Say My Name


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The power of personal branding...

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Say My Name

  1. 1. BD Personal BranDingSay my nameRachel Brushfield and Chrissie Lightfoot discussthe benefits of personal branding for lawyers andtheir firmsL awyers need to create a personal A personal brand is manifested in A personal brand is like a model, while brand to stand out and get noticed. many ways. These include: thought leadership is like the clothes and A personal brand creates a clear the medium in which both appear on thefocus in the marketplace, thereby reducing • reputation; catwalk and at the fashion budgets and enabling clients to • being remarkably different, memorable, A personal brand creates a clearfind them. It also enables their referrers and credible and believable; identity for an individual, while thoughtassociates to be more likely to remember • being the extension of who someone leadership brings it to life, expresses andthem when they spot a client need. is, who others believe them to be and builds it, and makes it visible. A personal brand needs to be what they stand for; Without thought leadership, a personalauthentic not forced, meet clients’ needs • the sum of the experience that a brand can be a concept and hidden away.and build the reputation of the individual, person has; Both help to create customer evangelists.practice group and firm as a whole. • influencing perceptions in the minds of The two work in tandem and must Managing and balancing these three prospects and clients; be developed online (such as throughcritical levels within the legal profession • the ways individuals differentiate LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs), and offlineis vital, especially with social media themselves by identifying and (such as through conference papersresulting in a generation who are more articulating their value proposition; and articles).interested in individualistic ‘brand me’ • someone’s unique talents which are Both a personal brand and thoughtthan ‘brand us’. actively leveraged to earn attention; and leadership help to create business Lawyers who are often resistant • the first thing people think of when development marketing would love a vehicle they hear someone’s name. They attract new prospects to lawyersthat helps referrers to say ‘I know the and reinforce confidence in both theperfect lawyer to help with what you are Link with thought leadership lawyer and firm. They also increaselooking for’. A personal brand helps this Thought leadership is linked with personal the likelihood of customer loyalty andto happen. branding and is made easier by it. repeat business.52 Managing Partner, May 2011
  2. 2. Creating a personaL brand In the fast-moving digital world, a personal brand can be created quickly if enoughValue proposition time and effort is put into it and all communication feeds and builds it.For lawyers, a personal brand offers A personal brand needs to be created deliberately, developed consistently anddistinctive positioning that is memorable maintained regularly.and relevant to a group of customers withspecific needs. Internal perspective A personal brand helps lawyers and Step 1: Define your focus – which markets are you in? What strengths dolaw firms to focus their marketing efforts, you bring?attract the clients they want and filter out Step 2: Define your values – what is important to you? What do you want to bethe clients they don’t want, preventing known for?valuable billable hours and marketing Step 3: What are your skills?budgets from being wasted. Step 4: What are your personal strengths? Step 5: What are your unique talents?“a personal brand External perspective Step 6: Research your peers and clients’ perceptions of your skills, strengths andcreates a clear identity unique talents.for an individual, while Step 7: Research and analyse trends and competitors to determine the needs andthought leadership problems of your target audiences.brings it to life, Pulling it all togetherexpresses and builds it, Step 8: Consolidate internal and external perspectives – your skills, personal qualitiesand makes it visible” and unique talents and how they match with the needs of specific client problems. Step 9: Create your brand vision – what outcome do you want from having a It helps lawyers to achieve more personal brand? What difference do you make to your clients, the firm and infrom their marketing and business your career?development efforts. Since many lawyers Step 10: You in a nutshell (your unique selling points) – what makes you different ordislike marketing, a personal brand is better to other lawyers who do what you do?an effective value proposition to Step 11: Develop an integrated communication strategy and plan, including a strikingencourage lawyers to attract and verbal business card.develop their own client bases. It will Step 12: Create a one-page personal brand blueprint that sums up youralso help lawyers to tackle the issue of personal brand.differentiation from competitors. 53
  3. 3. BD Personal BranDing The present and future trends of development approaches to embrace,general counsel being able to choose involve and engage all lawyers to developwho, where, what, why, when and “personal branding personal they purchase legal products and helps marketing-phobic Firms need to turn the traditionalservices means that law firms need to be top-down triangle ‘brand firm’ and lawyers to embracepresent and attractive to the ‘brand legal marketing mantra upside down toworld’ client. business development capitalise on each and every lawyer’s Leading organisations have discovered by being authentic” personal brand.that strong consumer brands deliver The real challenge therefore for the firmsubstantial benefits: and every lawyer is to embrace the self- reliance era for business development.• increased revenues and market share;• increased customer loyalty; Becoming ambassadors• increased profitability; Invariably, managing corporate• increased clarity of vision; and ambassadorship in an established law• decreased price sensitivity. firm may well be challenging for the individual and the firm. It’s why as a brandThe real power, strength and return ambassador of the firm and the individual,on investment in relation to branding each must be perfectly aligned for onelies in social capital and human capital. common purpose: the firm’s success.This means the marketing and sales For lawyers to be ambassadors of theirrelating and engagement must be firms, the challenge is to be diligent indone by the individual lawyer through conveying the message that they aretheir personal branding, not simply proud to represent their firms and alignfirm branding. Reinventing marketing it with their own identities, both internally A law firm doesn’t have character Leaders and managers within the and externally.or personality, but the people within legal profession should be reinventing When engaging in public at bothit do. marketing, sales, PR and business online and offline venues, lawyers must be54
  4. 4. positioning a personaL brand “a personal brand Do needs to be created deliberately, developed Make time to do research and look at future trends and drivers. consistently and Put yourself forward and promote yourself. maintained regularly” Remember that social media is about integrating your professional and personal lives. business development by being authentic. Don’t It also helps stretched marketing and business development budgets to go Go for the obvious need or target audience. further by attracting target clients to them. The branding of individual lawyers Be afraid to narrow down options in the belief that it will be bad for billings – needs to work collectively with the image less is more. of each practice group, which together need to combine to create a consistent reputation of the firm as a whole.careful to balance corporate responsibility Lawyers need to ensure their names The digital era provides the idealwith their individual personality. reach many people in order to create a opportunity for lawyers to create, establish Personal brands already exist in the legal consistent message of who they are and and build a personal brand quickly andsector – for example, Stephen Mayson and what value they can contribute. effectively to attract target clients bothNick Jarrett-Kerr are well known for law firm offline and online.strategy. Outside the legal sector, the names Marketing opportunitiesRichard Branson, Donald Trump and David Personal branding is growing and helps rachel@liBerateyourtalent.coMBeckham convey a very strong identity. marketing-phobic lawyers to embrace 55