Recently, I was invited to speak with the young lawyers of a large Rocky Mountain law firm about personal branding and networking. This is always an interesting presentation for me as I get to not only meet new attorneys, but I am able to learn a bit more about how they intend to practice law to ultimately sell their legal services.
For those that have not heard my lecture on this topic, here is a bit of insight into what we discussed:
It’s virtually impossible in the current media marketplace to compete without developing your personal brand. In Colorado, there are over 53,000 licensed lawyers and around 30,000 in Wyoming. According to LexisNexis, over 75% of adults looking to hire a new lawyer are going online to find them.
What does this mean for Colorado attorneys in pretty much every practice area? It means that there is competition. From day one of working for your own law practice or for someone else’s,
being online and doing a few simple branding maintenance items every quarter is vital to achieve your long-term business goals.
Control your message, control your destiny.
This is not just about making sure your online profiles are up-to-date, although that’s absolutely part of it. This is about being genuine and engaged with your clients and community. It’s about realizing that every professional interaction builds or tears down your brand, and every online review steers people closer towards or away from your firm. On a quarterly basis, be sure to Google yourself and clean up old social media profiles. While you are at it, claim the free legal industry profiles with large sites like FindLaw, Martindale, Super Lawyers, and AVVO. Ensure that your information is up-to-date with them as well.
Even the best lawyers have to remember that they are their own brand. Like the quote that I share in my presentation, “Branding is what people say about you when you leave the room.” Now, more than ever, it’s important that the impression you’re leaving on your clients, your opponents, and your community is the one you are cultivating. Don’t know where to start?
- Are you going to be a lawyer that is pleasant to deal with?
- Do you return calls promptly?
- Do you write handwritten thank you notes?
- Do you send notes of congratulations?
- What does the case intake and conclusion process for you look like?
- How do you recognize referrals from other lawyers?
Bottom line for lawyers of all levels is to determine what kind of brand you will have, not just what type of legal services you are going to sell.
This presentation was fun and the information shared in this blog post is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we covered.