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Presenting Character Evidence: The Importance of Personal Branding for Your Legal Practice

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Human relations are predicated on associations — positive ones draw you in, while negative ones make you want to avoid a person or organization at all costs. This is human nature, and it’s not subject to change. Advertisers have an intimate understanding of this concept, as they spend vast amounts of time and money on research and market analysis to determine what consumers like and dislike, and whether they associate pleasure with participating in any given offering. This process aims to refine an entity’s reputation within the marketplace; an initiative both consistent and adaptable across various mediums — branding.

Top 3 Branding Mistakes for Law Firms

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While marketing a product or service over a sustained period is a primary way to build a brand, it’s not the sole channel. A brand, after all, hinges on name recognition, reputation, how your target market views you, and where you fit into your industry at large.

We live in a digital age where legal consumers are presented with more choices than ever before. In practically every community throughout the nation, lawyers are a dime a dozen — and people can look up a vast list of legal representatives online in just a few minutes. By that token, if you do not distinguish yourself from the garden-variety attorney, you run the risk of getting lost in the weeds.

Okay, But What Does “Personal” Branding Really Mean?

To illustrate the influence that personal branding has on legal representatives, from the local sole practitioner to the nationwide law firm, let’s look at an example:

Two personal injury attorneys are, for all intents and purposes of this scenario, equally successful and sought-after by their respective clients. But, one is known for negotiation prowess, while the other is esteemed for their extensive experience in injury-related litigation. Although they operate in the same practice area, their highlighted qualities distinguish them from one another and feed into each of their personal brands.

Many attorneys who are part of a larger law firm might see the value in this, but consider it a moot point since they are under the umbrella of their organization’s own “brand identity.” And while attorneys may be well-respected within their firm and by clients, they may have little visibility externally. That’s where personal branding steps in. 

An effective personal brand helps lawyers extend their network and achieve professional goals — whether that involves being more active in the community, drawing more business to their firm, or gaining recognition as an expert in their practice area.

Alright, I’m Hooked. How Do I Bolster Personal Branding?

There’s a laundry list of digital marketing tips for your law firm to take advantage of — in fact, we’ve already covered six of the most important ones. For now, we want to shift focus to the more intangible tools required to build a personal brand, the first of which starts with a bit of introspection.

While being objective about one’s own strengths and weaknesses may seem challenging, it’s imperative for attorneys to evaluate their skillset critically. Assessing what you do exceptionally well, areas that could use improvement, and what you want to be known for are all considerations to account for. This personal inventory goes beyond credentials, degrees, or alma maters: while those are of great importance to you as a professional, results-driven avidity and a consistently-branded online (and offline) presence establishes a level of goodwill with your clientele that rises above the sea of seemingly-faceless legal representation.

Answers to questions pertaining to what sets you apart and drives you to succeed are not about changing yourself into something you simply are not. It’s about authenticity and presenting the best possible version of yourself as a consummate professional and legal confidant.

Turn to Bona Fide Branding and Marketing Experts

The idea of “branding,” of course, is a catch-all concept comprised of several facets that contribute to the whole. As such, being familiar with the nuts and bolts of how to effectively connect and communicate with new and existing clients is paramount in cultivating a unique impression, a fruitful relationship, and a positive association.

Want to learn more about branding and your law firm? We invite you to download our whitepaper: Top 3 Branding Mistakes for Law Firms.

Not sure where to start? Turn to the experts! From PPC campaigns to growing your law firm’s traffic, our team helps your legal practice succeed.

About the Author:

Spencer Coulton is a Content Editor at 1SEO. When not writing, he can be found strumming his guitar, attempting to brew the perfect cup of coffee, or biking around Philadelphia — sometimes all at once.

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