Summertime Marketing Projects To Build Your Brand
by Pete Sullivan, lexperitus Founder & President
Summer is officially here, and busy lawyers welcome not only the longer days and warmer temperatures, but also the much-needed down time that comes with them. Use that downtime to your advantage.
Summer is an ideal time for building the firm’s business instead of just doing the firm’s business. So take a step back, exhale a bit, and reflect on the many problems you’ve solved and clients you’ve counseled. Capture the details of your achievements and share them with clients, colleagues, and counterparts. Look for ways to build on them and focus on the great things they say about you and your firm.
The essay that follows – Boost Your Bio, Build Your Brand – is the first in a series of summertime marketing projects that promote your expertise and elevate your visibility in a crowded and competitive marketplace.
Boost Your Bio, Build Your Brand
Treat your biography as your personal storefront. In most instances, it’s a client’s very first exposure to you. You know what they say: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Current and prospective clients will be far more willing to share the most private details of their personal and business lives if they find you genuine, approachable, and capable of handling their legal question.
Your attorney biography should include each of the following components:
- Photograph(s). A high-quality picture will reveal a lot about your personality and work style and help clients develop a comfort level with you even before they learn about your skills as a lawyer.
- Profile. The task of the profile is to get people to want to meet you. First and foremost, clients are looking for a good fit with their legal question and their personal style. Keep things at a fairly high level for now, but offer insight into your areas of practice and the industry(ies) in which your expertise is focused. Infuse your profile with stories that describe your work style, how you approach each matter, and your level of involvement throughout. Invite clients to envision you as their lawyer, and to develop a comfort level with your relationship.
- Areas of Expertise. Now’s the time to offer specifics about your specialized knowledge and skill. Clients want to know that their legal question aligns with your expertise…that you have real-life experience handling matters just like theirs, and have the right expertise to help solve their problems. If your practice involves multiple practice areas, limit your list to your top 3; clients understand that “jacks of all trades are often masters of none.”
- Representative Cases. Give clients a chance to apply your experience to their specific legal situation. Use the Situation-Action-Result framework to share details of your recent successes. This is no time to be shy, and just a few sentences will be plenty to tell each success story. People will learn a great deal about you from (a) the types of clients you’ve served, (b) the strategies you’ve applied, and (c) the significance of the case outcome.
- Writing & Presenting. You’ve developed expertise in your craft and invested considerable time researching complex legal issues on behalf of your clients. Leverage that knowledge by creating fresh, relevant content (e.g., blog posts, case summaries, legislative analysis, PowerPoint presentations, etc.) that reveals your expertise and promotes your brand as a practice area leader. List your article titles and speaking engagements here, and share your work with others by linking the titles to the text of your work.
- Involvement in the Community. Volunteerism, support for the arts and education, pro bono work, involvement with professional associations, and service to others are all great examples of your community citizenship. Your efforts have made a positive impact on the lives of others. Not only have your actions enhanced your community, you may well meet your next big client through these affiliations.
- Contact information. Make yourself easy to find and connect with. In today’s social media marketplace, there’s no excuse for “radio silence.” In addition to all the normal methods of communication (i.e., phone, mail, email, firm website, etc.), include links that help folks connect with you through Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and your blog posts.
- Admissions to Practice. Given the size, significance, and complexity of matters coming in, clients want to confirm that you are admitted to practice in specific jurisdictions and court levels.
- Education. Some institutions are more well-known than others and carry a level of caché. Information about where you studied, positions you held, and levels of academic achievement can make all the difference as clients evaluate their legal representation options. What’s more, connecting with fellow alumni can bridge the “relationship gap.”
Once you have these basic, bio-boosting components firmly in place, you’ll unleash the power of content, which is always “on the job” promoting your expertise and enhancing your brand – even when you’ve decided to take some well-deserved time off.
Pete Sullivan is the founder and president of lexperitus. He is a marketing communications writer and a legal industry blogger with nearly three decades of legal publishing experience. In his roles as editor, content developer, and project manager, Pete developed the efficient Content Through Conversation process to help busy professionals create cutting-edge content that reveals their expertise and elevates their brand.