The Trial Lawyer Summer 2018 - Page 31

identified brand does for you in the long run : It sends a consistent message about what kind of lawyer you are and what kind of cases you want to attract . When you see or hear the brand , you know what they do instantly .
Unfortunately , attorneys overlook the importance of brand all the time . They often use excuses like “ I ’ m too busy to think about branding or marketing ,” “ People already know my name ,” or “ Aren ’ t there Law Society regulations about how I can advertise myself ?” Here ’ s the best one , “ I already have a brand .”
All of these justifications are short sighted . Why ? Because one day the caseload might not be there . And do you really know the number or people who “ know your name ” outside of the exclusive legal community ? Oh , and , branding isn ’ t really advertising anyway .
THE UNMATCHED BENEFITS OF BUILDING A BRAND
So how do you start to understand the value of building a brand for your law practice ? Let ’ s look at the unparalleled benefits of really starting to make yourself or your firm a household name .
At its most essential level , a brand is the sum of what other people think about you . That sounds simplistic , but it ’ s really quite complex , especially if you want to be known for something deeper and longer lasting than the best 1-800 number in the state .
Whether you have an established practice or you are a new lawyer trying to compete in the flooded legal sector , remember that name or number recognition is just one element of brand — a defining descriptor — not the sum of who you are and what you stand for .
Brand must be built , but when it starts paying off it does so in a way that will truly future-proof your legal career . Instead of hoping that clients will come to you solely from referrals or willing it so , you can use your brand to actively attract the kind of cases you really want to work on .
So start to identify your most unique skills , traits , values and perspectives . These 3 – 5 essential brand attributes will establish a consistent pathway and platform for all your marketing messages . Maybe you are an expert in the competitive space of injury law , but have a uniquely empathetic way of connecting with clients . Or your research and interest in the area of worker ’ s compensation is your calling card . Or your firm has mastered personalizing the process of mass tort . Or you ’ re bilingual and know there is a whole realm of work in advocacy for the underserved .
Whatever you commit to , your brand should represent the values you hold true — a measured mix of where you came from and where you want to go , what you care about and what centers your existing practice . Having a brand with that kind of depth will almost certainly lead to more of everything — new business , new networking opportunities , new speaking engagements and new cases . While you might not think you have the time or knowledge to establish your personal legal brand , or you think the gap is too wide to play in the same space as the top attorneys , dismiss that line of thinking right now .
Attorneys who take branding seriously and have the foresight to learn and market around what they truly stand for will set themselves up for longevity in an unpredictable industry .
Consider more than just marketing your name and a lawyer who does personal injury verses an entire brand . When you hear a brand , you are instantaneously attracted and know exactly what they do .
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