This week in Things I Wish I Knew, solo attorney, Joleena Louis, explains techniques she uses to develop her personal brand without turning off potential clients.
I’m an introvert by nature so it’s really difficult for me to talk about myself. To me, there are few things worse than listening to someone constantly brag about their experience and qualifications.
However, since I started my law practice, I’ve had to teach myself how to promote my personal brand to potential clients and referral sources. Otherwise, I would never be able to find new business.
Over the past few years, I’ve found a few techniques for developing my personal brand in a way that is discreet and genuine. I’ve found that promoting myself in a subtle, strategic way has actually allowed me to form stronger relationships and get more clients.
1. Focus on adding value
One great thing about the legal profession is that people value our advice. We have a unique understanding of our practice area that we can use to establish our credibility.
I find that people usually respect me more if they feel they have learned something from me. Instead of bragging about your experience and expertise, make an effort to share knowledge in a way that’s beneficial to the person you are speaking with. They get valuable information and you get to demonstrate how much you know.
2. Stay engaged on social media
Social media is one of the best tools an attorney can use to promote themselves in a humble way. The entire reason social media was created was to allow people to share thoughts and participate in conversation. However, people often forget about the conversation part.
I spend a few minutes each day updating my social media sites, responding to comments and reposting some of my follower’s content. This helps me form a relationship with my online audience, while still promoting myself. Whether I’m on LinkedIn or Instagram, I always look for ways I can engage my followers and add value using my legal knowledge.
3. Make it about your audience
People don’t really care about you, they care about what you can do for them. However, not many people are actively searching for ways you can help them. It’s up to you to be proactive in your search for opportunities, but you can’t accomplish this by talking about how great you are.
There have been times when I have been able to find more business for myself by simply taking an interest in someone else. I find it’s better to take the focus off of me and start asking questions instead. From these questions, I can sometimes discover a need that my legal services can fulfill.
4. Use stories and specific examples
People like stories because they’re compelling and relatable. When talking to potential clients, tell a story of how you have helped someone in their same situation and how you can do the same thing for them.
For example, if I’m talking to a father who wants more access to his children, then I’ll tell him a story about another father I’ve helped. I make sure to provide specific examples of the obstacles they faced and how I helped overcome them. This allows me to use the story to communicate my value, which is much more effective than simply stating that I help fathers get more parenting time.
5. Be honest and genuine
You can be the best lawyer in the world, but no one will connect with you if you are insincere. People want to connect with real people, not advertisements.
This step can be applied to everything you do. Add value to conversations and participate in social media to help people, not impress them. Don’t ask questions if you really aren’t interested, and don’t stretch the truth just to tell a good story. Being honest and genuine will make your promotion efforts more worthwhile and will earn you loyalty among your clients and referral sources.
You are your brand and promoting yourself is an important part of growing your practice. You won’t get hired if potential clients and referral sources don’t know who you are and you are in the best position to tell them.