A strong and recognized personal brand can help you cultivate business for your firm or stand out among a crowd of corporate lawyers.
The fact is, everyone already has a brand. The question is, are you actively developing and managing your brand or is it being done by others, without your direct input?
What do people say about you when you're not in the room? What skill or attribute are you recognized for across your company or peer group? Not only should you know the answers to these questions, you should be in control of those answers... aka others' perceptions of you.
Here are three tips to help develop and manage your personal brand.
1) JUST PICK ONE
Pick one skill or strength that differentiates you from others. Sounds easy but isn't. Consider everything you're good at and then consider which one thing aligns with your personality, your goals and allows you to help others. Once you have identified your strength, update your LinkedIn profile to focus on it and provide examples.
2) BE AUTHENTIC AND CONSISTENT
Your brand needs to connect to who you are as a person. It's a story – about you. It should highlight your talents while always remaining true to your personality. In addition to being authentic, you must also be consistent – at home, at work, at play. You need to make a sustained effort to live your brand and so it makes sense, that if you are authentic, it will be that much easier to be consistent!
3) SHARE SHARE SHARE
Once you've identified your strength, promote it – in a way that helps others. Giving back is an excellent way to build your brand. Offer to speak at an event – a CBA Section event or a local law association conference. Write a short blog and post it on LinkedIn or your firm's website. Post a tweet or two. Each of these activities will contribute to building your profile and your credibility.
Why not start with something simple like your bio on your firm's site. This is often the most visited page on your site and is the basis of the first impression you leave on someone – without even meeting them! Review your profile, be authentic and include credibility-building items such as awards, links to articles you've written, etc.
So, we all have a brand one way or another. Take control and shape yours with authenticity and consistency.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.