When I was building my law practice, I never thought about branding. I likely never heard the word used in connection with practicing law.
A few years ago, I was asked by the Boston Bar Association to be the keynote speaker of a day long program they titled: “Brand Yourself: Business Development for New Associates Conference.” At the time I wondered if the young lawyers who attended wondered what it meant to brand yourself.
If you want to review the slides from Boston Bar presentation you can find them here. If you are interested in my workbook handout, send me an email.
If you give it much thought, isn’t your brand or your law firm’s brand what your clients think of you or your firm?
What do you want your clients to think of you?
To give you some ideas, here is what I wanted my clients to think about me. I wanted to be perceived by transportation construction contractors as:
- The preeminent transportation construction lawyer in the US
- Able to anticipate and identify their potential problems and provide innovative solutions before they thought of the problem
- The lawyer with the greatest construction business savvy
- Empathetic and Caring
- Focused on helping contractor clients succeed
How did I make these ideas come to life?
When I first started I spent about as much time reading about construction and the construction business as I did reading about legal issues. By understanding how my clients made or lost money, the challenges they faced building complicated projects and how their industry was changing, I was better positioned to help them.
My goal was to take what I learned and distinguish myself from other lawyers.
Then, for 25 years I wrote a column for Roads and Bridges magazine titled “Law: The Contractor’s Side.”
When I wrote the column I spent more time figuring out what to write about than actually writing it. Why? Because each month I wanted to demonstrate I was anticipating and identifying potential problems and offering a solution. Because the column was so well read, it enabled me to build my brand more than any other client development activity I did.
How do you want your clients to perceive you? When you answer that question you will be on your way to building your brand, or whatever other term you choose to describe it.