, however, claim a practice area or industry area if that’s how you want to brand yourself. For example: “Aviation Lawyer”, or “NYPI Attorney” for a personal injury attorney in New York. Just make sure that you claim that exact name on all of the sites.
Understand that you limit yourself when you do it this way. While we talked about specialization in a past Rainmaking Recommendation, once you have conquered a market, your chosen brand or name may hinder your brand’s growth. If you claim your personal name or some variation of, then you can grow that brand outward into other industries or practices.
Also, consider purchasing your username’s URL. Even if you never use it, no one else can have it.
HINT: There is a website called Namechk.com – you can type in your name or the username you want to claim, and see if it’s available on more than 80 different social media sites. What if your name is a common name? Jane Smith, Esq.? The likelihood is that it is already claimed is huge – but you can use a middle initial or find another way to distinguish yourself. Just claim the same name over and over. That’s how you begin to create the brand.
Again, even if you never use the social media site, you still have your name and no other person can claim it in that exact manner.
I cannot stress this enough – if you want to be a Rainmaker, if you want to create an online presence, If you want to build your brand, you must take action.
And while I do advocate claiming your online real estate, that is getting YOUR name to create YOUR brand registered on as many places as possible, even if you don’t actually use the sites, you still have to proactively create your brand on one or more of the big social media sites and offline.
And the first step to taking that action is creating a Rainmaking Plan. A Rainmaking Plan is like the GPS in your car – it helps you determine where you are going and how you are going to get there.
There are so many Marketing Strategies * which will help you create your brand on and offline include:
- Speaking to your ideal audience;
- Writing articles to be published in your ideal audiences’ publications;
- Public Relations;
- Live Broadcasting;
- Webinars and Seminars;
- Referral Marketing;
- Association Marketing;
- Social Media;
- And more
The aim is to figure out which methods you will use and use them consistently.
*In future “episodes” of Rainmaking Recommendations we will talk about the best practices for each of these tactics.
Proactivity is one of the most important ideas in creating your brand. You must understand that if you don’t take control of your brand, others will define it for you. And it may not be what you want people to think of you.
And, finally, you must remain in control of your brand and think about it when you are undertaking your marketing and rainmaking activities. Indeed, you must think about it all of the time, because as fast as you can build a brand, one wrong move can destroy it even faster.
Beginning in June 2018, we will be holding a Rainmaking Plan Masterclass to create your personal Rainmaking Blueprint. To join the upcoming class please sign up here – space is limited to 25 attorneys to ensure personalized attention.