Building a Personal Brand Without Kicking Your Firm’s Brand to the Curb

Social media has exploded the growth of personal brands.  If you have a consistent social presence (and I mean both in person ‘social’ and the online ‘social) you are building your personal brand with each encounter you have.  Your personal brand is all about who you are and what you want to be known for.  But, how does that fit in with your firm’s brand? The short answer… the firm brand is part of your personal brand and you are part of the firm’s brand!  Confused?  No need to be.  Simply by being associated with a firm makes the two of you entwined.  So, take the chance to embody both but make sure that your personal brand rings strong and real.

I truly believe that in most situations, clients purchase people and not law firms.  That being said, I also believe that the tide rises all boats.  Strong firm brands float personal brands that need visibility.  With the focus on individuals in business development, you must build your own personal brand.  Here are a few tips to try:

  • Determine what you bring to the marketplace as an individual contributor and as a team member.  Understanding the strengths of both your firm and yourself help to define why people will want to be associated with your brand.
  • Create your pitch.  Write down a quick pitch for both you and your firm.  Use quick, easy language, using ‘regular words’ that tell what you do and who you help.  Practice it until you become fluent.
  • Establish your online presence.  Build complete profiles on your social media outlet(s) of choice. Be real and honest at all times.  Don’t pretend to be something you aren’t.  Share posts from your firm’s social media pages and applaud the work of your colleagues.
  • Be helpful.  Go beyond the call of duty and help out.  Roll your sleeves up and solve someone’s problem because you want to.  This can be anything from making a referral to being a sounding board.
  • Be there in person. Build your ‘in person’ social presence.  Go to events, invite people to attend with you and talk to lots of people along the way.
  • Follow up.  Always, always followup.  Don’t leave people hanging because they won’t forget it, and that could reflect poorly on you.

Building a personal brand is a must-do in today’s social media driven world.  Harness the strength of your firm, colleagues and yourself along the way and you will gain momentum.