If you’re like most attorneys, you weren’t offered legal marketing courses in law school. As a result, you may not be familiar with best practices for legal marketing, branding and communications.
Even if you don’t have a genuine interest in marketing, it is an essential skill to learn if you want to elevate your career. Mastering basic legal marketing skills can do wonders for your legal practice.
A good marketing strategy can help you build a sustainable book of business and exceed your firm’s requirements for billable hours. That way, you won’t have to depend on your law firm to provide you with work.
What Types of Attorneys Can Benefit From Learning Marketing and Branding Strategies?
You may be thinking, “I’m an in-house attorney who works for a major corporation. My days of scrambling for billable hours are over. I don’t need to learn the latest marketing and branding strategies to get ahead.” Not so fast.
Building a strong professional brand can help you in many ways. You’ll develop a reputation in your company as a person who gets things done. Your team will view you as a leader. Company executives will look to you as an invaluable asset to the organization.
Types of attorneys who can benefit from developing strong marketing and branding skills include:
- Private Practice Attorneys
- In-House Legal Counsel
- General Counsel
- Legal Executives
- Law Firm Associates
- Law Firm Partners
- Legal Consultants
- Of Counsel
- Legal Executives
- Corporate Attorneys
7 Legal Marketing and Branding Strategies to Develop a Strong Professional Reputation
Elevating your professional profile requires strategic planning. Depending on the breadth of your career goals, it may be a good idea to hire a professional branding coach. However, it isn’t necessary.
There are plenty of things you can do on your own to build a strong professional profile. Here are 7 essential marketing and branding strategies for in-house legal counsel and law firm attorneys.
1. Level up on LinkedIn. Maintaining an active presence on LinkedIn isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. This is especially true if you’re looking to catch the attention of major corporations and global law firms. Be sure to craft a LinkedIn profile that clearly demonstrates who you are professionally and the skills you bring to the table.
Tips to create a captivating LinkedIn profile include:
- Post a professional picture.
- Highlight your value proposition.
- Include a header photo to make your profile stand out.
- Stay away from industry buzzwords.
- Post articles and respond to comments.
- Endorse other people’s skills in your network.
- Focus on your core areas of expertise.
2. Curate your social media profiles. Haphazardly sharing content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will do nothing to elevate your professional brand. You must be intentional about what you post and your comments. The best professional strategy for social media is to only share content that aligns with your professional brand.
Apply the following social media curation tips.
- Resist the urge to just post anything that catches your attention.
- Build connections with select professionals in your industry.
- Credit your content sources.
- Stay clear of controversial topics.
- Save time by creating and scheduling the release of content in advance.
3. Invest in networking opportunities. Want to meet the major players in your industry? It may require a significant investment of time and money. Plan to attend key conferences, workshops and industry networking events.
4. Provide remarkable client experiences. There is no substitute for knowing your craft and providing exceptional service to your clients. When it comes to attorneys in your industry, your clients have thousands of options. But they chose you. Be sure to show your appreciation and value by providing remarkable client experiences.
Here are a few tips.
- Be committed to getting your clients the outcomes they desire.
- Listen closely to your clients to determine what they want.
- Keep the lines of communication open.
- Show empathy and try to see things from your client’s perspective.
5. Ask for and share referrals with other attorneys. It can take months or years to build a thriving referral-based legal practice. That’s why it should be one of several marketing tools that you use to build your book of business. The key to getting referrals is to ask current clients and colleagues for them. Also, develop the habit of providing referrals to your clients’ businesses and other lawyers. When it comes to referrals, strive to develop reciprocal relationships.
6. Craft your professional brand story. Write down your unique skills and value proposition. Now, take a few moments to think about how you can present them to clients and colleagues in a way that is interesting and meaningful. The purpose of creating a compelling professional brand story is to let clients and colleagues know what they will get by working with you.
Benefits of crafting a professional brand story include:
- Develop trust.
- Distinguish yourself from the competition.
- Clarify your niche.
- Make it easy for others to share your story.
- Build credibility within your organization and industry.
7. Sharpen your communication and interpersonal skills. The legal profession is a people business. Attorneys must have a strong grasp of the law and know how to effectively communicate with others.
The following tips can help you become a better communicator.
- Practice active listening.
- Offer support.
- Provide suggestions based on what the client has said.
- Resist the urge to present yourself as a know-it-all.
- Use automation to enhance your business not to eliminate interactions with clients.
- Maintain a pleasant tone when speaking with clients and colleagues.
A strong professional brand can be just what you need to take your legal career to the next level. Stay booked and busy by applying these marketing tips to your branding strategy.
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